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Huskers Visit Fighting Illini, Boilermakers

Coming off a recent dominating win over Wisconsin, the Nebraska wrestling team will hit the road to face both #21 Illinois and Purdue this week. The battle with the Fighting Illini is slated for 7 p.m. on Feb. 3, while the Huskers and Boilermakers will wrestle beginning at 5 p.m. on Feb. 4. Both duals will be streamed on B1G+.

Illinois (5-5, 3-3 Big Ten) enters Friday’s competition with a one-match losing streak, as the Fighting Illini fell to #11 Minnesota on Jan. 28, 24-9. The Illinois lineup features seven wrestlers ranked in the Top 25, led by Lucas Byrd (133) and Zac Braunagel (197) both in 10th.

Purdue (4-8, 0-5 Big Ten) is coming off four-straight losses to ranked opponents as the team dropped matches to #25 Illinois (Jan. 14), #16 Wisconsin (Jan. 20), #13 Minnesota (Jan. 22) and #25 Indiana (Jan. 29). The Boilermakers are led by #3 Matt Ramos (125), #14 Parker Filius (141) and #6 Kendall Coleman (157) who are all ranked in the top 25.

The Huskers (7-3, 3-1 Big Ten) return to action after a recent home win over #13 Wisconsin last Sunday. The Huskers used seven wins and three bonus point victories to claim the 24-11 victory.

History: Nebraska and Illinois meet for the 14th time in series history on Friday. The Huskers lead the all-time series 9-4 and have won three of the last four matchups between the teams.

The Huskers will look for their 12th win over the Boilermakers on Saturday, as Nebraska is 11-2 all-time against Purdue. Last season, Purdue defeated the Big Red, 18-15, in Lincoln.

Up Next: The Huskers will stay on the road and face Ohio State in Columbus on Feb. 10. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised on BTN.

Nebraska’s Projected Lineup*:

 Weight  Name  Year  Hometown  Dual Record
 125  #5 Liam Cronin  Gr.  Orange, Calif.  7-2
 -OR-  Jacob Van Dee  Fr.  Union City, Penn.  1-0
 133  Kyle Burwick  RJr.  Hettinger, N.D.  0-4
 141  #6 Brock Hardy  RSo.  Brigham City, Utah  7-3
 149  Dayne Morton  Sr.  Gaylord, Minn.  4-5
 157  #1 Peyton Robb  Jr.  Owatonna, Minn.  10-0
 -OR-  Antrell Taylor  Fr.  Millard, Neb.  0-0
 165  Bubba Wilson  So.  Manhattan, Kan.  1-6
 -OR-  Adam Thebeau  RFr.  Belleville, Ill.  0-1
 174  #2 Mikey Labriola   Sr.  Easton, Pa.  10-0
 -OR-  Elise Brown Ton  RSo.  Allen, Texas  0-0
 184  #16 Lenny Pinto  RFr.  Stroudsburg, Penn.  5-3
 197  #16 Silas Allred  RSo.  Muncie, Ind.   7-3
 HWT  Cale Davidson  Sr.  Wichita, Kan.   3-7
 -OR-  Harley Andrews  Fr.  Tuttle, Okla.  0-0

*InterMat rankings used        
Illinois’ Projected Lineup*: 

 Weight  Name  Year  Hometown
 125  Maximo Renteria  RFr.  Clovis, Calif.
 133  #10 Lucas Byrd  RSo.  Cincinnati, Ohio
 141  #16 Danny Pucino  So.  Libertyville, Ill.
 149  Jake Harrier  RFr.  Algonquin, Ill.
 157  Anthony Federico  So.  Belleville, Ill.
 -OR-  #13 Mike Carr  Sr.  South Fayette, Pa.
 165  #20 Danny Braunagel  RJr.  Belleville, Ill.
 174  #12 Edmond Ruth  RSo.  Harrisburg, Pa.
 184  #24 Dylan Connell  RFr.  Marengo, Ill.
 197  #10 Zac Braunagel  RJr.  Belleville, Ill.
 HWT  Matt Wroblewski  RSr.  Mt. Prospect, Ill.

*InterMat rankings used 
Purdue’s Projected Lineup*: 

 Weight  Name  Year  Hometown
 125  #3 Matt Ramos  RSo.  Lockport, Ill.
 133  Dustin Norris  RFr.  Cincinnati, Ohio
 141  #14 Parker Filius  RSr.  Havre, Mont.
 149  Jaden Reynolds  RFr.  Avon, Ind.
 -OR-  Christian Navida  Jr.  San Diego, Calif.
 -OR-  Ike Ruble  Fr.  Decatur, Ind.
 157  #6 Kendall Coleman  RSr.  South Holland, Ill.
 165  Stoney Buell  RFr.  Dundee, Mich.
 -OR-  Cooper Noehre  Jr.  Greenfield, Ind.
 174  Macartney Parkinson  Jr.  Evansville, Ind.
 -OR-  Brody Baumann  Fr.  Evansville, Ind.
 184  Ben Vanadia  RFr.  Brecksville, Ohio
 197  Hayden Filipovich  RFr.  Indianapolis, Ind.
 HWT  Hayden Copass  RFr.  Georgetown, Ill.

*InterMat rankings used 

Scouting the Fighting Illini:

  • Last season, Illinois went 3-7 and 1-7 in conference competition, and the team finished 25th at last year’s NCAA Championships.
  • Danny Pucino (141) and Danny Braunagel (165) lead the Illini with four pins each on the year.
  • Coached by Mike Poeta (Second season at Illinois); Record at Illinois: 8-12

Scouting the Boilermakers:

  • Last season, Purdue went 10-5 and 4-4 in conference competition, with ranked wins over #9 Nebraska and #16 Minnesota. The Boilermakers finished 30th at the NCAA Championships.
  • Redshirt sophomore Matt Ramos (125) climbed up to the No. 3 ranking last week after two top-10 wins this month. It is the highest ranking of his career.
  • Coached by Tony Ersland (Ninth season at Purdue); Record at Purdue: 74-63, Record overall: same  

Back Points
Quick Notes

  • Nebraska won its fifth Cliff Keen Invitational team title in program history on Dec. 3.
  • This month, Cronin claimed his first Big Ten and NCAA Wrestler of the Week honor of his career, when the conference and the NCAA announced its award winners.
  • Labriola was named the NCAA Wrestler of the Week and the USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week honor, when the award winners were announced last month.
  • In this week’s Intermat NCAA Wrestling Rankings, Husker junior Robb takes the top spot at 157 pounds. Senior Labriola and graduate Cronin join Robb in the top five rankings as Labriola sits in second at 174 pounds and Cronin is fifth at 125 pounds. Additionally, Hardy (141) is ranked #6 and Pinto (184) and Allred (197) are both #16.
  • Last month, the Big Red finalized its 2023 recruiting class. Weston Dalton, Ethan DeLeon, Cooper French, Tanner Frothinger, Hampton Kaye-Kuter, Alan Koehler, Kael Lauridsen, Camden McDanel, Matthew Moore, Griffin Ray, Ethan Stiles and Dominic Thebeau will be joining the team for the 2023-24 season.
  • Team leaders by category among starters:

    • Dual Record: Robb/Labriola (10-0)
    • Dual Points: Robb/Labriola (37)
    • Dual Takedowns: Labriola (38)
    • Pins: Hardy (6)
    • Technical Falls: Robb (5)
    • Major Decisions: Labriola/Pinto (7)
    • Quickest Pin: Cronin (0:30) 

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