No. 1 Minnesota (1-0) vs. No. 9 Nebraska (2-0)
NU Coliseum • Lincoln, Neb. • Friday, Nov. 16 • 7 p.m.
Series History: NU trails, 19-49-0
Last Meeting: Minnesota won, 26-7, on Feb. 5, 2012, in Minneapolis, Minn.
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North Carolina (0-1) vs. No. 9 Nebraska (2-0)
NU Coliseum • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Nov. 18 • Noon
Series History: NU leads, 10-1-0
Last Meeting: NU won, 20-16, on Nov. 12, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa.
South Dakota State (2-1) vs. No. 9 Nebraska (2-0)
NU Coliseum • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Nov. 18 • 2 p.m.
Series History: NU leads, 17-13-2
Last Meeting: NU won, 37-3, on Dec. 17, 2011, in Brookings, S.D.
Huskers Host No. 1 Minnesota on Friday
The No. 9 Nebraska wrestling team opens its home season on Friday night when the Huskers face No. 1 Minnesota at the NU Coliseum at 7 p.m. Nebraska also hosts a pair of matches on Sunday as it will face North Carolina at noon and South Dakota State at 2 p.m. Both matches will take place at the NU Coliseum.
The top 10 battle between the Huskers and Golden Gophers on Friday night will be available on the Big Ten Digital Network at the link provided above. The first 100 students to arrive with NU ID for Friday night’s match will receive a coupon for a free hot dog and pop. In addition, 30 former Husker wrestlers will be in attendance for the match.
The Huskers return home after a two-match road trip last weekend to Greeley, Colo., and Laramie, Wyo. Nebraska opened with a 28-9 victory over Northern Colorado. Freshman Eric Coufal (125) saw his first action for NU in a 1-0 decision over the Bears’ Jesse Meis. Sophomore Robert Kokesh (174) added a pin, while James Green (157) and Josh Ihnen (184) each won by technical fall to lead the Huskers. Against No. 19 Wyoming, the Huskers built an early 16-0 lead and won the final two matches to hold on for a 22-15 victory. Green, Austin Wilson (165), Kokesh and Ihnen opened the match with major decisions, while Skylar Galloway (141) and Ridge Kiley (149) added crucial decisions to seal the win over the Cowboys. The Huskers opened their season on Nov. 4 at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open, winning eight weight division titles.
Minnesota started its season with a 32-6 victory over Hofstra. The Gophers also traveled to Fargo, N.D., for the Bison Open, where they won five individual titles. North Carolina opened its season at the Hokie Open on Nov. 4 before falling to the Arizona State Sun Devils, 21-16. Two days following the loss, the Tar Heels competed at the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh, N.C. South Dakota State hosted the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open before competing at the Huskie Duals in DeKalb, Ill. The Jackrabbits finished the road trip 2-1, with victories over Indiana and Tiffin as well as a loss to Northern Illinois.
Last Time Out: Huskers Outlast No. 19 Cowboys
No. 9 Nebraska built an early 16-0 lead over No. 19 Wyoming and won the final two matches to hold on for a 22-15 win on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the UniWyo Sports Complex.
With the win, the Huskers improved to 2-0 after defeating the Northern Colorado Bears on Saturday, 28-9. The Wyoming Cowboys fall to 1-1 with the loss. Wyoming opened its season with a 26-12 victory over Boise State on Thursday, Nov. 1.
Sophomore James Green won the first match of the meet at 157 pounds by major decision over Wyoming’s Dakota Friesth, 14-1. The victory was the first of four consecutive major decisions for the Huskers to open the match. No. 5 Green also won his match on Saturday in decisive fashion with an 18-2 technical fall.
Redshirt freshman Austin Wilson kept the momentum going with a 13-5 major decision over Wyoming’s Andy McCulley. With the win, Wilson improved to 5-1 after his second-place finish at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open. He did not compete against Northern Colorado on Saturday.
At 174 pounds, No. 8 Robert Kokesh won a 17-4 major decision over L.J. Helbig. Kokesh, a sophomore, gave Nebraska a 12-0 lead through three matches. He was also victorious on Saturday, pinning Northern Colorado’s Josh VanTine in 1:37. Kokesh is 5-0 on the season.
No. 6 Josh Ihnen won by major decision over Wyoming’s Shane Woods, 13-3, at 184 pounds. The senior improves to 6-0 following a technical fall on Saturday and a first-place showing at the Daktronics Open.
