Senior Craig Brester (197) and the Huskers welcome North Dakota State and North Carolina State to the NU Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Kick Off New Year vs. Bison, Wolfpack

By NU Athletic Communications

North Dakota State (1-2) vs. North Carolina State (2-2)
NU Coliseum (4,030) • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 • Noon
Live Stats:

North Dakota State (1-2) at #12 Nebraska (6-3)
NU Coliseum (4,030) • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 • 2 p.m.
Series History: NU leads, 7-3-0
Last Meeting: NU won, 22-16, on Dec. 12, 1997 in Fargo, N.D.
Live Video: Huskers NSide (subscription required)
Live Stats:

North Carolina State (2-2) at #12 Nebraska (6-3)
NU Coliseum (4,030) • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 • 4 p.m.
Series History: NU leads, 2-0-0
Last Meeting: NU won, 35-12, on Jan. 22, 2005 in Raleigh, N.C.
Live Video: Huskers NSide (subscription required)
Live Stats:

The 12th-ranked Nebraska wrestling team begins the new year inside the friendly confines of the NU Coliseum as the Huskers (6-3) host North Dakota State (1-2) and North Carolina State (2-2) on Sunday, Jan. 3. The Bison and Wolfpack will begin the day's competition at Noon CST, followed by Husker duals vs. NDSU (2 p.m.) and NCSU (4 p.m.).

Live video will be available via Huskers NSide (subscription required), while will provide free live stats.

Nebraska is a week away from wrestling in the highly-anticipated NWCA National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa Jan. 9-10, before its final two weeks on non-conference action. The Huskers open the Big 12 slate Jan. 29 vs. No. 17 Missouri at the NU Coliseum.

Nebraska will be without 157-pound standout Jordan Burroughs the rest of the season, as the defending national champion suffered a torn LCL and PCL in NU's last competition Dec. 19. Burroughs will undergo surgery this month and seek a medical hardship, while redshirt freshman Tyler Koehn will step up at the 157-pound bout. Koehn is 13-6 this season.

Despite the loss of Burroughs, Nebraska still has three returning national qualifiers and a pair of All-Americans in its starting lineup. Second-ranked Craig Brester has been as strong as any wrestler in the nation, compiling a 15-0 record with seven pins. The senior 197-pounder was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week Dec. 14 and crowned Las Vegas Invitational champion in early December. At 174 pounds, senior Stephen Dwyer has risen to No. 3 in the national rankings with a 13-1 record, while sophomore Tucker Lane is ranked 13th at Heavyweight with a 14-4 record.

The Huskers lead the all-time series vs. North Dakota State, 7-3-0, including a 22-16 victory in the last meeting Dec. 12, 1997 in Fargo. Nebraska and North Carolina State have met just twice in school hisotry, with the Huskers claiming both duals. The last Husker-Wolfpack match-up saw NU defeat NCSU, 35-12, on Jan. 22, 2005 in Raleigh.

Scouting the North Dakota State Bison
Head coach Bucky Maughan is one of the most successful leaders in college wrestling, leading North Dakota State to four national championships and 17 conference titles in 45 years. The Bison are entering just their third season in Division I competition after a 5-10-1 overall dual record a year ago. Prior, Maughan led NDSU to a string of 40 consecutive winning seasons while winning 75 percent of his matches.

The Bison return eight starters in 2009-10, including two-time NCAA Championship qualifier Ryan Adams, the team's lone senior. Adams is 16-2 overall at 141/149 pounds, followed closely by 165-pound sophomore Tyler Johnson, who holds a 14-2 mark with three titles this season from the Daktronics Open, Bison Open and Dragon Open.

North Dakota State has dualed just three times, defeating Minnesota State-Moorhead, 36-12, but dropping matches to Northern Illinois (16-23) and Oregon State (0-42) all in the Dakota Duals in Fargo on Dec. 13.

Scouting the North Carolina State Wolfpack
The North Carolina State Wolfpack are led by sixth-year head coach Carter Jordan, who has compiled an even 47-47-3 mark in Raleigh. Jordan was a walk-on for the Wolfpack from 1983-86, ending his collegiate career with a 58-19 team dual record and the 1983 ACC championship. He joined the NCSU coaching staff in 1998, before being named the head coach prior to the start of the 2003-04 season. Last year, he led Darrion Caldwell to the 149-pound national championship, although Caldwell is not wrestling in 2009-10 due to shoulder surgery in October. As a team, North Carolina State finished the 2008-09 dual season with a 4-15-1 record, placed sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and finished in a tie for 18th at the NCAA Championships.

This year's NCSU squad returns four starters and one national qualifier from 2008-09 in 133-pounder Darrius LIttle. The junior is 7-3 with a 4-0 mark in duals. Freshman Dale Shull has stepped in nicely at 141 pounds and also holds a 4-0 dual record.

