Big Ten

Northwestern jumps up to No. 17 in AP poll

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Northwestern jumps up to No. 17 in AP poll

Northwestern jumped up to No. 17 and Ohio State held its spot as the No. 1 team in the country when the latest AP poll was released on Sunday.

The Wildcats were rewarded for their second non-conference win over a Power 5 opponent, moving up six spots from No. 23. After defeating Stanford in the season-opener, Northwestern traveled to Durham, N.C., and beat Duke, 19-10, on Saturday. The Cats' defense has been extremely impressive, limiting opponents to just 16 points in three games.

The Buckeyes stayed at No. 1 after a concerning performance in a 20-13 win over Northern Illinois. While the Ohio State defense played terrifically, the offense was atrocious, unable to do much of anything under either Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett at quarterback and turning the ball over five times. Northern Illinois was leading after a quarter, tied at the half and had multiple opportunities to tie the game or re-take the lead late in the fourth quarter. The performance had many declaring on social media that the Buckeyes no longer deserved their top spot in the rankings.

Elsewhere in the top 25, Michigan State was No. 2, moving from No. 4 with its 35-21 win over Air Force. And Wisconsin moved to No. 22, up from No. 24 after a 28-3 win over Troy.

Iowa and Minnesota also received votes in this week's poll.

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

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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

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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.