Wyoming’s No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez stopped Nebraska’s momentum at 197 pounds. He won a 3-0 decision over junior Caleb Kolb, cutting the lead to 16-3. The victory was the first of four consecutive for the Cowboys.
Tanner Harms of Wyoming won an 11-5 decision over Donny Longendyke in the heavyweight battle before No. 18 Tyler Cox pinned Nebraska’s Eric Coufal at 125 pounds in 6:16. At 133 pounds, Wyoming’s Kasey Garnhart won a 5-2 decision over Shawn Nagel to get Wyoming within one.
The Huskers responded to the four consecutive losses with two straight victories to end the match. At 141 pounds, Skylar Galloway won an 8-3 decision over Wyoming’s Kyle Komata before Ridge Kiley won by decision over Brandon Richardson, 3-1, at 149 pounds.
Scouting the Minnesota Golden Gophers
•Minnesota returns eight starters from a team that went 14-3 in dual competition last year and finished second in the Big Ten Conference with a 7-1 record. The Gophers finished second at the NCAA Championships and return seven NCAA qualifiers, five of which were All-Americans.
• Minnesota’s top returners are defending NCAA Champions Kevin Steinhaus (184) and Tony Nelson (HWT). Additional NCAA qualifiers returning for the Gophers are Chris Dardanes (133), Nick Dardanes (141), Dylan Ness (149), Cody Yohn (165) and Logan Storley (174).
• The Gophers are coached by J Robinson, who is in his 27th season as head coach. Robinson has won 388 duals in his time at Minnesota, five shy of the school record set by Wally Johnson.
Scouting the North Carolina Tar Heels
•North Carolina returns five starters from a team that went 6-14 last season and finished fourth in the ACC. The Tar Heels finished 54th at the NCAA Championships and return two NCAA qualifiers.
•The Tar Heels’ top returners from last season are NCAA qualifiers Evan Henderson (141) and Corey Mock (157).
•North Carolina is coached by C.D. Mock, who is in his 10th year as head coach. Mock has won 81 duals in his time at North Carolina.
Scouting the South Dakota State Jackrabbits
•South Dakota State returns five starters from a team that went 4-9 in dual competition last season. The Jackrabbits went 0-6 in the Western Wrestling Conference to finish seventh.
•South Dakota State’s top returners are Nick Flynn (157) and Aaron Pickrel (Jr.). Flynn won 21 matches last season and Pickrel won 23.
•The Jackrabbits are coached by Chris Bono, who is in his first season as head coach at South Dakota State. Bono spent three years at Tennessee-Chattanooga and compiled a 39-17 record.
Eight Huskers Win at Daktronics Open
Nebraska opened its regular season on Sunday, Nov. 4, as eight wrestlers won their weight classes at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open.
The Huskers took home the top three places at 165 pounds as Brandon Wilbourn won, Austin Wilson was runner up and Shaun’qae McMurtry earned a third-place finish. Wilbourn won a 4-2 decision over Wilson in the championship match. McMurtry pinned Augustana College’s Parker Swanson in the third-place match. Ross Grande went 4-3 to earn a sixth-place finish, while Michael Klinginsmith finished with a 1-2 mark.
At 174 pounds, the Huskers earned the top four spots with no contest in the championship and third place matches. Robert Kokesh and Tyler Koehn went 3-0, while Aaron Studebaker and Micah Barnes went 3-1. Freshman McCoy Newberg went 3-2.
Sophomores Jake Sueflohn (149) and James Green (157) as well as senior Josh Ihnen (184) won their respective weight classes at the Daktronics Open. Sueflohn won an 11-6 decision over Augustana’s Nate Herda, while Green won a 7-4 decision over SDSU’s Cody Pack. Ihnen won by decision over Minnesota’s Brett Pfarr, 8-3.
Newcomer Tim Lambert went 4-0 as the lone Husker competing at 125 pounds. Following a first-round bye, the freshman pinned South Dakota State’s Chet Utesch in 1:34 before a 7-0 decision over NSU’s Anthony Bruno. In the semifinals, Lambert won a 5-0 decision over SDSU’s Aaron Pickrel to advance to the finals where he pinned Augustana’s TJ North in 3:28.
At 133 pounds, junior Shawn Nagel took home the title with Adam Joseph taking sixth place. Nagel went 4-0, capping the tournament with a 7-6 decision over North Dakota State’s Justin Scherkenbach.
