#10 Illini Defeat Michigan State, 29-6

Tony Dallago recorded his 37th career pin in Illinois' 29-6 victory, tying him with BJ Futrell as Illinois' all-time leader in the category.
Tony Dallago recorded his 37th career pin in Illinois' 29-6 victory, tying him with BJ Futrell as Illinois' all-time leader in the category.

Jan. 26, 2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Fighting Illini moved past Michigan State in a 29-6 victory on Sunday, giving Illinois its first conference win of the season. The Illini got wins from #15 Caleb Ervin (149), #15 Zac Brunson (157), #11 Jackson Morse (165), Nikko Reyes (184), #1 Jesse Delgado (125), #11 Zane Richards (133) and John Fahy (141), while #18 Tony Dallago (174) recorded his 37th career pin.

"We wrestled pretty well across the board today, especially considering the amount of traveling we've done," said head coach Jim Heffernan. "I was concerned we would be a little flat, but our guys had good energy, competed hard and hustled. We showed some good offense and wrestled hard. After 25 hours on the bus, these guys are ready to be back home next weekend."

The dual started at 149 pounds as #15 Caleb Ervin squared off against Nick Trimble. Ervin scored the only points of the first, recording a takedown about halfway through the period, followed by an escape and another takedown in the second period to make the score 5-0 going into the third. Trimble scored three takedowns in the final period, but Ervin recorded two escapes and was awarded the one-point riding time advantage to claim the 8-6 victory.

At 157, #15 Zac Brunson took on Roger Wildmo and recorded three takedowns in the first period to take an early 6-2 lead. After managing an escape in the second period, Brunson scored two more takedowns in the final period to win the 11-7 decision. #11 Jackson Morse (165) wrestled in his home state for the first time in two years, this time facing senior Bobby Nash. Nash scored first with an early takedown, but Morse escaped and followed up with a takedown of his own to go up 3-2. Morse scored the only points of the second period, escaping from the bottom position, then recorded a takedown in the third to claim the 6-2 victory.

At 174, #18 Tony Dallago scored a takedown and three near-fall points before pinning Nick Kaczanowski in 2:56 to score bonus points for the Illini. Dallago has now recorded 37 career pins, tying him with B.J. Futrell as Illinois' all-time leader in the category. 184-pounder Nikko Reyes scored his first upset of the season, defeating #18 John Rizqallah in a 3-1 decision.

The Spartans scored their only points of the night in the 197-pound and heavyweight bouts, with Nick McDiarmid defeating Jeff Koepke in a 9-6 decision at 197. In the third period, Koepke rallied from a 3-6 deficit to tie it up with just over 20 seconds left in the match, but McDiarmid recorded one more takedown and was awarded the one-point riding time advantage to claim the 9-6 victory. In the heavyweight bout, #8 Mike McClure took an early 3-0 lead before Lopez was able to escape early in the third period. McClure notched another takedown and over a minute of riding time to win the 6-1 decision and make the overall score 18-6.

After suffering his second loss of the season at Penn State on Friday night, #1 Jesse Delgado came back with a vengeance against Michigan State's Brenan Lyon. Delgado recorded seven takedowns and two two-point near-falls to claim the 23-6 tech. fall victory and add five points to Illinois' overall score. At 133, #11 Zane Richards scored the only points of the first period with a takedown, then turned Garth Yenter for a two-point reversal in the second to take the four-point lead. Yenter managed an escape shortly after, then again early in the final period, but Richards scored another takedown to win the 7-2 decision. At 141, John Fahy scored a takedown and a reversal in the first two periods. With two more takedowns and the riding time advantage, he went on to win the 8-3 decision and make the final score 29-6 in favor of the Illini.

The Illini are back at Huff Hall next weekend as they take on #6 Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. for the sixth-annual "Great Escape" promotion. Fans are encouraged to wear all orange to the dual, and the first 1,000 people through the doors will will receive free foam 'takedown' fingers. Fans can also enter a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the men's basketball game vs. Iowa that takes place immediately following the dual at 6:30 p.m at the State Farm Center.

#10 Illinois 29, Michigan State 6
149: #15 Caleb Ervin (ILL) dec. Nick Trimble (MSU), 8-6 (3-0)
157: #15 Zac Brunson (ILL) dec. Roger Wildmo (MSU), 11-7 (6-0)
165: #11 Jackson Morse (ILL) dec. Bobby Nash (MSU), 6-3 (9-0)
174: #18 Tony Dallago (ILL) pinned Nick Kaczanowski (MSU), 2:56 (15-0)
184: Nikko Reyes (ILL) dec. #18 John Rizqallah (MSU), 3-1 (18-0)
197. Nick McDiarmid (MSU) dec. Jeff Koepke (ILL), 9-6 (18-3)
HWT: #8 Mick McClure (MSU) dec. Christopher Lopez (ILL), 6-1 (18-6)
125: #1 Jesse Delgado (ILL) tech. fall. Brenan Lyon (MSU), 23-6 (6:46) (23-6)
133: #11 Zane Richards (ILL) dec. Garth Yenter (MSU), 7-2 (26-6)
141: John Fahy (ILL) dec. Brian Gibbs (MSU), 8-3 (29-6)