No. 16 Conrad Polz will face tough competition in No. 6 Cody Yohn of Minnesota on Friday night.
Jan. 12, 2012
#6 Illinois vs #3 Minnesota
Jan. 13 // Huff Hall // 7 PM // Champaign, Ill.
Live Blog: www.fightingillini.com
#6 Illinois (10-1, 2-1) Probable Starters
125 5/4/5, Jesse Delgado, 21-2, r-Fr.
133 5/5/5, B.J. Futrell, 17-3, r-Jr.
141 -/-/-, Daryl Thomas, 9-7, r-Jr.
OR -/-/-, Tucker Armstrong, 7-10, r-Fr.
149 10/8/12, Eric Terrazas, 17-3, Sr.
157 -/18/-, Jackson Morse, 8-5, So.
OR -/-/-, Kyle Dooley, 4-5, r-Jr.
165 16/18/17, Conrad Polz, 11-1, r-Jr.
174 12/8/7, Jordan Blanton, 16-2, r-Jr.
OR -/-/-, Dan Stelter, 9-4, r-Jr.
184 -/-/-, Tony Dallago, 13-6, r-So.
197 -/20/-, Mario Gonzalez, 13-4, r-So.
HWT -/-/-, Pat Walker, 10-10, 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 21-2 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 in the top-five by the three major rankings, No. 5 by Intermat, No. 4 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 5 by Amateur Wrestling News.
Junior B.J. Futrell is 17-3 heading into the new year aftering finishing third at the Midlands Championships a few weeks ago. He has pinned eight of his opponents en route to setting a career-best in falls and leads the squad in the category. Futrell is ranked No. 5 nationally by Intermat, W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News.
Senior Eric Terrazas is having an amazing senior season, owning a 17-3 record this season. He was named the Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week after dominating at 149 pounds and led the Illini to a 3-0 record last weekend. Terrazas beat two top-10 opponents in one weekend, the first of his career.
Junior Conrad Polz has made a giant impact for the Illini after returning from an injury which sidelined him for over two months. Polz immediately jumped back into the rankings, appearing as high at No. 16 by Intermat, a new career-best. The junior went 2-0 last weekend, including a 3-1 decision over then No. 18 Ben Yates of Michigan for his first victory over a ranked opponent this season.
Junior Jordan Blanton comes into the Minnesota dual after a career-best third-place finish at the Midlands. He is ranked in the top 12 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.
SERIES RECORD AGAINST MINNESOTA
No. 6 Illinois hosts third-ranked Minnesota with the Gophers coming to Huff Hall at 7 p.m. CT. The Illini dropped a 21-16 dual to Minnesota a season ago. Minnesota is 23-27-2 all-time against Illinois. The last time the Illini beat the Gophers was 2008 when the Orange and Blue defeated Minnesota 19-17. Minnesota holds a 5-2 record on the season and most currently defeated sixth-ranked Ohio State, 24-13 last Saturday and placed second at the 2012 Southern Scuffle while crowning three individual champions.
MATCHUP TO WATCH #6 ILLINOIS vs. #3 MINNESOTA
125: #5 Jesse Delgado (ILL) vs. #1 Zach Sanders (MINN)
This will be the marquee match of the night in Illinois' dual with Minnesota as the two are ranked in the top-five nationally, with No. 1 Sanders and Delgado ranked fifth . This will mark the first time the two have competed against each other. Delgado looks to knock off another top-knotch wrestler as he has defeated then No. 1 Matt McDonough of Iowa in December.
TERRAZAS TABBED CO-B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Eric Terrazas was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 11 after dominating at 149 pounds and leading the Fighting Illini to a 3-0 record last weekend. The senior, then ranked 14th, went undefeated with wins over two top-10 opponents, giving him three wins over top-10 foes in his career. This marks the first career weekly honor for Terrazas.
#7 ILLINI TAKE DOWN PURDUE, 24-9
No. 7 Illinois won seven bouts including a pin by Mario Gonzalez to move past Purdue, 24-9 at Holloway Gym. The Orange and Blue got big wins from Eric Terrazas and B.J. Futrell, both earning wins over ranked opponents. With the victory, the Illini moved to 53-29-2 against the Boilermakers.
#7 ILLINI DOMINATE LOCK HAVEN, 38-6
No. 7 Illinois knotched three pins and two technical falls to move past Lock Haven, 38-6. Jesse Delgado, B.J. Futrell gave the Illini back-to-back pins while Tony Dallago recorded his fifth fall of the season.
#7 ILLINI BLASTS #8 MICHIGAN, 31-9
No. 7 Illinois earned its second win in back-to-back years against No. 8 Michigan, 31-9 at the Cliff Keen Arena. The Illini started strong with Conrad Polz, Dan Stelter and Tony Dallago giving the Illini their first 15 points. No. 6 Jesse Delgado and No. 5 B.J. Futrell kept the momentum in Illinois' favor with victories before senior Eric Terrazas earned a huge win over No. 4 Eric Grajales in a decision. Jackson Morse put the exclamation point on the match with his fifth pin of the season. The 22-point margin is the largest since Illinois' 30-6 victory over Northwestern on Jan. 31, 2010.
THIS WEEKEND'S PROMOTIONS
The match against Minnesota has been "The Great Escape", Illinois' premier promotion for wrestling. The event features free food for the first 800 fans, a number of great giveaways as well as face painting for kids. For more information, contact Director of Marketing and Promotions Carrie Snyder at 217. 333.6969.
#7 ILLINI FINISH SIXTH AT MIDLANDS
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.
Complete notes for the Minnesota dual can be found in attached PDF.