Big Ten

Touchdowns and turnovers: Mixed bag for Caleb Rowe in Terps' win


Touchdowns and turnovers: Mixed bag for Caleb Rowe in Terps' win

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After throwing two interceptions in three pass attempts in the fourth quarter last week against Bowling Green, Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe threw an interception that brought an end to his team’s first drive on Saturday against USF.

“I’m sure people thought, ‘Oh, God, here we go,’” head coach Randy Edsall said after the game.

Edsall is spot-on because it sure didn’t look good. That interception set USF up inside the Maryland red zone and the Bulls quickly took a 7-0.

For all the things Rowe improves about this offense, turnovers have been the concern. And that was a bad way to start after the coach had handed you the keys to the offense.

[MORE BIG TEN: Defense keeps Buckeyes unbeaten, but offense struggles in win vs. NIU]

But Rowe fought back, eventually hitting his stride in a 35-17 win over USF and finishing 21-of-33 for 297 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I’m expected to throw touchdowns. I’m expected to not throw interceptions,” Rowe said. “I just got to play better, got to be smarter with the football and make better decisions and not try to force things.”

Edsall was even-handed in his praise and critique of Rowe. He recognized the positives, but also pointed out the flaws.

“As a quarterback, you can’t throw three picks. Those picks led to their points,” Edsall said. “Those are the things we can’t have going forward.”

[MORE BIG TEN: Who's the quarterback? Buckeyes don't seem to know]

It is clear that Maryland’s offense functions more efficiently under Rowe than it did under Perry Hills. The touchdown strike to Taivon Jacobs down the far sideline and the 49-yard pass to Levern Jacobs that set up another score prove that.

That's before mentioning how he threaded the needle to tight end Avery Edwards in the end zone for a touchdown, one of two to the freshman on the day.

But at the same time, interceptions and poor decisions will be magnified as Big Ten play begins and teams make the Terrapins pay more often and more harshly for their mistakes.

“Caleb knows that,” Edsall said. “Alls you can do as a coach is show that to him and go out and prepare during the week and you hope he learns and he grows from it.”

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Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


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


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.