No. 8 Nebraska (14-4, 5-4 Big Ten) vs. Northern Iowa (8-6, 5-1 WWC)
NU Coliseum (4,030) I Lincoln, Neb. I Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, 1 p.m.
Series History: NU trails, 15-27-1
Last Meeting: NU won, 18-15, on Jan. 23, 2011, in Cedar Falls, Iowa
Live Video: BTN.com (subscription required)
Live Updates: www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling
Live Stats: www.huskers.com
Looking to finish its dual season on a winning note, the No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team returns to the mat on Sunday, Feb. 19, for its last regular-season dual of the year when they face off against Northern Iowa. The Huskers and Panthers will kick off at 1 p.m. from the NU Coliseum. Nebraska owns a 14-4 overall record and will look to capture 15 dual wins for the first time since 2008-09, when the Huskers went 17-3-1. Northern Iowa will enter Sunday's dual with an 8-6 mark and a 5-1 record in the Western Wrestling Conference.
Sunday's dual will be available on the internet at BTN.com (subscription required), or fans can view live play-by-play and stats at Huskers.com. You can also follow the action on the Huskers' twitter account at www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling. Students attending the dual will receive free red and silver bead necklaces in celebration of Mardi Gras.
Nebraska is coming off a 21-18 loss to No. 6 Ohio State at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals last weekend, where they nearly overcame an 18-point deficit after dropping the first four matches of the dual. Junior Tyler Koehn (174) led the Huskers against the Buckeyes by upsetting No. 7 Nick Heflin by decision, 3-1, for his third victory over a ranked opponent this season. Koehn recorded a takedown with just 25 seconds remaining in the match to get the win. The Huskers and Panthers have a long history between the two, with the Panthers holding an edge in the all-time series record at 27-15-1. Last season, the Huskers defeated Northern Iowa, 18-15, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
A bit of history could be made on Sunday, as senior Tucker Lane is currently sitting on 99 career wins and will look to become just the 20th wrestler is school history to win 100 matches. Lane is coming off a dominant victory over Ohio State's Peter Capone, recording his second pin of the year in 2:02. The Redvale, Colo., native and four-year starter at heavyweight for NU is 21-5 on the year and 14-4 in dual matches. The last Husker to join the 100-win club was two-time national champion Jordan Burroughs last season.
After Sunday's dual, the Huskers will have two weeks to prepare for their first Big Ten Conference tournament, which will begin on Saturday, March 3 and run through Sunday, March 4. This season's conference tournament will take place in West Lafayette, Ind., at Mackey Arena on the campus of Purdue University. The Huskers will be competing for an opportunity to advance to the 2012 NCAA Championships on March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.
Last Time Out: Husker Comeback Falls Short Against Buckeyes
A string of four consecutive victories against the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes wasn't enough to pull the No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team out of an 18-0 hole in the second round of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Stillwater, Okla., falling 21-18 on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Trailing by 18 points after dropping the first four matches of the dual, true freshman James Green (157) began a furious Husker rally with his 5-3 decision over No. 20 Josh Demas (OSU). Redshirt freshman Robert Kokesh (165) gave the Huskers two consecutive victories after taking down Derek Garcia (OSU) by decision, 7-2.
Tyler Koehn cut the Buckeye lead in half, 18-9, in dramatic fashion by upsetting No. 7 Nick Heflin (OSU) by decision, 3-1. No. 20 Koehn and Heflin entered the final period tied at 1-1 after trading escape points in the first two periods. The Pittsburg, Kan., native was able to record a takedown with just 25 seconds remaining in the match to secure his third victory over a ranked opponent this season.
No. 8 Josh Ihnen (184) pulled the Huskers within striking distance of OSU, shutting out No. 11 Cody Magrum (OSU), 5-0. The junior took down Magrum just over 50 seconds into the first period and also gained a stalling point on Magrum to earn a 3-0 advantage and cruised to the victory.
The Huskers string of four consecutive victories was broken when No. 20 Andrew Campolattano (OSU) defeated redshirt freshman Spencer Johnson (197), who was wrestling in the second varsity dual of his career. Johnson and Campolattano entered the third period tied at 2-2, before the Buckeye wrestler was able to earn a reversal and pull ahead 4-2 and held on for the win after a stalling point was awarded to Johnson.
The Huskers last victory came from senior Tucker Lane, who record NU's only bonus-point victory of the day with his pin against Peter Capone (OSU) in 2:02. Ohio State opened the dual with three bonus-point victories in the first four duals. No. 16 Johnni Dijulius (OSU) defeated NU's Shawn Nagal (125) by technical fall, 20-5, before No. 3 Logan Stieber (OSU) was victorious against No. 18 Ridge Kiley (NU), 16-3. No. 9 Jake Sueflohn (141) wasn't able to overcome an early 4-0 deficit and fell to No. 5 Hunter Stieber (OSU), while Brandon Wilbourn was pinned by No. 15 Cam Tessari (OSU).