Sophomore Skylar Galloway went 4-0 en route to the title at 141 pounds. Following a first-round bye, Galloway won a major decision over Midland’s Jacob Luning-Hoshino, 12-3. Then Galloway won a 3-2 decision over Angel Vega before a 5-3 decision over Iowa Central’s Stephen Mincey. In the championship match, Galloway won a 4-0 decision over SDSU’s Will James.
Huskers Prepare for Season with Wrestle-Offs
Nebraska kicked off its 2012-13 campaign with the annual wrestle-offs on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Returning Huskers Robert Kokesh (174), Skylar Galloway (141) and Austin Wilson (165) as well as newcomers Tim Lambert (125) and Eric Coufal (133) posted 2-0 records on Friday night. Cody Compton (165), Donny Longendyke (HWT), Caleb Kolb (197), James Green (157), Josh Ihnen (184) and Jake Sueflohn (149) all won their lone match at the Devaney Center.
Kokesh, a sophomore, won both his matches in dominating fashion on Friday night. He opened with a pin in 2:06 over freshman McCoy Newberg before a 12-1 major decision over senior Tyler Koehn. Kokesh wrestled at 165 pounds last season, but moved up a weight class to 174 pounds for the 2012-13 campaign.
At 141 pounds, Galloway started with a 4-3 decision over Luis DeAnda, then won a 3-2 decision over Ridge Kiley. Galloway started for the Huskers at 149 pounds in 2011-12, but moved down a weight class for this season.
Six Huskers wrestled at 165 pounds on Friday night, but Austin Wilson (2-0) and Cody Compton (1-0) were the only ones without a loss. Wilson, a redshirt freshman, started his night with a 3-2 decision over Ross Grande before narrowly taking a 2-1 decision over Brandon Wilbourn. Compton’s lone victory was a 2-0 decision over Michael Klinginsmith. Klinginsmith and Grande finished the night at 1-1, while Wilbourn went 0-1 and Shaun’qae McMurtry posted an 0-2 record at 165 pounds.
Lambert, a freshman at 125 pounds, won a 6-3 decision over junior Shawn Nagel to open his night. Lambert followed that up with a 4-0 decision over fellow freshman Skylar Wood. Coufal also went 2-0 at the Wrestle-Offs, recording a 4-3 decision over Nagel as well as a 5-3 sudden victory pin over Adam Joseph at 133 pounds.
Heavy Competition Expected at 165 Pounds
The Huskers will have plenty of competition at 165 pounds as the deepest weight class on the team. Sophomore Brandon Wilbourn moved up from 149 pounds to compete alongside senior Ross Grande, juniors Cody Compton and Michael Klinginsmith, freshman Shaun’qae McMurtry and redshirt freshman Austin Wilson. Grande and Compton competed at 157 pounds last season.
Wilbourn and Wilson have each competed in one dual after the first weekend and both emerged with victories. Wilbourn is 5-0 following an 8-5 decision over Northern Colorado’s Charlie McMartin and Wilson is 5-1 after a 13-5 major decision over Wyoming’s Andy McCulley.
Grande is 4-3 on the season with a sixth-place finish at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open, while Klinginsmith is 1-2. McMurtry finished third at the Daktronics Open with a 6-1 record.
Last season then-redshirt freshman Robert Kokesh started at 165 pounds. He won 30 matches, which included a team-high 17 dual wins en route to a third-place Big Ten finish and an NCAA appearance.
Huskers Welcome 17 Newcomers in 2012-13
Junior Adam Joseph (133), redshirt freshman Nyle Bartling (197), and freshmen Gage Anderson (149), Nick Babcock (149), Micah Barnes (174), Eric Coufal (125), TJ Dudley (184), Jed Fenske (149), Collin Jensen (HWT), Tim Lambert (125), Shaun’qae McMurtry (165), Ben Morgan (133), McCoy Newberg (174), Zeke Nistrian (157), Aaron Studebaker (174), Skylar Wood (133) and Joe Zimmer (184) as the newcomers to the 2012-13 squad. Joseph comes to Nebraska after two years at Concordia, while Bartling wrestled at Ohio State for one year. Nebraska’s 2012 recruiting class was ranked No. 6 by InterMat.
Challenging Schedule Awaits Huskers
Nebraska will face a challenging schedule in 2012-13, which includes a trip to Madison Square Garden as well as matches against the top three NCAA finishers from 2012.