The Wolfpack are 2-2 this season with victories over The Citadel and Oklahoma City, while dropping duals to Utah Valley State and Oklahoma. NCSU tied for 34th at the Las Vegas Invitational and finished 19th at the Southern Scuffle in December.

Last Time Out: Huskers Earn 600th Dual Victory
Senior Stephen Dwyer (174) and Craig Brester (197) each went 2-0 and the Nebraska wrestling team picked up its 600th dual win in school history as the Huskers defeated Nebraska-Kearney (23-18), but fell to No. 6 Central Michigan (29-6) on Dec. 19 at the NU Coliseum.

Brester delivered the momentum-shifter against the Lopers at 197 pounds, pinning Christian Flavin in 3 minutes, 57 seconds to give Nebraska a 20-18 lead with one match remaining. The Huskers overcame a 10-point deficit that began with Dwyer's 2-0 decision at 174 pounds over the first-ranked Division II wrestler in the nation, Marty Usman. Sophomore Tucker Lane closed out the victory over the Lopers with a 7-1 win against Ben Hohensee at Heavyweight.

Nebraska's run toward the win was thwarted at 157 pounds, where the Huskers were forced to forfeit due to a knee injury to Jordan Burroughs. The senior saw his 44-match win streak snapped in the first dual of the day against No. 6 Central Michigan, injuring his knee in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 13 Steve Brown, his first defeat since March 21, 2008 at the NCAA Championships. The Huskers would go on to use victories from freshman David Klingsheim (125), junior Mike Koehnlein (141) and redshirt freshman Josh Ihnen (184) to fill Burroughs' void against the Lopers.

Dwyer and Brester accounted for Nebraska's points versus the Chippewas, with Dwyer picking up his sixth victory over a ranked opponent this season by downing No. 5 Ben Bennett, 4-1. Brester defeated Eric Simaz by decision as well, 11-4, helping the Huskers win two of the last four bouts.

Burroughs to Sit Out Remainder of 2009-10 Season
Head Coach Mark Manning and the Nebraska wrestling program announced Dec. 21 that senior 157-pounder Jordan Burroughs will not be able to compete the rest of the 2009-10 season due to a left knee injury suffered Dec. 19 against Central Michigan. An MRI revealed Burroughs has a torn PCL and LCL and he will undergo surgery in January.

"Unfortunately, we have lost Jordan Burroughs for the season, but we're fortunate that we will seek a medical redshirt to get this year back," Manning said. "I believe he will qualify for that due to him not competing more than 30 percent of this season. With successful surgery and good rehab, he'll be back better than ever next year."

Burroughs ends his shortened 2009-10 season with a 7-1 record. The only loss came in his injured match to No. 13 Steve Brown of Central Michigan - a 3-2 overtime defeat. Prior to the setback, Burroughs had won 44 straight matches, including a perfect 38-0 junior season in 2008-09 that took the Sicklerville, N.J., native to the 157-pound national championship and his second straight All-America honor.

"You don't replace a young man like Jordan," Manning said. "On the other hand, it gives other guys on the team an opportunity to step up. It also gives our team great lessons in life that relate to athletics. It shows them you have to protect yourself and make the most of your opportunities because you are not promised anything. We'll move on from this and our team will be fine."

Brester Named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week, Leads Huskers in 2009-10
Senior Craig Brester was awarded for his outstanding performance this season as he was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week by the league office for matches Dec. 7-Dec. 13.

Brester is currently 15-0 this season and used a pair of impressive victories in early December to solidify the second Big 12 weekly award of his career. The Howells, Neb., native pinned Minnesota's Joe Nord (1:10) Dec. 10 in Minneapolis before defeating his fourth ranked opponent in a two-week stretch with an 8-2 decision over No. 9 Tyler Sorenson of South Dakota State on Dec. 12.

Brester leads the Huskers in victories (15), pins (7) and bonus-point wins (9), winning seven of his last 11 matches by fall, including four pins in under 2 minutes. The 2009 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational champion, Brester also has one technical fall and one major decision to total nine bonus-point victories this season.

Currently ranked No. 2 in the nation at 197 pounds, Brester is a two-time All-American and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the 2009 Big 12 Championships. His previous Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honor came on Feb. 18, 2008 following back-to-back wins over No. 12 T.J. Morrison (Rider) and No. 10 Joe Rovelli (Hofstra).

Next Up: Huskers Travel to NWCA National Duals
Nebraska returns to the road next weekend as it travels to the tradition-rich NWCA National Duals in Cedar Falls Iowa Jan. 8-9. Last year, the Huskers defeated Northwestern and Penn State, but fell to Iowa and Iowa State at the UNI Dome.


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