Scouting the Northern Iowa Panthers
The Northern Iowa Panthers currently own an 8-6 dual record and have won three out of their last four duals. Like the Huskers, the Panthers wrestled in the National Duals last weekend and went 1-1 with a victory against Wisconsin in their consolation match after falling to Virginia Tech, 20-17, in the first round.
Against the Badgers, UNI was led by a pair of ranked wrestlers who recorded pins in the victory. No. 11 Joe Color (133) pinned Wisconsin's Shane McQuade in 3:31 and No. 6 Ryan Loder (184) beat Timmy McCall by fall in 6:11. Colon is 22-2 and the season and 10-0 in dual competition, while racking up seven pins, six technical falls and five major decisions. Loder has been just as impressive, going 29-2 and collecting 10 pins along the way. The other ranked wrestler for UNI is No. 20 David Bonin (157), who has won 27 matches this season.
The Panthers have also recorded victories against Bucknell, Northern Colorado, Air Force, Wisconsin (two times), Utah Valley, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
UNI is coached by Doug Schwab, who is in his second year as head coach of the Panthers. Schwab led the Panthers to a 12-9 record during his first season. The Panthers also feature a former Husker on their coaching staff in volunteer coach Tolly Thompson. Thompson was a three-time All-American for NU from 1995-97 and won the heavyweight national championship in 1995.
Husker History vs. Northern Iowa
The Huskers and Panthers have a long history with over 40 duals between the two schools. The Panthers own a 27-15-1 advantage over the Huskers in the all-time series, but NU has won the past two duals, including an 18-15 victory last season. Before their dual last year, the two had gone 10 years without facing off.
Lane Goes for 100 Career Wins
Tucker Lane is only one win away from becoming the 20th wrestler in Nebraska history to win 100 matches during his career at Nebraska. Lane is a four-year starter at heavyweight for the Huskers, and has posted at least 23 victories in each of his first three seasons. The three-time NCAA qualifier won 28 matches during his redshirt freshman season, before winning 23 his sophomore year and 27 last season. The latest Husker to join the 100-win club was two-time NCAA champion Jordan Burroughs, who did so in 2010-11.
Single-Session Tickets on Sale for Big Ten Championships
Single-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, set for March 3 and 4, are currently on sale at the Purdue University Athletic Ticket Office. Single-session tickets are on sale for $18 per session for reserved seating in each of Saturday's sessions, while general admission tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $12 for youth. Sunday-session tickets are $22 for reserved seating and $18 for adults and $15 for youths.
To order tickets, call 1-800-49SPORT or visit the Big Ten Championship home page: http://www.purduesports.com/sports/m-wrestl/spec-rel/big-ten-2011-championships.html.
Johnson Sees Action at 197
Redshirt freshman Spencer Johnson made his way into the lineup last two duals for the Huskers, starting at 197 pounds against Minnesota and Ohio State. Johnson won 23 matches and collected three titles at open tournaments before cracking the lineup. Wrestling in his home state, Johnson fell in his first dual match against No. 6 Sonny Yohn by decision, 6-1. Against the Buckeyes, Johnson dropped a one-point decision to No. 20 Andrew Campolattano a the NWCA National Duals, 4-3. Johnson has battled with senior James Nakashima for the starting spot at 197 pounds. Nakashima started every dual before the last two.
Green Breaks into Freshman Top 10 Wins Chart
True freshman James Green broke into the top 10 for wins in a season by a freshman in school history with his victory over No. 20 Josh Demas of Ohio State at the NWCA National Duals. Green's 27 victories is tied for No. 10 on the list with former Husker Justin Ruiz, who won 27 matches as a freshman in 2001-02.
With one more victory, Green will move into a tie for 7th on the list with current Husker Tucker Lane, John Buxton and Matt Keller. The Willingboro, N.J., native could become the first freshman to win 30 matches in a season since J.R. Plienis accomplished the feat in 1997-98. Tolly Thompson owns the record for most wins is a season for a freshman, collecting 38 wins in 1993-94.
Huskers in the Rankings
For the seventh consecutive week, the Huskers will have five wrestlers ranked inside the top 10 of their respective weight classes after the newest rankings were released by InterMat on Feb. 14. To go along with the five top 10 rankings, junior Ridge Kiley (133) is ranked at No. 19 and junior Tyler Koehn moved up to No. 17 after his upset over No. 7 Nick Heflin of Ohio State.
Top 10 Huskers include: No. 9 Jake Sueflohn (141), No. 6 James Green (157), No. 7 Robert Kokesh (165), No. 8 Josh Ihnen (184) and No. 9 Tucker Lane (Hwt).
As a team, the Huskers are ranked at No. 8 for the second consecutive week.
Koehn Making Noise at 174
Junior Tyler Koehn is making noise at 174 pounds after his upset over No. 7 Nick Heflin of Ohio State at the National Duals last weekend. Koehn scored a takedown with just 25 seconds remaining the match to come away with the 3-1 victory, which vaulted him to No. 17 in the latest InterMat individual rankings. Koehn avenged a loss to Heflin earlier in the season, when the Buckeye won by a 6-2 score. The Pittsburg, Kan., native has defeated three opponents ranked inside the top 20, including No. 18 Patrick Martinez (Wyoming) and No. 11 Curran Jacobs (Michigan State). Koehn's 18 victories this season is a career high, breaking his old mark of 16, which he set as a freshman.
