Wyoming (1-3) vs. No. 8 Nebraska (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
Devaney Center (7,907) • Lincoln, Neb. • Friday, Jan. 3 • 7 p.m. CT
Series History: Nebraska leads, 32-14-0
Last Meeting: Nebraska won, 22-15, on Nov. 11, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo.
Video (subscription required): Big Ten Digital Network (www.video.btn.com)
Twitter Feed: @HuskerWrestling (www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling)
The No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team (5-0) resumes its dual season on Friday night by hosting Wyoming (1-3) in the Huskers’ first matchup of the new year at the Devaney Center at 7 p.m. CT.
The Huskers look to collect their sixth dual victory of the season after competing in two tournaments in Nevada during December. NU earned runner-up honors at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational before capturing the team crown at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
The Huskers and Cowboys will meet for the 47th time in series history, with Nebraska holding a 32-14 advantage. Last season, NU won by a 22-15 margin in Laramie, Wyo. on Nov. 11, 2012.
Friday night’s dual can be watched online on the Big Ten Digital Network. Scoring will be provided on TrackWrestling.com and updates can be followed on Nebraska’s Twitter page @HuskerWrestling.
Nebraska is making its first dual appearance since the Stanford Duals on Nov. 30 in Stanford, Calif., where the Huskers went 3-0 against Utah Valley, Stanford and CSU-Bakersfield. Friday’s dual will be the first of a four-match home stand over the next three weekends at the Devaney Center for the Huskers. Next weekend, NU battles Indiana on Friday, Jan. 10 before hosting Penn on Saturday, Jan. 11. The homestand concludes on Jan. 18 against Big Ten foe Iowa at 4:30 p.m.
The Huskers could see multiple different lineups with two wrestlers projected at 125, 133, 174 and 184 pounds. At 133 pounds, Colton McCrystal and Ben Morgan are listed, while either No. 4 Robert Kokesh or Micah Barnes will see time at 174 pounds. At 184 pounds, Nebraska will start either TJ Dudley or Caleb Kolb, while Tim Lambert and Eric Coufal are each listed at 125 pounds.
Ranked wrestlers James Green (No. 4 at 157), Jake Sueflohn (No. 6 at 149) and Austin Wilson (No. 14 at 165) are projected to start for the Huskers after placing at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 22. Green and Sueflohn captured their respective weight class titles, while Wilson finished second.
Adam Joseph (141), Spencer Johnson (197) and Collin Jensen (HWT) are also probable starters for Nebraska this weekend.
Last Time Out: Three Huskers Earn Reno Titles
Jake Sueflohn (149), James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each won their respective weight division titles to lead Nebraska to the team championship at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The Huskers finished with 159 points, which was 56 ahead of second-place Wyoming. North Carolina finished third with 97 points.
After Sueflohn took a first-round bye, he won back-to-back major decisions before capping his perfect day with three consecutive decisions. He won the championship match by a 7-1 margin over The Citadel’s Matt Frisch. Sueflohn improved to 18-3 on the season.
Green pinned three of his five opponents in Reno, while adding a technical fall and one decision. He took down Andy McCulley of Wyoming in the championship bout, 9-5. Green moved to 18-0 and earned his third tournament title of the season. He won the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open and Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational titles as well.
Kokesh capped his performance with a 3-1 decision over Southern Oregon’s Brock Gutches in the finals. Kokesh added a decision in his opening bout, but earned two pins and two major decision in his other matches. His quickest pin came in the third round in a time of 1:02. Kokesh improved to 20-1 this season.
Tim Lambert (125) and Austin Wilson (165) each made it to the finals in their respective weight classes, but ultimately took runner-up honors. Lambert went 4-1 with a major decision before falling to Wyoming’s Tyler Cox in the finals by a 4-3 margin. Wilson opened with back-to-back technical falls before a major decision in the third round. He lost to Corey Mock of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 9-1, in the championship match.
At 141 pounds, Anthony Abidin earned a third-place finish, winning a 13-0 major decision over CSU-Bakersfield’s Ian Nickell in his final match. Abidin registered two pins on his way to the semifinals before falling by an 8-3 decision to Joey Ward. Abidin won two matches in the consolation bracket following his lone loss of the day.
