#6 Illini Host Minnesota Friday for Great Escape
Jan. 12, 2012
#6 Illinois vs #3 Minnesota
Live Blog: www.fightingillini.com
#6 Illinois (10-1, 2-1) Probable Starters
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)
TERRAZAS TABBED CO-B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
#7 ILLINI TAKE DOWN PURDUE, 24-9
#7 ILLINI DOMINATE LOCK HAVEN, 38-6
#7 ILLINI BLASTS #8 MICHIGAN, 31-9
THIS WEEKEND'S PROMOTIONS
#7 ILLINI FINISH SIXTH AT MIDLANDS
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.