Big Ten

Northwestern becomes first FBS team ever to win three straight games in overtime


Northwestern becomes first FBS team ever to win three straight games in overtime

The Cardiac Cats were at it again.

For the first time ever, an FBS team won three straight games in overtime. That team? Northwestern. The Wildcats grabbed an overtime win at Nebraska on Saturday, the third in a row they won in extra time.

This one didn't require the three overtime periods that last week's upset of Michigan State did, but it involved some late heroics nonetheless.

The Huskers took a 21-17 lead on a pick six in the third quarter, but Cats quarterback Clayton Thorson redeemed himself with a game-tying touchdown run in the fourth quarter, a seven-yard scoring dash that knotted the score at 24 with five and a half minutes to go. That touchdown drive was setup by Godwin Igwebuike's interception of Tanner Lee with Nebraska inside the red zone.

Then Pat Fitzgerald put on his riverboat-gambler hat in overtime, sending his offense back out on fourth and goal from the one-yard line, with Thorson plunging in for the go-ahead score. Northwestern's defense forced a three and out on Nebraska's ensuing possession, ending the game.

The Cats racked up 475 total yards in this, their fourth straight win. Justin Jackson rushed for 154 yards. Jackson, Thorson and Jeremy Larkin combined to score four rushing touchdowns. The Northwestern defense picked off Lee three times.

Saturday's win followed the triple-overtime victory over Michigan State and the win prior, an overtime victory against Iowa. Northwestern now boasts a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in Big Ten play. Though two games behind unbeaten Wisconsin, Northwestern is all alone in second place in the Big Ten West.

And after a crazy day in the conference, only Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State have better conference records than the Cats.

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.

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.