The Huskers’ first conference home dual of the season is on the night of Nov. 16, as they will host 2012 NCAA runner-up Minnesota at the NU Coliseum at 7 p.m. Two days later, Nebraska hosts a pair of afternoon non-conference duals against North Carolina and South Dakota State. The Huskers hold a 10-1 advantage over the Tar Heels in the all-time series.
Nebraska heads to Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 30-Dec. 1, for the Cliff Keen Invitational. Last season the Huskers finished fourth with 106 points. NU then returns home for a pair of duals against Arizona State (Dec. 8) and Wisconsin (Dec. 9). In 2011-12, the Huskers shut out both opponents by a combined score of 78-0.
On Dec. 16, the Huskers are set to compete in the first Grapple at the Garden in New York, N.Y. NU faces Maryland at 9:30 a.m., before wrestling Rutgers at 11:30 a.m. Other teams participating in the Grapple at the Garden include Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Iowa, Hofstra, Chattanooga and Bucknell. To close out 2012, the Huskers compete at the Midlands Invitational in Evanston, Ill., Dec. 29-30.
January begins with two road Big Ten duals against Michigan and Northwestern. The Huskers head to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 11 before a trip to Evanston, Ill., on Jan. 13. Nebraska returns home to face Illinois on Jan. 18. The Fighting Illini finished seventh at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Nebraska then heads to University Park, Pa., for a showdown against defending national champion Penn State on Jan. 27.
On Feb. 1, the Huskers host Michigan State at the NU Coliseum. Last season the Big Red crushed the Spartans 27-8 in East Lansing, Mich. The final Big Ten dual of the 2012-13 campaign comes Feb. 10 against Iowa, which finished third at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The Huskers will compete at the NWCA National Duals in Ithaca, N.Y., on Feb. 17. Their opponents are to be determined.
On March 9-10, Nebraska will make its second appearance in the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill. Last season the Huskers produced four top-five finishers. The 2012-13 season concludes March 21-23 at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Last year Nebraska finished 21st with 28 points. James Green (157) and Josh Ihnen (184) earned All-America honors, as eight Huskers qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships.
BTDN to Feature Huskers Nine Times
The Nebraska wrestling program will be featured nine times on the Big Ten Digital Network in 2012-13. Home matches against Minnesota (Nov. 16), Arizona State (Dec. 8), Wisconsin (Dec. 9), Illinois (Jan. 18) and Michigan State (Feb. 1) will be streamed online. Road matches against Michigan (Jan. 11), Northwestern (Jan. 12), Penn State (Jan. 27) and Iowa (Feb. 10) will also be streamed through BTDN. Throughout the season, go to the BTN/BTN2Go/BTDN Olympic Sports TV schedule page for the most up-to-date information on the BTN and BTDN wrestling schedules.
Former Husker Burroughs Wins Gold Medal in Freestyle
Former Husker Jordan Burroughs won the gold medal at 74 kilograms (163 pounds) at the 2012 Olympics in London. Burroughs defeated Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 3-0 in the gold medal match.
Burroughs, a two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska, won four matches on Friday en route to becoming the first freestyle gold medalist in school history. Burroughs adds the gold medal to his list of accomplishments after Nebraska, which includes winning the 2011 FILA World Championships.
After taking a bye in the round of 32, Burroughs dominated Puerto Rico’s Francisco Soler Tanco. Burroughs won the first round 4-0 before taking the second round 6-0. With the win, he advanced to the quarterfinals to face Matthew Gentry of Canada.
In a much closer match, Burroughs survived the scare from Gentry. Burroughs posted a 2-1 victory in the first round before tying the second round and winning the match.
In the semifinals, Burroughs was challenged by Russia’s Denis Tsargush, but prevailed in the third round. The Sicklerville, N.J., native won the first round 3-1, but fell 2-0 in the second round. He bounced back in the third round, however, for a 2-1 win.
Burroughs then shut out Goudarzi in the gold medal match, winning 1-0, 1-0.
Burroughs, who won the 2011 Hodge Trophy for best collegiate wrestler, was coached by Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning at the London Olympics.
Burroughs joins Dan Brand (1964), Bill Scherr (1988), Rulon Gardner (2000 and 2004) and Matt Lindland (2000) as the only former Huskers to earn Olympic medals. Brand and Scherr each took bronze in freestyle, Gardner won gold (2000) and bronze (2004) in Greco-Roman and Lindland earned silver.