Ihnen Tough to Takedown
Junior Josh Ihnen is having the best year of his Husker career in 2011-12. Ihnen is 20-4 on the year and is 15-3 in dual competition. The Sheldon, Iowa, native has been especially impressive in his last 11 dual matches, only allowing three takedowns and recording four major decisions and a pin. Ihnen's seven major decisions this year is one better than his total from a year ago and his 57 team dual points is also a career high and second on the team.
Nakashima Keeping it Close
James Nakashima has seen his last eight matches decided by two points or less, while going 5-3 in those duals. Nakashima has wrestled in overtime in four out of his last six matches, including his last victory over Jackson Hein of Wisconsin. Overall, Nakashima has wrestled in 13 matches this season decided by two points or less. The senior is 16-7 on the year and owns a 12-4 dual record.
Freshmen Making Mark
The Huskers have received a boost from four freshmen in the middle of the lineup to help propel the team to its 14-4 record. Redshirt freshmen Brandon Wilbourn (149) and Robert Kokesh (165), along with true freshman Jake Sueflohn (141) and James Green (157) have combined to capture 47 dual victories. Green leads the pack with 27 overall victories and has won 10 duals by major decision. Kokesh has been electric this season, only dropping four matches to en route to his 24-4 record. Sueflohn has won 20 matches this season and has a 13-4 dual record, while Wilbourn owns a 10-10 record at 149 pounds.
Lanes' Streak Over Ranked Foes Comes to an End
With his loss to Adam Chalfant of Indiana on Jan. 20, senior Tucker Lane saw his streak of four consecutive victories over ranked opponents come to an end. The last Husker to win four straight matches over ranked foes was Stephen Dwyer in 2010. Lane's streak surpassed the number of ranked opponents that he defeated last year, which was 3. The Redvale, Colo., native has defeated a total of seven ranked opponents this year and has won 14 out of his last 15 matches.
Kokesh Earns Big Ten Honor
Redshirt freshman Robert Kokesh became the first Nebraska wrestler to earn Big Ten Wrestler-of-the-Week honors this season, when the conference announced the award on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Kokesh was rewarded for efforts in Nebraska's 19-15 upset of No. 14 Wyoming at the NU Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Kokesh extended the NU's lead over Wyoming to seven points with only two matches remaining with his 5-0 decision over No. 3 Shane Onufer at 165 pounds. The win avenged a 6-2 loss that Kokesh suffered to Onufer earlier in the year at the UNK Open.
Six Huskers Place at Cliff Keen Invitational
A total of six Husker wrestlers, including four third-place finishers, found the awards stand on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the 30th Annual Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. As a team, the Huskers finished in fourth place with a total of 106 points. Ohio State took the title with 129 points, followed by Michigan and Wyoming.
James Green (141), Robert Kokesh (165), Josh Ihnen (184) and Tucker Lane (Hwt) all won their consolation finals matches to capture third place finishes, while Jake Sueflohn (141) finished in fourth place and Ridge Kiley (133) finished in sixth.
Manning Wins No. 150 at Nebraska
Head Coach Mark Manning became only the second coach in school history to record 150 dual victories at Nebraska when the Huskers defeated Kent State on Nov. 12. Manning joins former coach Tim Neumann as the only other coach to reach the mark, with each coach doing so in their 12th season.
Manning has averaged over 13 dual victories per season at Nebraska en route to his 163-61-3 record, which is the best clip in school history. For his career, Manning owns a 186-85-5 record after spending three seasons at Northern Iowa.
Manning Named FILA Freestyle Coach of the Year
After helping former Husker Jordan Burroughs become the first American to claim a World Championship since 2006, Nebraska Head Coach Marking Manning was named the international freestyle coach of the year for 2011, announced by FILA, the international wrestling federation, on Nov. 1. Manning was Burroughs' personal coach, as he made a meteoric rise through the international wrestling ranks and won his first World Championship in September.
Manning helped Burroughs capture the gold medal at 163 lbs./74 kg at this year's World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, after already winning the U.S. Open and U.S. Team Trials titles earlier this year. Before his success at the international level, Burroughs became the school's only two-time national champion after capturing the 165-pound national title in 2011 and earning the prestigious Hodge Trophy, given to the nation's most outstanding wrestler, under Manning's tutelage.
Manning has an impressive track record on the international level having been a part of numerous World Team coaching staffs. Along with being a member of the 2011 staff, Manning also helped coach the 2009 team that competed in Denmark and placed seventh and was also part of the staff in 2010. In 2001, Manning was named the Head Coach of the freestyle team, but could not travel with the team after the tournament was moved from New York to Bulgaria following the September 11th attacks because of his collegiate coaching responsibilities. Manning was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic Team staff in 1996 and 2000.