Spencer Johnson (197) and Collin Jensen (HWT) each finished fifth. Johnson dropped a 3-1 decision to Reuben Franklin of CSU-Bakersfield in his first match of the day, but reeled off five consecutive victories before suffering his second loss. He defeated Upper Iowa’s Carl Broghammer by injury default in the fifth-place match.
Jensen pinned his first opponent, but lost in the second round. In the consolation bracket, he won five matches, two of which were by fall. His final victory was a pin in 5:37 over Wayne Purnell of West Virginia.
Colton McCrystal (133), Ben Morgan (133), Brandon Wilbourn (165), McCoy Newberg (174), TJ Dudley (184) and Aaron Studebaker (197) also competed at the Reno Tournament of Champions for the Huskers.
Scouting the Wyoming Cowboys
Wyoming is 1-3 on the season, with four tournament appearances. In their most recent outing, the Cowboys crowned two wrestlers, Tyler Cox (125) and Benjamin Stroh (184), at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 22. Wyoming also competed at the Cowboy Open (Nov. 2), Northwest Open (Nov. 9) and Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 6-7).
The Cowboys opened their dual season on Nov. 15 with a 17-15 victory over Boise State. The following weekend, Wyoming fell to Minnesota, 41-5. In December, the Pokes lost to Oklahoma State, 30-6, and Oregon State, 26-12.
Cox is Wyoming’s highest ranked wrestler, coming in at No. 8 at 125 pounds in InterMat’s Dec. 31 poll. The junior from Gillette, Wyo. is 20-3 on the season after earning All-America accolades last year. At 157 pounds, Wyoming’s Andy McCulley is ranked 20th, with a 15-6 mark on the season. McCulley or Archie Colgan will see time this weekend against Nebraska.
The Cowboys could start one of two wrestlers at 165, 197 and 285 pounds as well.
Huskers in the Rankings
Nebraska has seven wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s latest poll, released on Dec. 31. Juniors James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each garnered the No. 4 ranking in their respective weight classes, while fellow junior Jake Sueflohn is sixth at 149 pounds. Tim Lambert rounds out the Huskers in the top 10 with the No. 10 spot at 125 pounds. Austin Wilson is 14th at 165 pounds, TJ Dudley is 16th at 184 pounds and Anthony Abidin is No. 17 at 141 pounds.
The WIN Magazine rankings were released on Dec. 16 and feature seven Huskers in its poll as well. Kokesh and Green are each fourth, while Sueflohn rounds out the top five at 149 pounds. Abidin is 11th at 141, Lambert is 16th at 125, Kolb is 16th at 197 and McCrystal is No. 18 at 133 pounds.
In the Amateur Wrestling News poll, released on Dec. 23, eight Huskers achieved top-20 rankings. Green leads the way with the No. 3 ranking as Kokesh is fourth and Sueflohn is fifth. Lambert is 12th, Abidin and Wilson each garnered the No. 16 ranking, Dudley is 17th and McCrystal is 19th.
As a team, Nebraska is ranked in the top 10 of the InterMat, WIN Magazine and USA Today/NWCA/Amateur Wrestling News Coaches rankings. The Huskers are seventh in the InterMat poll, eighth in WIN Magazine and eighth in the Coaches poll.
All-Americans Continuing Success in 2013-14
Returning All-Americans Robert Kokesh (174) and James Green (157) have showed no signs of slowing down from last season and have a combined 38-1 record this season.
Kokesh takes a 20-1 mark into this weekend’s dual against Wyoming, following a first-place finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions. He has achieved bonus points in 17 of his 20 victories this season, with seven pins, two technical falls, six major decisions and two forfeit wins.
Green is 18-0 after collecting his third tournament title of the season at the Reno Tournament of Champions. The two-time All-American has four pins, two technical falls and five major decisions.
Last season at the NCAA Championships, Kokesh finished third at 174 pounds and Green finished seventh at 157 pounds.
‘Tumble and Rumble’ Set for Jan. 11
Nebraska’s Jan. 11 dual with Penn will be a 6 p.m. start at the Devaney Center. The dual will be held simultaneously with a women’s gymnastics meet in an event called “Tumble and Rumble.” More information will be available on Huskers.com as the event approaches.
Huskers Face Challenging Schedule
Nebraska’s matchup with Wyoming on Friday is one of 14 duals this season, leading up to the NCAA Championships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Huskers will also compete at the Big Ten Championships, March 8-9, in Madison, Wis.
