Big Ten

Spartans survive late Purdue comeback to stay undefeated

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Spartans survive late Purdue comeback to stay undefeated

A three-point win over Purdue isn't usually a sign of one of the nation's best teams.

No. 2 Michigan State could see a significant tumble in the rankings this week after clinging to life against Purdue, which made a late comeback but came up just short in a 24-21 Spartan win.

Michigan State led, 21-0, at the half and remained ahead by three touchdowns deep into the third quarter.

But Purdue roared back as the game wore on. David Blough pitched a touchdown pass with five and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, and Markell Jones' 68-yard touchdown run made things real interesting not even a minute into the fourth.

The Spartans responded with a field goal to go up 10 with a little under 10 minutes to play, but the Boilermakers answered that with a seven-play, 79-yard touchdown drive, capped by another TD run by Jones.

[MORE BIG TEN: Northwestern moves to 5-0 with dominant win over Gophers]

Purdue got the ball back with a little less than three minutes to play, but a 10-play drive ended on a turnover on downs when a Blough jump ball was batted down.

Michigan State has looked shaky since a huge Week 2 win over Oregon. The Spartans' defense, which has been terrific in recent seasons, has failed to put a lid on its opponents, injuries and inexperience causing significant problems.

But the offense had its fair share of woes, too, Saturday, with Connor Cook — who's supposed to be among the nation's top quarterbacks — completing just 13 passes for 139 yards. The Spartans' rushing attack performed well, with LJ Scott leading the way with 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Michigan State rushed for a team total of 267 yards.

Purdue had three turnovers, which surely could have made the difference in the game.

Judging by the comments on social media, Michigan State likely won't hang on to its No. 2 ranking when the latest AP poll comes out Sunday. Still, the Spartans are a perfect 5-0.

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.

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.