Big Ten

Meyer says recovering Miller, Barrett just about at full strength

miller-meyer-barrett-0701.png

Meyer says recovering Miller, Barrett just about at full strength

No, Ohio State does not yet have a starting quarterback. But there's good news surrounding the competition.

The three-way battle between Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones will likely feature all three QBs operating at full health. Head coach Urban Meyer told reporters Wednesday that Miller and Barrett, who are both working their way back from injuries that ended their respective 2014 campaigns, are nearing full strength.

Meyer, his quotes published over at Cleveland.com, said Miller "is pretty close to full speed" and that Barrett is "close to 95 percent."

That's great news for the college football world, almost every eye of which will be on the Buckeyes' quarterback competition beginning next month. It's, of course, also terrific news for the Buckeyes, who will have three full-strength QBs to choose from. Though it might make Meyer's job a bit more difficult.

[MORE BIG TEN: Terps announce three-year contract extension for Randy Edsall]

Miller is returning from a second straight shoulder injury, the latest suffered in training camp days before last season began. The first came in Ohio State's loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl the previous season. Miller was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year before he was knocked out of what was to be his senior season before it started.

Barrett took over and quickly found his footing, engineering a remarkable season as a redshirt freshman, a campaign that saw his team win all but one game and claim a Big Ten East Division championship. Along the way, he broke a whole bunch of program and conference records. He injured his ankle in the regular-season finale against Michigan, and though he was knocked out for the postseason, he still earned Big Ten Quarterback of the Year honors and finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Jones' fill-in performance was perhaps just as impressive, if not more so. Taking over for the injured Barrett, he was sensational in three postseason wins: the Big Ten title game over Wisconsin, the Sugar Bowl over Alabama and the College Football Playoff national championship game over Oregon. Jones threw for a combined 742 yards and five touchdowns in those three wins, running for another 90 yards and a touchdown, as he helped guide Ohio State to the eighth national championship in school history.

The Buckeyes figure to be in good hands regardless of who wins the job. All three QBs are viewed not only as capable but excellent, and whoever wins the competition will likely be among the favorites for many of college football's individual awards, including the Heisman Trophy.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

anderson.jpg
USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.