After taking down No. 17 Northwestern in the opening dual of the season and routing No. 18 Stanford, the Huskers will face six additional teams that are currently ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Poll, released on Dec. 17.
NU’s dual against Wyoming is part of a four-match home stand at the newly renovated Devaney Center. The Huskers also host Indiana (Jan. 10), Penn (Jan. 11) and No. 3 Iowa (Jan. 18) during that stretch.
The Huskers conclude the dual season with five matches against top-25 opponents. NU hits the road on Jan. 24 to face No. 9 Ohio State before traveling to No. 21 Purdue (Jan. 26) and No. 11 Illinois (Feb. 1). Nebraska’s final home dual of the season is Feb. 7 against No. 19 Michigan. The regular season finale is Feb. 21 at No. 23 Wisconsin.
BTN, BTDN to Feature Huskers Nine Times
Nebraska will appear on the Big Ten Network twice during the 2013-14 season, while making seven appearances on the Big Ten Digital Network.
The Huskers’ first BTN coverage will occur on Saturday, Jan. 18 against Iowa at the Devaney Center at 4:30 p.m. CT. Nebraska will also be on BTN for its road dual in Champaign, Ill., against Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 1. The matchup starts at 4 p.m.
The first of Nebraska’s BTDN appearances is Friday against Wyoming. The dual starts at 7 p.m., at the Devaney Center. The Huskers’ other nonconference dual on BTDN is the Jan. 11 home matchup against Penn at 6 p.m.
NU’s first of five inner-conference BTDN appearances is Friday, Jan. 10 as the Huskers host Indiana at 7 p.m. The Huskers’ home dual against Michigan on Friday, Feb. 7 will also be on BTDN, starting at 7 p.m.
Road appearances on BTDN include matchups with Ohio State (Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.), Purdue (Jan. 26 at noon) and Wisconsin (Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.).
The Big Ten has also announced times and coverage for the Big Ten Championships, March 8-9, in Madison, Wis. Session I on March 8 starts at 10 a.m., with a stream on BTDN. Session II on the same day begins at 5 p.m., on BTDN. Sunday’s Session III commences at 11 a.m., with the third-place matches slated for 1 p.m., on BTDN. BTN will broadcast the first-place matches at 1 p.m., on Sunday.
BTDN is available at www.video.btn.com/allaccess and requires a subscription. All dates and times of scheduled events are subject to change and can be found on www.BTN.com.
Any changes to Nebraska’s schedule during the season can be found on Huskers.com.
Green Captures Cliff Keen Crown
James Green won the 157-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational to lead Nebraska to a second-place finish on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Huskers’ 130.5-point total was 24 points behind team champion Oklahoma.
Green opened his day with a 7-5 sudden victory over Michigan’s Brian Murphy in the semifinals. In the finals, Green outlasted No. 12 Brian Realbuto of Cornell, 6-5, to capture the title. Green improved to 13-0 on the season.
Anthony Abidin (141), Jake Sueflohn (149), Robert Kokesh (174) and TJ Dudley (184) each advanced to the finals in their respective weight classes, but fell in the championship bout.
Abidin earned a medical forfeit win over Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter in the semifinals before losing to No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State by a 16-1 technical fall. Sueflohn managed a 7-6 win over No. 7 Eric Grajales of Michigan, but fell by an 8-3 margin to No. 5 Kendric Maple of Oklahoma in the finals.
Kokesh won a 6-0 decision over No. 11 Stephen Doty of Virginia in the semifinals, but lost a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma. Kokesh suffered his first loss of the season after a 14-0 start.
Dudley defeated No. 18 Benjamin Stroh of Wyoming in the semifinals, 18-9, before losing a 13-3 major decision to No. 12 Gabriel Dean of Cornell in the finals.
Austin Wilson (165) and Colton McCrystal (133) each started the day in the consolation bracket and managed top-eight finishes. After a decision and a pin for Wilson, he fell by a 4-2 margin to Northern Iowa’s Cooper Moore. In the fifth-place match, Wilson bounced back to win a 9-8 decision over Cornell’s Dylan Palacio.
McCrystal opened his day with a 5-2 decision over Rutgers’ Vincent Dellafave before being pinned by No. 18 Rosario Bruno of Michigan. In the seventh-place, McCrystal fell to Navy’s Colton Rasche, 8-5.
At heavyweight, Collin Jensen dropped his lone match of the day to No. 14 Ross Larson of Oklahoma by fall.
