Big Ten

Urban Meyer on Cardale Jones: 'Fundamentally he wasn't sound'


Urban Meyer on Cardale Jones: 'Fundamentally he wasn't sound'

Cardale Jones bounced back from a miserable game against Northern Illinois to throw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Saturday's 38-12 win over Western Michigan.

But that doesn't mean he was back to the level of play he was at in three postseason wins last season en route to a national-championship win.

Jones underthrew many passes Saturday, one leading to an interception, his fourth pick of the season.

But at least he wasn't yanked from the game, like he was against Northern Illinois, when after two early interceptions he yielded to J.T. Barrett, who also threw a pick and struggled to get the Buckeyes' offense moving.

[MORE BIG TEN: Power Rankings: Here comes Michigan]

Still, Jones has a way to go to fix those issues from Saturday, and head coach Urban Meyer talked about it during his Monday press conference, pointing out how a handful of underthrown balls changed what could have been a monster day into the day Jones had.

"Fundamentally he wasn't sound," Meyer said of Jones. "The way he transferred back to front, dragging his back leg, and that's (quarterbacks coach) Tim Beck, and they'll work at it. And then J.T. underthrew one, too. J.T., if you remember early last year, struggled with that, and then he started throwing beautiful deep balls.

"So that's just something you've got to work on. But you can see certainly in that arm strength, it's just the fundamental flaw of not being able to weight transfer and driving the ball. He had one of his better days throwing. The underneath, the two-minute drill, some of those were just rocket shots he was throwing and very aggressive and fundamentally right on it, some deep balls.

"It was alarming. I want to say at least six. I should have that number for you. But at least six balls. That was a 518-yard day. Those are those days that if you hit those, that's a big day."

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.