Though it appeared a struggle for a while, a pair of late touchdowns allowed Michigan State to pick up a 20-point win over Central Michigan on Saturday in East Lansing.
The Spartans led by just a touchdown for a lengthy chunk of the second half, but Gerald Holmes rushed for a pair of scores in the fourth quarter to give second-ranked Michigan State a 30-10 victory to improve to 4-0.
It wasn’t a pretty win, with the Michigan State offense putting up just 17 points through three quarters and the defense allowing another sizable passing day to an opponent. Central out-gained Michigan State, 340-324.
But Holmes had the two touchdown runs, Madre London had a touchdown run and Connor Cook had a touchdown pass to Josiah Price to provide enough points to make it a respectable win.
[MORE BIG TEN: New U.S. citizen Amara Darboh makes unreal one-handed catch for Michigan]
Cook completed 11 of his 19 passing attempts for 143 yards and a touchdown. London led the way rushing with 73 yards and his touchdown. LJ Scott ran for 54 yards, and Holmes had 22 to go with his two TDs.
And it was a monster day for star defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who recorded 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss and blocked a field-goal try in the first quarter.
Other than that, though, the defense had another shaky day. It hasn’t shown too much of an ability to slow down opposing passing attacks, and Saturday was no exception. Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush completed 26 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown.
Additionally, the already banged-up Spartans had a couple more high-profile injuries. Star offensive lineman Jack Conklin suffered an apparent leg injury and was held out the majority of the game. Defensive back R.J. Williamson also left the field on multiple occasions after getting roughed up.
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 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.