#5 Illini Set for Home Opener Against Purdue

Senior Daryl Thomas has vaulted up to No. 8 in the W.I.N. Magazine rankings, his highest career ranking.
Senior Daryl Thomas has vaulted up to No. 8 in the W.I.N. Magazine rankings, his highest career ranking.

Jan. 9, 2013

Printable ILL vs. PUR Match NotesGet Acrobat Reader

#5 Illinois vs. Purdue
Friday, Jan. 11 // Huff Hall // Champaign, Ill.

#5 Illinois (4-0, 0-0) Probable Wrestlers
125: 5/3 Jesse Delgado, 11-2, r-So.
133: 11/8 Daryl Thomas, 16-3, Sr.
141: 3/3 B.J. Futrell, 18-1, Sr.
149: -/- Caleb Ervin, 16-4, r-Fr.
157: -/- Matt Nora, 8-4, r-Fr.
165: 8/7 Conrad Polz, 11-3, Sr.
174: 8/4 Jordan Blanton, 14-2, Sr.
184: 18/11 Tony Dallago, 11-4, r-Jr.
197: 12/5 Mario Gonzalez, 6-1, r-Jr.
HWT: -/- Christopher Lopez, 10-5, r-Fr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., format

Live Streaming
The Illinois/Purdue dual will be streamed live through Illinois' website HERE. Subscription is required.

Live Radio
The dual will be live on WDWS 1400 as Brian Moline and Jeff Scott will have the call. The dual will be live starting at 6:50 pm with the event starting at 7.

Live Scoring
Live Scoring will be available for the dual through TrackWrestling. It can be found HERE.

Quick Hits

• The Fighting Illini wrestling team won the 2012 Midlands Championships after totaling 99.5 points and placing five wrestlers during the two-day tournament. This is the first time Illinois has won the Midlands championships since the 2005-06 season. Five wrestlers placed in the top seven, including Jesse Delgado (125) and B.J. Futrell (141) finishing second, Jordan Blanton (174) third, and Conrad Polz (165) and Mario Gonzalez (197) placing fifth. The respective finishes are career-bests for three Illini while two tie their personal best at the championship.

• Redshirt-senior B.J. Futrell has started his final season as one to remember, tying his career-best second place finish at the Midlands Championships last weekend. He's also the new school record holder in career pins. Futrell recently set the school record, and currently has 37 falls and counting. He is ranked No. 3 by W.I.N. Magazine. Also, Futrell has won titles at the Northern Iowa Open and Harold Nichols Cyclone Open early this season.

• Sophomore Jesse Delgado returns as the starter at 125 after having a standout 2011-12 season. The Gilroy, Calif., native advanced to the finals of the 2012 Midlands Championships and placed second, a career-best finish. Last season he earned his first career All-America honor by placing seventh at the 2012 NCAA Championships and finished third at the Big Ten Championships. Delgado also went 6-2 during the Big Ten dual season and was the only wrestler to defeat No. 1 Matt McDonough of Iowa.

• Currently, the Illini are ranked in every weight class but two, including 125 pounder Delgado and 141 pounder Futrell being ranked the highest at No. 3 in the country. The squad will look to Caleb Ervin to add success at the 149 spot, as the redshirt-freshman has had early success this season, winning the Harris Open title and finishing third at the Northern Iowa Open. Illinois' 133 pounder Daryl Thomas (No. 8) is in the ranks for the first time in his career.

Series Record Against the Boilers
Friday's meeting between the Illini and Boilermakers is the 85th in series history, with Illinois having the upper hand in the border battle, leading 53-29-2 all time. The Illini defeated Purdue last year by a 24-9 margin.

Multiple Home Opener Promotions
Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to support the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, as the first 100 people to donate will receive a free T-shirt.

Also, be sure to pick up your Ultimate Fan Punch Card at all entrances of Huff Hall prior to the dual or at the promotions table for your chance to win a free hotdog and drink at the Big Ten Championships. If Illini fans attend and punch their card at all four home duals, they will be able to redeem their prize at the concession stands in Assembly Hall.

Illini fans are also reminded to stick around after the dual is over for your chance to get team autographs.

Weekend Matchups to Watch
There are a number of interesting matchups in their dual with Purdue. Here's a look at a few key bouts:

#5 Illinois vs Purdue
149: Caleb Ervin (ILL) vs. #12 Ivan Lopouchanski (PUR)
Ervin will face Lopouchanski for the first time in his career as the Illini grappler will face his second ranked opponent this season. Lopouchanski qualified for the NCAA championships for the third time in his career last season, while also finishing sixth at the Big Ten Championships.

197: #5 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) vs. #18 Braden Atwood (PUR)
Gonzalez will wrestle Atwood as the two will meet for the first time on Friday evening. Gonzalez, the defending Big Ten Champion is 6-1 on the season, most recently placing fifth at the Midlands Championships. Atwood is coming off a freshman season after finishing 23-15 and qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

#5 Illini Down UT-CHATTANOOGA, 29-10
Illinois started 2013 with a victory as they took down UT-Chattanooga 29-10 to improve to 10-0 against the Mocs. Seven of the ten Illini won their matches, while three scored bonus points for the squad.