Caleb Ervin and the Fighting Illini will host the #2 Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday and then travel to Northwestern on Sunday.
Feb. 6, 2013
#8 Illinois vs. #2 Iowa Feb. 8 // Huff Hall // 7 PM // Big Ten Network // Champaign, Ill.
#8 Illinois at #17 Northwestern Feb. 10 // Welsh-Ryan Arena // 1 PM // Evanston, Ill.
The Illinois/Iowa dual will be aired live on the Big Ten Network, beginning at 7 PM CT.
Taylor Thomas, the Sports Information Director will be tweeting results from Friday's dual. Follow the action on Illinois Wrestling's Twitter page HERE.
#8 Illinois (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) Probable Starters
125: 5/3, Jesse Delgado, 15-3, r-So.
133: 10/10, Daryl Thomas, 19-5, Sr.
141: -/-, Logan Arlis, 14-10, r-So.
OR: -/-, Steven Rodrigues, 30-9, r-Fr.
149: -/-, Caleb Ervin, 19-8, r-Fr.
157: -/-, Matt Nora, 12-9, r-Fr.
165: 8/7, Conrad Polz, 18-4, Sr.
174: 8/8, Jordan Blanton, 18-6, Sr.
184: 20/16, Tony Dallago, 16-8, r-Jr.
197: 15/14, Mario Gonzalez, 9-5, r-Jr.
HWT: -/-, Chris Lopez, 11-11, r-Fr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., format
The Fighting Illini dropped two duals to top-five opponents over the weekend, but is ready to welcome No. 2 Iowa to Huff Hall on Friday before wrapping up Big Ten duals at Northwestern on Sunday. The Illinois/Iowa dual will be aired live on the Big Ten Network beginning at 7 PM.
Senior Conrad Polz is off to a great final season, with a overall record of 18-4 and 5-1 in Big Ten action. Polz leads the team with the most dual points scored, with 32 total. The senior also holds the fastest pin of all Illini wrestler this season, recording the fall in 12 seconds.
Sophomore Jesse Delgado returns as the starter at 125 after having a standout 2011-12 season. The Gilroy, Calif., native has begun the conference play with only one loss, moving past opponents from Ohio State, Nebraska, Minnesota and Purdue. He also advanced to the finals of the 2012 Midlands Championships and placed second, a career-best finish. The sophomore has wrestled five ranked opponents so far this season.
Injuries have been a big story this season for the Fighting Illini, as they have yet to field their starting lineup in a Big Ten dual this season. Senior Pat Walker hasn't competed since Dec. 8, after winning the heavyweight title at the Northern Iowa Open while redshirt-senior B.J. Futrell suffered an undisclosed injury and has missed five matches with his return undetermined.
Series History Against the Hawkeyes
The Hawkeyes hold a 47-27-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Illini lost the most recent meeting last year, dropping the close bout 20-13 in Iowa City. In the last 15 years, Iowa holds a 3-2 advantage at Huff Hall.
Series Record Against the Wildcats
Illinois is 41-32-2 all-time against the Wildcats and has won 14 of the last 17 meetings, with the Illini winning last season, 26-10. However, the Wildcats own an 19-16 series advantage in Evanston, most recently topping the Illini, 27-13, on Jan. 14, 2011.
Weekend Matchups to Watch
#8 Illinois vs. #2 Iowa
125: #3 Jesse Delgado (ILL) vs. #1 Matt McDonough (IOWA)
Delgado and McDonough have met twice in their careers, with the pair holding a 1-1 record. Delgado was the only wrestler to defeat the defending NCAA champion last year, winning 11-7 in SV1. McDonough even things at Big Ten's, winning 4-3.
#8 Illinois at #17 Northwestern
174: #8 Jordan Blanton (ILL) vs. Lee Munster (NU)
Blanton and Munster will meet for the fourth time in their careers. The Illini senior is currently undefeated against the Wildcat, holding a 3-0 record overall. The two have already met once this year at the Midlands, with Blanton winning 3-1 in SV1. This will be Blanton's seventh top-10 opponent so far this season.
Buy Big Ten Championship Tickets
All-Session reserved school block tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships are on sale now. The Illini will host the championships in Assembly Hall on March 9-10. Fans have until Friday, Feb. 8 to place their reserved All-Session tickets within their school block. For more information on tickets, contact the Illinois Ticket Office at 1-866-Illini-1.