#7 Illini to Compete in Three Duals this Weekend

Conrad Polz (165) will return this weekend after being injured on Nov. 20 against Lehigh.
Conrad Polz (165) will return this weekend after being injured on Nov. 20 against Lehigh.

Jan. 5, 2012

Printable Purdue/Lock Haven/Michigan NotesGet Acrobat Reader

#7 Illinois at Purdue
Jan. 6 // Mackey Arena // 6 PM // West Lafayette, Ind.

#7 Illinois vs. Lock Haven
Jan. 7 // Huff Hall // 1 PM // Champaign, Ill.

#7 Illinois at #8 Michigan
Jan. 8 // Cliff Keen Arena // 1 PM // Ann Arbor, Mich.

#7 Illinois (7-1, 0-1) Probable Starters
125 5/4/8, Jesse Delgado, 18-2, r-Fr.
133 5/6/5, B.J. Futrell, 14-3, r-Jr.
141 -/-/-, Daryl Thomas, 8-6, r-Jr.
OR -/-/-, Tucker Armstrong, 7-9, r-Fr.
149 14/6/10, Eric Terrazas, 14-3, Sr.
157 -/10/-, Jackson Morse, 7-4, So.
OR -/-/-, Kyle Dooley, 3-5, r-Jr.
165 -/-/-, Conrad Polz, 9-1, r-Jr.
OR -/-/-, Adam Acheson, 5-2, Fr.
174 14/7/3, Jordan Blanton, 16-2, r-Jr.
OR -/-/-, Dan Stelter, 6-4, r-Jr.
184 -/-/-, Tony Dallago, 11-5, r-So.
197 -/9/16, Mario Gonzalez, 11-3, r-So.
HWT -/-/-, Pat Walker, 9-8, r-Jr.

Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., AWN format

Quick Hits • Freshman Jesse Delgado begins his first season as an Illini recording an impressive 18-2 record, including a victory over No. 1 ranked 125-pounder Matt McDonough of Iowa in an 11-7 OT decision. Delgado owns seven technical falls on the season. He is tied for second in the nation and leads the team in the category Delgado is ranked No. 5 by Intermat, No. 4 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 8 by Amateur Wrestling News.

• Junior B.J. Futrell is 14-3 heading into 2012 aftering finishing third at the Midlands Championships last week. He has pinned seven of his opponents en route to setting a career-best in falls. Futrell is ranked in the top six nationally, including No. 5 by Intermat, No. 6 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 5 by Amateur Wrestling News.

• Junior Jordan Blanton comes into the three duals this weekend after a career-best third-place finish at the Midlands. He is ranked in the top 10 by all three major rankings. Blanton is 16-2 thus far, with seven wins coming from pins, one fall away from tying his career-high set in 2008-09.

Friday's meeting between the Illini and Boilermakers is the 84th in series history, with Illinois having the upper hand in the border battle, leading 52-29-2 all-time. Against Lock Haven, the Fighting Illini won the only dual between the Bald Eagles as Illinois won 32-3 in 2003. The Illini look to earn back-to-back victories against Michigan as the squad earned a 20-15 win over the Wolverines two seasons ago.

There are a number of interesting matchups in Illinois' duals this weekend. Here's a look at a few key bouts:

149: #14 Eric Terrazas (ILL) vs. #7 Ivan Lopouchanski (PUR)
Expect an outstanding matchup between Terrazas and Lopouchanski as Terrazas looks to avenge a pair of losses at the Midlands last week. Lopouchanski comes into the bout with a 7-1 record on the season to Terrazas' 14-3.

133: #5 B.J. Futrell (ILL) vs. #17 Zac Stevens (MICH)
After both Futrell and Stevens qualified for the 2010 NCAA Championships, the top ranked wrestlers will meet again on Sunday. Futrell has the edge in the all-time series on Stevens as he faced the senior last year at the Big Ten Championships, coming away with a 11-5 decision.

#10 Jordan Blanton (ILL) vs. #6 Justin Zeerip (MICH)
This is the marquee match of the day in Illinois' dual at Michigan as the two are squaring off for only the second time in their career. Blanton has the early 1-0 record over Zeerip as he defeated the Wolverine in 2010 at Big Ten's with a 2-0 decision.

The seventh-ranked Fighting Illini finished sixth at Midlands behind a trio of third-place finishes. No. 1 Jesse Delgado (125), No. 4 B.J. Futrell (133) and No. 3 Jordan Blanton (174) each placed third. It was Illinois' highest finish since the Orange and Blue won the Midlands title in 2005-06.

Delgado went 6-1 during the two day championship, topping three ranked opponents including third-seeded Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma and fourth-seeded Levi Mele of Northwestern to grab third place. Futrell and Blanton each recorded pins and picked up two wins over ranked opponents in the tournament.

Illinois wrestling fans have the chance to win an exclusive Meet and Greet on Friday, Feb. 3 before the Wisconsin dual by joining the Take Down Club and attending four of the six home Illini matches this season. Membership is free and fans can pick up their card and get it stamped at the promotions table in the North end of Huff Hall at each match. For more information, contact Director of Marketing and Promotions Carrie Snyder at 217. 333.6969.

The 2011-12 Fighting Illini are in a career personal record setting year as many of them have either tied or set new career-highs in pins. Jordan Blanton and Jackson Morse are one away from their career highs while B.J. Futrell, Conrad Polz, Mario Gonzalez and Pat Walker have set new career-bests in the category. Futrell and Blanton lead the Illini with seven pins this season as Tony Dallago led the squad last year with nine pins, equaling the ninth-most pins in a season in school history.