Feb. 13, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team celebrates Valentine's Day on the road when they head northwest to duel South Dakota State Friday night.
The matchup between the Huskies and Jackrabbits starts at 7 p.m. inside SDSU's Frost Arena.
"SDSU holds position well and they have a strong dual lineup," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "We will work hard to hand fight, clear ties and get to our attacks."
The Huskies comes into the dual with a 6-10 record overall, as they compete in their final non-conference dual of the season. Last weekend, NIU dropped a 19-18 decision by criteria on Senior Day against Kent State. Seniors Rob Jillard and Jared Torrence each claimed wins, along with Andrew Morse and Shawn Scott.
SDSU enters Friday with a 4-7 record as they celebrate Senior Night against the Huskies. The Jackrabbits went 1-2 last weekend, losing at Utah Valley on Thursday, 18-15, before topping Cal Poly, 31-10, and falling to Stanford, 20-14, Sunday afternoon in California.
Live results will be available on Twitter (@SDSUwrestling).
Projected NIU Lineup
125: Nick Harrison
133: Nick Smith
141: Tyler Argue OR Kevin Fanta
149: Rob Jillard
157: Andrew Morse
165: Shaun'Qae McMurtry
174: Billy Chancey
184: Caleb Busson
197: Shawn Scott
285: Jared Torrence
Projected South Dakota State Lineup
125: Ben Gillette
133: Brance Simms
141: Eric Orozco
149: Alex Kocer
157: #17 Cody Pack
165: Joe Brewster
174: John Nething II
184: Ben Schwery
197: Trey Hable
285: J.J. Everard
Scouting South Dakota State
South Dakota State comes into Friday night's dual with a 4-7 record overall and a 2-1 mark in the Western Wrestling Conference. So far, the Jackrabbits victories this season have come against Augustana (S.D.), Wyoming, Air Force and Cal Poly. However, they are 0-2 this season against MAC foes, having lost to Ohio and Northern Iowa on Feb. 1 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. SDSU features one nationally-ranked wrestler in their lineup, as #17 Cody Pack holds a 23-6 record on the season at 157 pounds. NIU leads the series with SDSU, 2-1, since 1969 after taking a 26-12 victory last season in DeKalb.
That Was Fast
Senior Rob Jillard made quite an impressive statement Saturday afternoon against Kent State. Going head-to-head with Mike DePalma, the Franklinville, N.J., native pinned the Golden Flashes' 149-pounder in just 46 seconds, making it the fastest pin of the season thus far for the Huskies. In addition, the pin was also Jillard's fastest in his three years at NIU and the second-fastest of his collegiate career. His fastest pin came in his lone season at Liberty in 2010-11, when he pinned Brown's Vincent Moita in 45 seconds at the Keystone Classic.
A First for Everything
Saturday's dual against Kent State ended in rather peculiar fashion, as Jared Torrence's 1-0 decision at heavyweight against Mimmo Lytle tied the dual at 18-18. However, it was the Golden Flashes who earned the dual win, as they had won six of the 10 matches in the dual. The finish marked the first time that the Huskies encountered a match that ended in criteria since the NCAA re-implemented the tiebreaker rule prior to the 2011-12 season.
Déjà Vu in the Dakotas
If Brookings, S.D., sounds like a familiar location for Huskie wrestling fans, it should be. This weekend marks the second trip that NIU makes to South Dakota State, as they also competed at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open to open the season Nov. 3. Prior to that, the Huskies' last trip to South Dakota OR North Dakota was Dec. 13, 2009, when they competed at the North Dakota State Duals.
The Huskies close their regular season Sunday, Feb. 23, when they head to Buffalo to clash with the Bulls. The dual begins at noon CT inside UB's Alumni Arena.