Big Ten

Rutgers goes down 25 but uses incredible comeback to beat Hoosiers

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Rutgers goes down 25 but uses incredible comeback to beat Hoosiers

Perhaps Rutgers' best win of last season was an incredible comeback victory to beat Maryland in the regular-season finale.

Well, maybe incredible comeback victories are just kind of Rutgers' thing.

Indiana scored four touchdowns to open the second half Saturday to build a 52-27 lead on Rutgers. But the Knights roared back, using a pair of interceptions, a scoop and score and a bevy of big plays to score four touchdowns in 10 and a half minutes and tie the game. They kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to complete a remarkable comeback and knock off the Hoosiers, 55-52.

It was a high-scoring affair from the start, and Rutgers led, 27-24, at halftime. Wide receiver Leonte Carroo, coming off last weekend's three-touchdown game, had two scoring catches in the first half.

But Indiana exploded out of the break, as quarterback Nate Sudfeld — back after missing last week's game with an injury — dominated the Rutgers defense. He pitched three touchdown passes in the third quarter to go along with his a first-half touchdown run and touchdown throw. Running back Devine Redding, still spelling the injured Jordan Howard, rushed 66 yards for a touchdown to give the Hoosiers 52 points and a 25-point lead with five and a half minutes to play in the third.

That's when the Knights struck back, though. Chris Laviano found Carroo for the receiver's third touchdown of the day. Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, Kemoko Turay scooped up an Indiana fumble and rushed it back 26 yards for a touchdown, the two scores coming minutes apart.

Sudfeld was next intercepted by Isaiah Wharton, leading to a Robert Martin touchdown run. Rutgers picked off Sudfeld again on the next drive, this time Anthony Cioffi doing the honors, and the Knights turned that into a Paul James 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 52. A missed extra point could've given Rutgers the lead.

But Kyle Federico kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give Rutgers an improbable win.

The two teams combined for 107 points and 1,223 total offensive yards. Sudfeld threw for 464 yards and four touchdowns, while Laviano threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns. Rutgers got 124 rushing yards and three touchdown carries from Martin, while Carroo caught seven passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns — his third three-touchdown game of the season in just his fourth game of action. Indiana had three receivers with over 100 receiving yards apiece: Mitchell Paige caught eight passes for 126 yards, Ricky Jones caught six for 119 and Simmie Cobbs caught seven for 107.

The Knights improved to 3-3 with the win. It was head coach Kyle Flood's first game back from his three-game suspension.

The Hoosiers dropped to 4-3 with the loss and have fallen in their last three games after winning their first four.

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.