Sophomore B.J. Futrell has vaulted up to No. 5 in this week's Intermat rankings, his highest career ranking.
Dec. 16, 2010
#9 Illinois (1-0, 0-0) Probable Wrestlers
125 -/-/- Logan Arlis, 7-6, Fr.
133 5/9/6 B.J. Futrell, 10-2, So.
141 3/2/2 Jimmy Kennedy, 6-1, Sr.
149 13/15/15 Eric Terrazas, 6-2, Jr.
157 -/-/- Kyle Dooley, 7-3, So.
165 -/-/- Conrad Polz, 2-3, So.
174 8/9/9 Jordan Blanton, 6-2, Jr.
184 15/20/17 Tony Dallago, 10-5, r-Fr.
197 20/-/19 Mario Gonzalez, 9-2, r-Fr.
HWT -/-/- Pat Walker, 4-4, So.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., AWN format
#15 Purdue (3-0-1, 0-0) Probable Wrestlers
125 -/-/- Camden Eppert, 5-5, r-Fr.
133 -/-/- Jake Fleckenstein, 4-4, Jr.
141 -/-/- Akif Eren, 7-6, Sr.
149 -/-/- Sam Patacsil, 7-6, Sr.
157 14/15/14 Colton Salazar, 8-2, Sr.
165 -/-/- Kyle Mosier, 8-4, r-Fr.
174 14/13/19 Luke Manuel, 6-3, Sr.
184 8/12/8 A.J. Kissel, 12-2, Jr.
197 9/7/9 Logan Brown, 10-1, Sr.
HWT -/-/- Roger Vukobratovich, 5-5, Sr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., AWN format
The Illinois/Purdue dual will be streamed live through Illinois' website here. Subscription is required.
A live blog will be available for the dual, run by Illini wrestling sports information director Ben Taylor. The blog can be found here.
Live scoring will be available for the dual through the NWCA Live Scorebook. It can be found here.
Senior Jimmy Kennedy is back for his final season after redshirting in 2009-10 and opened the season ranked either No. 1 or 2 by all three major rankings. Kennedy now is ranked either No. 2 or 3 in all three polls, holding down the No. 2 spot in both the W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News polls, while coming in at No. 3 by Intermat.
Junior Jordan Blanton is ranked No. 8 by Intermat and No. 9 by both W.I.N. and AWN after falling to Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui at the NWCA All-Star Classic and placing fifth at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Sophomore B.J. Futrell has opened the season exceptionally well at his new 133-pound weight class after recovering from a shoulder injury that cut his 2009-10 season short. Futrell won his first seven matches this year and placed fourth at the Las Vegas Invitational, out-performing his No. 10 seed at the event. He topped three ranked foes in Vegas, including No. 6 Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan) and No. 7 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), and has vaulted as high as No. 5 in this week's rankings.
Illinois' pair of redshirt-freshmen at 184 and 197, Tony Dallago and Mario Gonzalez, both had good tournaments at the Las Vegas Invitational, with Dallago taking sixth place and Gonzalez placing seventh, both out-pacing their No. 9 seeds. Dallago beat No. 12 Luke Rebertus (Navy) in overtime in the consolation quarterfinals and also pinned No. 8 seed Matt Ryan (West Virginia) in the second round. Gonzalez beat eighth-seeded Keldrick Hall (Oklahoma) and narrowly lost to No. 19 Riley Orozco (Cal State Bakersfield) in the consolation quarterfinals, 5-4. Both youngsters appear in this week's rankings.
While the Illini will be led by upperclassmen Kennedy and Blanton, Illinois has young starting lineup with one true-freshman, two redshirt-freshmen and four sophomores scheduled to compete in Las Vegas. All four of those sophomores have used their redshirt season, but Illinois still has seven of its 10 starters in their first or second year wrestling as part of the Illinois team rather than unattached.
#9 Illini Host #15 Purdue Sunday
No. 9 Illinois opens Big Ten action Sunday when it hosts No. 15 Purdue at Huff Hall at 1 p.m. It is the Illini's earliest Big Ten dual since facing Indiana on Dec. 14, 1996. It is only Illinois' second dual of the year, while Purdue has gone 3-0-1 in its four duals thus far.
The Boilermakers broke Illinois' 11-match win streak in the series last year with a 25-11 win at Huff Hall on Feb. 18, but only four starters from that dual will likely be in the lineup for the Illini on Sunday (Jimmy Kennedy, Eric Terrazas, Conrad Polz and Jordan Blanton).
Series History Against Purdue
Illinois is 48-27-2 all-time against Purdue after losing last year's season-ending dual. The Illini are 6-2 against Purdue at Huff Hall since 1996 and 11-1 versus the Boilers since 1998.
Weekend Matchups to Watch
As Big Ten action begins this weekend for the Illini, there are a number of interesting matchups in their dual with Purdue. Here's a look at a few key bouts:
#9 Illinois at #15 Purdue
165: Conrad Polz (ILL) vs. Kyle Mosier (PUR)
Polz and Mosier met two weeks ago at the Las Vegas Invitational, with Polz taking a hard-fought 7-4 victory. The match is one of only three in the dual that doesn't have at least one ranked wrestler and Polz will be looking to get back to .500 for the season.
174: #8 Jordan Blanton (ILL) vs. #14 Luke Manuel (PUR)
The next match in a good rivalry, Blanton looks to even the series after Manuel won two of three matches last year. Manuel took a 5-4 win at last year's Midlands tournament before snagging a 5-3 victory at the dual. But Blanton gained a measure of revenge with a 10-1 whipping at the Big Ten Championships. Manuel took eighth at the Las Vegas Invitational two weeks ago, while Blanton finished fifth. Against common opponents at the tournament, Blanton defeated Ohio State's Nick Heflin while Manuel lost twice to Heflin.
HWT: Pat Walker (ILL) vs. Roger Vukobratovich (PUR)
Some may overlook this match of unranked heavyweights, but it could go a long way to deciding the winner of the dual considering who is favored in other matches. Walker has wrestled relatively well this year, taking second at the Lindenwood Open and falling only 3-0 to Missouri's third-ranked Dom Bradley. Vukobratovich has compiled a 5-5 record thus far, including a 7-3 loss to Bradley on Dec. 12.
#9 Illini Place Fifth at Las Vegas
Ninth-ranked Illinois finished fifth at the Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 3-4, thanks to strong performances from a number of wrestlers. No. 2 Jimmy Kennedy took third, No. 19 B.J. Futrell placed fourth, No. 5 Jordan Blanton and Eric Terrazas both took fifth, Tony Dallago finished sixth and Mario Gonzalez placed seventh. Futrell and Terrazas were Illinois' biggest risers in the tournament, out-pacing their seeds of No. 10 and 11, respectively. In all, Illini wrestlers beat nine ranked foes in the tournament to record the team's best finish in Las Vegas since taking fourth in 2003.
* Complete match notes available in attached PDF file.