Tim Lambert (125) and Spencer Johnson (197) each lost their opening match on the first day to fall into the consolation bracket. Both picked up a win in the consolation bracket, but were ultimately eliminated.
Manning Earns 200th Career Victory
Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning picked up his 200th career dual victory on Sunday, Nov. 24, when the Huskers took down South Dakota State, 36-6.
Manning, who is in his 17th season overall, earned the win in his home state of South Dakota. The Vermillion, S.D. native holds a career record of 203-95-5. Manning is 180-71-3 in his 14th season at Nebraska after compiling a 23-24-2 record in three seasons at Northern Iowa.
Huskers Return to Devaney Center
Nebraska returned to the Devaney Center this season for all of its home duals after years of wrestling at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers opened their home dual season on Nov. 17 against Northwestern and will host five additional matchups at the newly renovated 7,907-seat venue this season, including Friday’s showdown with Wyoming.
In addition to hosting duals, the Devaney Center and Hendricks Training Complex house the wrestling offices, locker room, weight room and wrestling room, all just steps from each other, providing an atmosphere conducive to elite training. The Hendricks Complex, which is inside the Devaney Center, includes a practice facility, coaches’ offices as well as strength and conditioning and athletic medicine areas.
Next Up: Indiana and Penn
Nebraska will host Indiana and Penn at the Devaney Center next weekend. The dual with Big Ten foe Indiana is set for Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. On the following night, the Huskers will battle Penn at 6 p.m., as part of the “Rumble and Tumble” event with the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team. Both matchups will be available on the Big Ten Digital Network. Visit Huskers.com or call (800) 8-BIG-RED for ticket information.
Husker Wrestling on Social Media
Nebraska wrestling can be followed on a variety of social media platforms for up-to-date team information as well as features on wrestlers:
• Twitter: @HuskerWrestling (www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling)
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/NebraskaWrestling
• Instagram: www.instagram.com/HuskerWrestling
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/HuskerWrestling
• Flowrestling: www.flowrestling.org/user/NEwrestle
“Behind the Grind” is a weekly video blog that showcases the Nebraska wrestling program. Each week, photos from the Nebraska wrestling room will be tweeted to show behind-the-scenes footage of practice. Additionally, following practice a wrestler and/or coach will talk about Nebraska wrestling while also previewing the upcoming week. Fans are encouraged to tweet their questions for each coach and wrestler at @HuskerWrestling.
Huskers Show Depth at Wrestle-Offs
Nebraska held its annual Wrestle-Offs in conjunction with the Fall Coaches Clinic at the Devaney Center on Friday, Nov. 8.
Returning All-American Robert Kokesh (174) made one appearance, winning a 17-2 technical fall over McCoy Newberg. 2013 NCAA qualifiers Jake Sueflohn (149) and Caleb Kolb (197) also competed during Wrestle-Offs and each won both of their matches.
Sueflohn opened with a pin over Luis DeAnda in 2:47 before winning by injury default over newcomer Destin McCauley. Kolb battled Spencer Johnson to extra time twice on the night, winning by a 3-2 margin on both occasions.
At 184 pounds, Aaron Studebaker and TJ Dudley split their matches against each other. Studebaker won the first battle by a 4-2 decision, while Dudley won the second showdown, 6-5.
At 125 pounds, redshirt freshman Tim Lambert defeated Shawn Nagel twice, winning the first by pin in 4:52 and the second by technical fall, 18-0. At 133 pounds, Colton McCrystal put together a pair of victories. McCrystal took down Ben Morgan, 6-1, before defeating Eric Montoya, 7-4.
Micah Barnes (165) won both of his matches, defeating Brandon Wilbourn by injury default and outlasting Ian Ousley, 12-3. At 157 pounds, John Svoboda picked up a pair of wins. Svoboda opened with a 5-2 triumph over Ousley and added a 5-2 decision over Metzler.
The heavyweights battled once on Friday night, with Nyle Bartling notching an injury default victory over Collin Jensen.
At 141 pounds, Anthony Abidin pinned Adam Joseph in 1:27 following Joseph’s 5-3 decision over Tyrell Galloway.
