Big Ten

Things get worse for Huskers as De'Mornay Pierson-El is lost for season

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Things get worse for Huskers as De'Mornay Pierson-El is lost for season

There isn’t much good news surrounding 3-6 Nebraska right now, and things got worse Monday, when head coach Mike Riley announced that star receiver/return man De’Mornay Pierson-El will miss the remainder of the season after getting injured in Saturday’s loss to Purdue.

According to Riley, Pierson-El blew out his knee and suffered a fractured leg. Pierson-El sustained the injury while celebrating following a Husker touchdown. He was carted off the field during the game and did not return.

“De’Mornay is out for the rest of the year," Riley said. "He’s having surgery soon. He tore up his knee and fractured his leg unbelievably. I feel so bad for that kid. I feel like I just saw him on crutches a few days ago, and here he is again. It’s a sad deal."

It’s a difficult blow for the Huskers. Pierson-El, when healthy, is one of college football’s best return men, and he was slated to become a bigger factor in Nebraska’s offense this season.

Pierson-El missed the first four games of the season with a foot injury. He returned in Nebraska’s loss to Illinois and caught 12 passes over five games with one receiving touchdown. He returned four punts, as well.

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Additionally, running back Terrell Newby has an ankle injury, with Riley labeling questionable for Saturday's game against Michigan State. Wide receiver Brandon Reilly has what Riley called a "severe" toe injury, with the head coach adding, "I’m hopeful that he gets better as the year goes on."

He also updated the status of quarterback Tommy Armstrong after the junior missed the Purdue game with turf toe.

“(Armstrong) certainly looked good yesterday when I went down to the weight room," Riley said. "He was in that machine running, the low-impact deal, the gravity deal. He looked good running in that. He looks good just walking around, and he’ll go through the jog through today. I think the bigger story will be the next two days.”

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.