Feb. 4, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 25th-ranked Purdue wrestling team hits the road for the first time in Big Ten dual action this weekend in search of its first conference win. At 11-2-1 on the year and 0-1-1 in conference, the Boilermakers will face 18th-ranked archrival Indiana on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 6 Ohio State on Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Boilermakers topped the Hoosiers last season for the first time in four years, taking an 18-16 victory in West Lafayette. The victory came on the strength of a pin at 285 pounds by Chris Kasten and a major upset win by senior Sean Schmaltz at 133 pounds. The win earned the Boilermakers a much-needed point in the coveted Crimson and Gold Cup standings, which ended the 2007-08 year in the first-ever tie between Purdue and Indiana.
The rivalry between the Boilermakers and Hoosiers dates back to 1913, with Indiana holding a 60-31-3 all-time advantage. Indiana started the series with 15 straight victories, including a 6-0 win in the inaugural matchup. The Boilermakers' first win against the Hoosiers came in 1928, as they defeated the Hoosiers in Bloomington, 16-11. Purdue's longest win streak in the series is five straight, which they posted twice (1947-1951 & 1984-1986). The Boilermakers have won four of the last seven meetings, including last year's win.
Friday night's matchup includes a pair of repeat matches this season at 149 and 165 pounds, and a very key matchup at heavyweight. Senior Jake Patacsil and sophomore Luke Manuel already hold victories this season over their probable Hoosier opponents as Patacsil downed junior Nick Walpole, 8-6, in both wrestlers' first match of the season, while Manuel blanked sophomore Paul Young at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Purdue junior Chris Kasten and Indiana junior Nathan Everhart split matches last year at heavyweight with Kasten taking the dual bout by fall and Everhart scoring a 6-3 decision at the Big Ten Tournament. Both will look to take a 2-1 lead in the series come Friday night.
Ohio State travels to No. 22 Penn State Friday night before the Boilermakers head to Columbus on Sunday. The Buckeyes are sixth in the nation at 10-2 (1-1 Big Ten), coming off a loss to No. 8 Minnesota last weekend. They lead the all-time series with Purdue 46-25-6, and have won the last two matchups between the two teams. The Boilermakers won the first-ever bout between the two schools, posting a 30-26 win in the 1920-21 season, and last beat the Buckeyes in 2006, 19-15. Ohio State has the nation's No. 2 wrestlers in a trio of weight classes with junior Reece Humphrey at 133 pounds, sophomore Colt Sponseller at 165 pounds and junior Mike Pucillo at 184 pounds. The Buckeyes also feature fourth-ranked junior Lance Palmer at 149 pounds, defending national champion J Jaggers at 141 pounds and 17th-ranked senior Jason Johnstone at 157 pounds.
Sunday's major matchup will be between Patacsil and Palmer at 149 pounds as the pair are two of the nations best at the weight. Palmer holds a 3-1 advantage in the series between the two, with Patacsil earning his lone win en route to a fourth-place finish at the 2008 Big Ten Championships. Two other pivotal bouts in Sunday's match could come at 157 and 174 pounds. Purdue sophomore Colton Salazar should prove a tough test for Johnstone at 157, while Boilermaker junior Nick Corpe and Ohio State junior Dave Rella both enter the match with something to prove on the conference and national level.
Play-by-play action will be available via the NWCA College Scorebook online through PurdueSports.com. Full results and recaps will be posted upon the conclusion of both matches.