Big Ten

Will Corey Clement return for Badgers this week vs. Illini?

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Will Corey Clement return for Badgers this week vs. Illini?

Will Corey Clement be back in action for Wisconsin this weekend?

We'll have to wait until he gets out of bed Saturday.

“It’s still uncertain," the Badgers' junior running back told reporters Wednesday. "I’m just looking forward to the next day. I’m not really pressing anything, saying I want to play or not. That can only be determined when I wake up Saturday morning.”

Clement has been sidelined for weeks following surgery to repair a sports hernia. He played sparingly in Wisconsin's season-opening loss to Alabama before missing the next two games. After that, the team announced he'd have surgery and miss the next four to six weeks. That announcement came on Sept. 24. Exactly a month later, Clement could be making his return to the field when the Badgers visit the Fighting Illini on Saturday.

[MORE BIG TEN: Week 8 Big Ten previews: Can Illini give Badgers a run?]

Wisconsin could certainly use Clement back in the lineup. He was supposed to be the Badgers' biggest offensive weapon this season after putting up great numbers in backup roles each of the past two seasons. He only got eight carries in that season opener, and the Wisconsin offense has been middle of the pack in the Big Ten without him. Most noticeably, the Badgers are third to last in the conference in rushing offense, accumulating just 154.6 rushing yards a game. That's a shockingly low rank for a Wisconsin program that's build a legacy of extremely talented backs.

It looked like Clement might've made an early return last week against Purdue. He warmed up with the team and was in uniform on the sideline, but he never got into the game.

Clement said Wednesday that part of that was making sure he was physically ready to go, while the other had to do with his mindset coming back from the surgery.

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“A lot of things go into it, sometimes confidence, how I was truly feeling at the moment, did I want to fool myself and go out there thinking I was 100 percent when I really wasn’t," he said. "You just have to be smart at that point in time. I felt as if they didn’t need me. We got the win out of it, and that’s all I can ask for.

“I kind of let the first half slip away. I just wanted to watch. I think I was a little too hesitant to get back out there, was kind of iffy. But as I went back in the locker room, gave myself a little pep talk, talked to the coaching staff and was trying to give it a go. Me and (running backs coach John) Settle exchanged words and he said, ‘We really don’t need you at this point, so why not just watch the rest of the game and heal up for next week if you’re coming back.’”

His return could be a big difference for the Badgers against an Illini team that boasts one of the nation's top 30 defenses. The Wisconsin offense could also use a jumpstart after three less-than-impressive games in Big Ten play against Iowa, Nebraska and Purdue.

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.