Big Ten

Michigan sets up high-stakes edition of The Game with comeback win over Hoosiers

deveon-smith-1119.jpg
USA TODAY

Michigan sets up high-stakes edition of The Game with comeback win over Hoosiers

Next weekend is going to be something else.

Third-ranked Michigan ensured a high-stakes battle against second-ranked Ohio State in next week's edition of The Game with a 20-10 win over Indiana on Saturday in Ann Arbor.

The win sent the Wolverines to a 10-1 record, the same mark as the Buckeyes, and the two rivals will meet with a potential trip to the College Football Playoff on the line.

Saturday, Michigan actually needed a comeback to best Indiana, which held a 7-3 lead at halftime thanks to a go-ahead Camion Patrick touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Wolverines stumbled on offense early behind backup quarterback John O'Korn, who played in the absence of starter Wilton Speight. Michigan struggled on that side of the ball last weekend in the upset loss to Iowa.

But things turned around after halftime. The sides traded field goals, the Hoosiers holding a 10-6 lead on the Wolverines when O'Korn busted off a 30-yard run on third down to breath life into the Michigan offense. De'Veon Smith then took over, going 34 yards on the very next play for a go-ahead touchdown. Two drives later, Smith broke off a 39-yard touchdown scamper to make it 20-10.

Given the way the Michigan defense played, the double-digit margin pretty much put the game on ice, even with an entire quarter left to play. The Wolverines held the Hoosiers to just 114 total yards after halftime, just 13 on the ground.

Michigan finished with 284 total yards, getting 225 of those via the run. Smith was phenomenal with 158 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. O'Korn, clearly not giving free reign by Jim Harbaugh, completed only seven passes for 59 yards.

For Indiana, Richard Lagow completed 14 passes for 191 yards. Devine Redding had only 50 yards on 22 carries.

The win boosted Michigan to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Should the Wolverines defeat the aforementioned Buckeyes next weekend in Columbus, they will advance to the Big Ten Championship Game, and a win there would surely punch a ticket to the Playoff. A loss, though, would almost certainly mean no Playoff trip for Michigan. So the stakes are mighty high in the regular-season finale.

Indiana dropped to 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten with the loss. The Hoosiers need a win in their regular-season finale against Purdue to reach bowl eligibility.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
USA TODAY

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

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.