Big Ten

Surgery knocks Illini quarterback Chayce Crouch out for the rest of the season


Surgery knocks Illini quarterback Chayce Crouch out for the rest of the season

While Wes Lunt’s status is still a mystery moving forward for the Illini, we won’t see Chayce Crouch under center again in 2016.

Crouch, head coach Lovie Smith informed reporters after this past weekend’s game against Minnesota, had season-ending surgery, and he will miss the remainder of the 2016 campaign.

The quarterback position has been in constant flux for Illinois after Lunt was injured in the Oct. 8 loss to Purdue. Crouch relieved Lunt in that game and then started in the win over Rutgers a week later. But to the surprise of many, it was third-stringer Jeff George Jr. who started the last two games against Michigan and Minnesota, with neither Lunt nor Crouch seeing the field in either contest.

Crouch performed admirably since Lunt’s injury. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 142 yards and rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns against Purdue. Against Rutgers, he completed six of 14 passes for 92 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for 25 yards.

George hasn’t fared nearly as well, though certainly his competition has been much tougher. He was 4-for-15 for 95 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the elite Michigan defense, and he was 16-for-34 for 156 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota.

Lunt’s status has been kept under wraps by Smith, though the senior starter was dressed for Saturday’s game, perhaps implying that he could have played in an emergency situation. Smith continued to reveal only that Lunt is continuing to get better.

Crouch has already started rehabbing, per Smith, and could be the favorite for the starting gig next season.

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.

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.