Feb. 6, 2014
No. 24 Purdue (6-6, 1-6 Big Ten) vs. No. 18 Illinois (7-6, 1-5 Big Ten)
Friday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m. | Senior Night | Holloway Gymnasium | West Lafayette, Ind.
|No. 24 Purdue Probables|
|125||Luke Schroeder||R-So.||8-8||Hanover, Ind.|
|133||15/13||Cashé Quiroga||R-Sr.||12-4||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|141||Danny Sabatello||R-So.||18-9||Long Grove, Ill.|
|149||Brandon Nelsen||R-Jr.||13-11||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|157||Alex Griffin||R-Fr.||16-8||Lafayette, Ind.|
|165||Chad Welch||R-So.||8-12||Newburgh, Ind.|
|174||Patrick Kissel||R-Jr.||11-10||Sheboygan, Wis.|
|184||Tanner Lynde||R-Fr.||6-11||Delphi, Ind.|
|197||12/14||Braden Atwood||R-Jr.||21-7||Delphi, Ind.|
|285||Alex White||R-Sr.||7-15||Mt. Vernon, Ind.|
|No. 18 Illinois Probables|
|125||3/3||Jesse Delgado||Jr.||16-2||Gilroy, Calif.|
|133||13/11||Zane Richards||Fr.||15-2||Carbondale, Ill.|
|141||NR/8||Steven Rodrigues||So.||7-2||Mount Kisco, N.Y.|
|John Fahy||R-Fr.||10-8||Pewee Valley, Ky.|
|149||Caleb Ervin||R-So.||3-5||Morganfield, Ky.|
|157||13/13||Zac Brunson||R-Fr.||17-6||Eugene, Ore.|
|165||9/13||Jackson Morse||R-Jr.||17-3||Alto, Mich.|
|174||Tony Dallago||R-Sr.||14-6||Harrisburg, Pa.|
|184||Nikko Reyes||R-Fr.||13-8||Fresno, Calif.|
|197||9/7||Mario Gonzalez||R-Sr.||8-0||Aurora, Ill.|
|Jeff Koepke||R-So.||7-8||Prospect Heights, Ill.|
|285||Chris Lopez||R-So.||10-12||Chicago, Ill.|
Head Coach Jim Heffernan | Associate Head Coach Mark Perry | Assistant Coach Jeremy Hunter
Series History: Purdue vs. Illinois
Illinois has won three straight duals over Purdue and leads the all-time series 54-29-2. Last season the sixth-ranked Fighting Illini defeated the No. 21 Boilermakers 29-10 in Champaign. Camden Eppert, Danny Sabatello and Ivan Lopouchanski were victorious in the loss. Purdue's last win in the series came was a 25-11 victory in Champaign on Feb. 18, 2010.
Scouting the Fighting Illini
Illinois enters the dual off of a 22-13 loss to seventh-ranked Nebraska on Feb. 1. The Illini won two of their four matches in the first set of tiebreakers. No. 3 Jesse Delgado avoided an upset bid by No. 10 Tim Lambert at 125 pounds with two escapes and a penalty point for a 3-1 decision. Mario Gonzalez made his return to the lineup after missing four straight Big Ten duals due to a rib injury suffered in a Midlands quarterfinal matchup with Braden Atwood. Gonzalez's reversal of Caleb Kolb in the first 30-second tiebreaker was the difference maker in a 3-2 win.
Head coach Jim Heffernan's decision at 197 could be pivotal to the dual. Following the reversal of Kolb, Gonzalez's knee buckled as he attempted to lift the Husker, dropping him to the mat for substantial injury time. Gonzalez wrestled on one leg for the remainder of the match.
In the quarterfinal matchup at Midlands, the top-seeded Illini injury defaulted to Atwood during a wild first period. The two wrestlers wasted no time in attempting their own shot. Atwood's first strike was countered, which led to a scramble and a four-point move for Gonzalez. A reversal by Atwood as the two went out of bounds resulted in Gonzalez taking injury time. Atwood added an escape coming out of choice following the injury time to cut the lead to 4-3. On a high shot, Atwood tied Gonzalez up at the chest and dropped him straight to the mat for the takedown and a 5-4 advantage. Gonzalez called for injury time once again and defaulted.
Illinois' lone win in Big Ten dual action was a 29-6 win at Michigan State on Jan. 26.
Although ranked eighth by InterMat, 141-pounder Steven Rodrigues has been out of the lineup since a second-place finish at Midlands (12/30). Redshirt sophomore Dominic Olivieri filled the void for the first two duals after Midlands, but was pinned by Ohio State's Logan Stieber and then gave up a 14-0 major decision to Steve Dutton of Michigan. John Fahy took over in the Michigan State dual (1/26) with an 8-3 decision, followed by a pair of losses via major decision, 15-3 to Zain Retherfod of Penn State (1/24) and 12-3 to Nebraska true freshman Colton McCrystal.
Up Next for the Boilermakers
The final dual of the season sends Purdue to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on fifth-ranked Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. CT on Feb. 16. It will be the Boilermakers' first trip to Cedar Falls since 2001 and the first meeting since 2009, when they defeated the Panthers 24-9 in a neutral site dual held in Evanston, Ill. UNI leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1929, 13-5.
After wrestling the first 21 matches of his Purdue career at 149 for a record of 15-6, including two dual appearances, Alex Griffin made his debut in the lineup at 157 versus Nebraska. The redshirt freshman won his first Big Ten dual match by defeating Ohio State's Randy Languis, 3-1.
Cashé Quiroga boasts the most career wins on the team with a record of 72-30 (.706). The redshirt senior has won 40 bonus point matches thus far with 22 major decisions, 10 pins and eight technical falls. In his 16 matches this season, Quiroga has tallied five decisions, three majors, three falls and one tech fall. He leads the team with 214 points scored and averages 13.3 points per match. Quiroga is also 3-2 against ranked opponents in his final campaign, two of which were ranked among the top 10.
Braden Atwood will be going for his 70th career win Friday. He has a team-best 21 wins this season.
Camden Eppert and Brandon Nelsen each won their 60th career match with exciting upsets Monday against Ohio State. Wrestling in his final match in Holloway Gymnasium, redshirt senior Camden Eppert upended No. 12/15 Nick Roberts, 5-3. Nelsen prevailed in sudden victory for the third time this season with a come-from-behind 5-3 upset of No. 13/18 Ian Paddock.
Alex White reached the 40-win mark at 285 with a thrilling 7-4 tiebreaker decision of Tyler Houska of Ashland on Jan. 19.
Nelsen is a team-best 3-0 in sudden victory matches this season. Danny Sabatello has also needed extra time on three occasions and owns a 2-1 mark. White has wrestled in the most extended matches with a 2-2 record. Purdue wrestlers are a combined 14-9 in sudden victory or tiebreaker matches.
Earning back points is a regular occurrence for Sabatello. The 141-pounder leads the way among starters with nine two-point nearfalls and five three-point nearfalls for 33 back points. Quiroga is second behind Sabatello with 23 back points.
Five Boilermakers have reached the century mark in career takedowns: Quiroga (360), Eppert (151), Sabatello (113), Nelsen (111) and Atwood (102). Only Quiroga and Sabatello more than 50 takedowns this season with 71 and 56, respectively.
Of the 164 wins accumulated by Purdue grapplers thus far, 57 have resulted in bonus points (35 falls, 7 TF, 29 MD). The Boilermakers win with bonus points 35 percent of the time they step on the mat.
Fourteen of the 35 falls by the Boilermakers have occurred in the first period, a dozen in the second and eight have come in the final two minutes.