Huskers Face Illini on Friday Night|
The No. 14 Nebraska wrestling team returns to the NU Coliseum for its first home match in over a month against No. 5 Illinois on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The dual will be available on Big Ten Digital Network at the link provided above. A subscription to BTDN is required to view the match.
Prior to Friday night’s dual, the NU Coliseum will host a high school showdown between Aurora and Grand Island at 5 p.m. In addition, the first 100 students to arrive to the dual will receive a free Husker Wrestling “Sweater Vest” T-shirt. All UNL students get into the match for free with NU ID.
The Huskers are 8-3 on the season following two road victories against ranked opponents last weekend. NU earned its first Big Ten dual win of the season by defeating No. 11 Michigan, 20-19, on Friday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. Nebraska’s momentum carried into the next night as it took down No. 18 Northwestern, 25-12, in Evanston, Ill. Nebraska is 2-2 in Big Ten duals and improved to 4-0 in true road duals.
The Huskers and Fighting Illini have faced off five times in their histories, with Illinois holding a 3-2-0 advvantage. The Huskers won the most recent meeting with the Illini, 20-17, on Jan. 11, 2003, in Hampton, Va.
At 165 pounds, Nebraska will start either Austin Wilson or Tyler Koehn. Wilson, a redshirt freshman, has started nine of NU’s 11 duals but suffered a pair of losses by pin last weekend. Koehn, a senior, has appeared in the NU lineup once this season. He posted a 13-2 major decision over Maryland’s Anthony Guidice on Dec. 16 at the Grapple at the Garden.
The Huskers will keep the same starters as last weekend in the other nine weight classes. Senior Ridge Kiley earned a spot in the latest InterMat rankings after a 2-0 weekend. Kiley is 19th at 141 pounds and will face No. 3 BJ Futrell of Illinois on Friday night.
Nationally ranked Huskers Robert Kokesh (174), James Green (157), Josh Ihnen (184) and Jake Sueflohn (149) will start against the Illini. Kokesh owns a 24-1 record with a 10-1 dual mark this season. He is fourth at 174 pounds. Green is also No. 4 in his weight class. After not competing for over a month, Green won both his matches over the weekend to improve to 14-2. He is 7-0 in duals, which includes a 9-8 decision over previously unbeaten Jason Welch of Northwestern on Saturday night. Ihnen is eighth at 184 pounds following a pair of technical falls against the Wolverines and Wildcats. He has the second-most dual wins on the season with nine. Sueflohn is 12th at 149 pounds. The sophomore is 15-3 on the year with six dual victories.
Junior Shawn Nagel will look to continue his momentum from a dominating weekend at 133 pounds. Nagel recorded his first pin of the season against No. 11 Michigan when NU needed it most and followed that up with a major decision the following night in Evanston.
Sophomore Spencer Johnson saw his first action of the season at heavyweight and went 1-1 over the weekend. Freshman Eric Coufal (125) and junior Caleb Kolb (197) will look to improve on narrow defeats to the Wolverines and Wildcats.