Big Ten

Northwestern expects Clayton Thorson to play vs. Purdue


Northwestern expects Clayton Thorson to play vs. Purdue

Northwestern expects to have its starting quarterback back in action this weekend against Purdue.

Clayton Thorson was knocked out of last weekend's win over Penn State with a lower-body injury suffered in the first quarter. He was replaced by Zack Oliver and went to the locker room, and despite throwing a ball around on the sideline, he never reentered the game.

But during his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Pat Fitzgerald told reporters that he expects Thorson to play.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Northwestern gear right here]

Thorson has completed 53.1 percent of his passes this season for 1,177 yards and six touchdowns compared to five interceptions. He's also rushed for an additional 312 yards and five touchdowns.

While the offense has not always run smoothly under Thorson, the redshirt freshman has made strides and was off to a solid start — 5-for-8 for 58 yards — before getting knocked out against the Nittany Lions.

Oliver was solid in relief, throwing a touchdown pass and rushing in for a touchdown in the second quarter. While he and the offense struggled after that, Oliver's big third-down pass to Austin Carr in the final moments of the game helped set up the game-winning field goal.

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.