Big Ten

Michigan blanks Terps for second straight shutout win


Michigan blanks Terps for second straight shutout win

There are two-week-old babies out there who have never seen the Michigan defense give up a point.

For the second straight week, the Wolverines pitched a shutout, following up a 31-0 win over BYU with Saturday's 28-0 blanking of Maryland.

The Terps, who are not playing good football at all right now, gained just 105 total yards Saturday in a game that was pushed from primetime to an 11 a.m. kick due to impending nasty weather on the East Coast. Michigan held Maryland to just 29 rushing yards and picked off quarterback Caleb Rowe three times, continuing to play sensationally on the defensive side of the football, where its standing as one of the country's best defensive teams will improve further.

It was an ugly start for both teams, neither offense able to do much in suboptimal weather conditions. Michigan fumbled twice in the first half, while Maryland saw two picks tossed by Rowe. The lone scoring in the first half was a pair of field goals for the Wolverines.

[MORE BIG TEN: Northwestern moves to 5-0 with dominant win over Gophers]

But Michigan's offense — which was without the services of top running back De'Veon Smith, who stayed in Ann Arbor with an injury — picked things up in the second half with a trio of touchdowns to turn a 6-0 game into a complete rout. Jake Rudock hit Drake Johnson on a screen pass and a 31-yard touchdown. Jehu Chesson took an end around 66 yards for a score. And Johnson added his second touchdown of the day on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Rowe, meanwhile, was replaced with Daxx Garman for the second straight week after his trio of interceptions. Rowe now has 12 interceptions on the season, his first action coming in the fourth quarter of the Terps' Week 2 loss to Bowling Green. He threw two picks in just three throws in that game. Since, he's thrown 10 more interceptions in three games. Head coach Randy Edsall stuck with Rowe over Garman to start this week's game. Don't be surprised to see him go with Garman next week. If he does, it'd be the Terps' second starting quarterback switch of the season, which is just five games old.

Rudock finished completing just 50 percent of his passes for 180 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Michigan rushed for 198 yards. The Wolverines had three turnovers of their own.

No. 22 Michigan improved to 4-1 on the season. A big clash awaits next week, with the Wolverines hosting the undefeated Northwestern Wildcats in Ann Arbor.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.