Three Huskers Win at Daktronics Open
Robert Kokesh (174), James Green (157) and Collin Jensen (HWT) each captured titles to open the season in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open at Frost Arena on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Kokesh tore through the bracket at 174 pounds with two pins, one technical fall and two major decisions. The Wagner, S.D., native opened with a fall in 6:04 over Augustana College’s Drake Fanslau and added a pin in 2:06 in the semifinals against Michael Joseph of Minnesota. Kokesh completed his tournament run with a 13-3 major decision over Missouri’s Mike England in the finals.
Green took home the title at 157 pounds with a victory in the finals over Kyle Bradley of Missouri. Green added a pin, major decision and technical fall leading into the final match. His fall occurred in 1:49 in the quarterfinals against Northern Illinois’ Andrew Morse.
Jensen captured the heavyweight crown in South Dakota by winning four matches after a first-round bye. Jensen pinned his first opponent in 2:46 before a major decision in the quarterfinals. He won back-to-back decisions to cap his championship run, including a 7-3 victory over Devon Mellon of Missouri in the finals.
Tim Lambert (125), Anthony Abidin (141) and Jake Sueflohn (149) each made appearances in the finals but fell by decision to finish second. Lambert finished the day with four wins, including two by technical fall. Abidin achieved a pin in 1:08 and a technical fall as part of his four victories on Sunday. Sueflohn won five matches, earning two pins and two major decisions in the process.
Ben Morgan (133), TJ Dudley (184) and Spencer Johnson (197) each finished third in their respective weight classes. Dudley defeated fellow Husker Aaron Studebaker, 9-4, in the third-place match at 184 pounds.
Additional Husker placers include Brandon Wilbourn (fourth at 165), McCoy Newberg (fourth at 174), Shawn Nagel (fifth at 125) and Nyle Bartling (seventh at heavyweight).
Burroughs Wins Second FILA World Title
Former Husker Jordan Burroughs added to his international wrestling legacy this fall by winning the 74-kg freestyle gold medal at the 2013 FILA World Championships on Sept. 18.
Burroughs captured his third consecutive world title with the win, which includes the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal in London, England, and the 2011 FILA World Championship. His crown marks the third FILA freestyle title won by a former Husker as Bill Scherr won at 90 kg in 1985.
In the gold medal match, Burroughs defeated Iran’s Essadollah Akbari by a 4-0 decision. Burroughs took a 1-0 lead late in the first period following a push out and extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period with an additional push out. With time winding down in the match, the Sicklerville, N.J. native took down Akbari to close out the match.
Burroughs opened the tournament with a 9-2 technical fall over Gamid Dzhalilov of Tajikistan before winning 7-0 over India’s Narsingh Yadav in the second round.
After the first round of the quarterfinals, Burroughs managed a 1-0 lead over Jabrayil Hassanov of Azerbaijan. The American struck quickly in the second period, however, and extended his lead to 7-0, which stood as the final score.
Burroughs faced Ali Shabanau of Belarus in the semifinals and trailed 0-1 before a double at the end of the first period gave him the lead. Burroughs expanded his lead as Shabanau received penalties for hitting Burroughs in the face. Burroughs held on to a 6-1 lead at the five-minute mark but Shabanau received his third caution and was ultimately disqualified.
Burroughs extended his international winning streak to 65 consecutive matches with his performance in Hungary. He was a two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska and won the Hodge Trophy in 2011.
Green Competes at World University Games
Nebraska All-American James Green went 1-1 representing the United States in freestyle wrestling at the 2013 World University Games at Ak Bars Wrestling Palace on July 11.
Green, a junior from Willingboro, N.J., defeated Finland’s Petteri Martikainen, 4-0, in his opening match in the 66 kg class. Martikainen finished fifth at the 2012 World University Championships.
Nebraska’s two-time All-American was then eliminated from medal contention in the round of eight with a loss to Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukman Mamatov.
Russia’s Magomed Kubanaliev defeated Armenia’s Devid Safaryan 3-1 to capture the gold medal at 66 kg.
Green was one of seven wrestlers from Big Ten schools competing on the 14-member USA Wrestling Team at the World University Games.
Green earned his place on the USA Wrestling World University Games Team by capturing the 66 kg/145.5-pound championship at 2013 ASICS University Freestyle Nationals in Akron, Ohio in late May.
Green was one of four U.S. wrestlers competing in freestyle at the World University Games, along with Ed Ruth (Penn State, 84kg), Nico Megaludis (Penn State, 55 kg) and Tyrell Fortune (Grand Canyon, 120 kg), who earned a bronze medal for the United States.