#7 Illini Blasts #8 Michigan, 31-9
Jan. 8, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The No. 7-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team ended the weekend by defeating No. 8 Michigan 31-9 at Cliff Keen Arena on Sunday. Today's 22-point margin is the largest since Illinois' 30-6 victory over Northwestern on Jan. 31, 2010. After defeating Purdue, Lock Haven and Michigan during the three-day span, it's the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Illini have won three duals in one weekend.
"We wrestled as well today as we have all year against a very good team," head coach Jim Heffernansaid. "We are extremely proud of the effort, enthusiasm and competitiveness the team showed across the board. Michigan is a strong dual team with some very good individuals. It was a long weekend for everyone, but our guys proved to be mentally tough and showed that we are in great physical condition at this point in the season."
The dual began at 165 as Conrad Polzrecorded his first win over a ranked opponent this season as he moved past No. 18 Dan Yates with a 3-1 decision. The redshirt-junior scored a late double-leg takedown with 25 seconds remaining in the bout and put the Illini up 3-0.
"We got off to a great start with Polz," Heffernan said. "Conrad is as skilled as anyone in the country at his weight and has done an exceptional job working his way back from injury."
Illinois pushed the score to 15-0 after two Illini pinned their competition at 174 and 184. Dan Stelter went undefeated over the weekend while defeating his first ranked opponent in Michigan's No. 18 David Johnson. Stelter posted his first pin this season at the 4:22 mark while Tony Dallagowins back-to-back bouts by fall. Dallago moved past Hunter Collins in 2:10 for his sixth pin this season.
Michigan got on the scoreboard with back-to-back decisions over Mario Gonzalez at 197 and Pat Walkerat heavyweight. Both Illini lost their bouts by a one-point margin with Gonzalez losing 5-4 and Walker dropping the 1-0 decision to bring the score to 15-6 at the intermission.
At 125, Delgado scored eight takedowns and two escapes to move past Michigan's Grant Pizzo with an 18-8 major decision. The freshman went undefeated this weekend and bumped his record to 21-2 to own the best record on the Illini squad. B.J. Futrelldefeated No. 17 Zac Stevens in a 9-8 decision as the junior scored a late escape to move the Illini's score to 22-6.
Daryl Thomasdropped a close 6-4 decision to No. 2 Kellen Russell to give the Wolverines three more points. Russell ended the first period with two takedowns to Thomas' one escape. One point was scored in the second as the Wolverine recorded an escape to lead 5-1 heading into the third. Thomas' escape and takedown in the third wasn't enough to defeat Russell.
No. 14 Eric Terrazas beat No. 4 Eric Grajales with a 6-3 decision. Terrazas scored two takedowns during the second and third period, along with an escape and riding time to earn his third win this weekend.
In the last bout of the match, Jackson Morseneeded just 4:07 to pin Brandon Zeerip and give the Illini to 31-9 victory over the Wolverines. The pin marked Morse's fifth fall this season.
The Illini will return to action on Friday (Jan. 13), hosting Minnesota for a 7 p.m. CT dual at Huff Hall.
Illinois 31, Michigan 9