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Illinois Wrestling: No. 4 Illini vs. No. 12 Nebraska

Fighting Illini look to avoid its third consecutive Big Ten loss

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Illinois returns to action for their second Big Ten home meet as they host No. 12 Nebraska on Friday at Huff Hall.

The No. 4 Fighting Illini (8-3, 2-2 Big Ten) are coming off Sunday's 20-19 loss at No. 1 Minnesota. In the dual, the Illini trailed by 12 points after 141-pounds but a pin from Kyle Langenderfer and a technical fall by Isaiah Martinez left them one point shy of the upset.

The Huskers (5-1, 2-1) won eight of the 10 bouts against Purdue for a 25-6 win in the Tumble N' Rumble event at the Devaney Center. The Huskers won three of the first five matches then collected victories in each of the final five bouts to derail the Boilermakers.

Nebraska's lone loss this season came on Dec. 13 against Wisconsin, 23-14.

The Huskers have won nine consecutive road duals, including a 3-0 mark this season. The Huskers last road loss came in February of 2013 against No. 2 Iowa, 31-7, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Nebraska senior Jake Sueflohn is out for the season at 149 pounds with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Sueflohn is redshirting this season and will have one final year of eligibility. He is a three-time NCAA qualifier with a 80-24 career record.

Two-time All-American Robert Kokesh holds the top ranking for the Huskers at 174-pounds. He is one of six ranked wrestlers for the Huskers, joined by No. 10/11 Tim Lambert (125), No. 12/10 Anthony Abidin (141), No. 4/3 James Green (157), No. 17/18 TJ Dudley (184) and No. 19/17 Collin Jensen (285).

In the last dual between the two teams, the Huskers won 22-13 on Feb. 1, 2014 at Huff Hall. The Illini have dropped three consecutive duals to Nebraska.

Illinois Probable Starters

125: 1/1 Jesse Delgado, 2-0, Sr.

OR -/- Dominic Olivieri, 8-9, R-Jr.

133: 2/4 Zane Richards, 18-2, R-So.

141: 13/12 Steven Rodrigues, 9-6, R-Jr.

OR -/- Logan Arlis, 8-6, R-Sr.

149: -/- Kyle Langenderfer, 14-7, R-Jr.

157: 3/4 Isaiah Martinez, 20-0, R-Fr.

165: 8/8 Jackson Morse, 20-2, R-Sr.

174: 8/9 Zac Brunson, 18-3, R-So.

184: 15/20 Nikko Reyes, 17-7, R-So.

197: -/- Jeff Koepke, 14-8, R-Jr.

HWT: -/- Brooks Black, 11-9, R-Fr.

OR -/- Christopher Lopez, 11-4, R-Jr.

*Rankings are listed in W.I.N./InterMat

Nebraska Probable Starters

125: 10/11 Tim Lambert, 14-6, So.

133: -/- Eric Montoya, 10-8, So.

141: 12/10 Anthony Abidin, 18-2, Jr.

149: -/- Justin Arthur, 16-8, So.

157: 4/3 James Green, 18-2, Sr.

165: -/- Austin Wilson, 9-7, Jr.

174: 1/1 Robert Kokesh, 22-0, Sr.

184: 17/18 TJ Dudley, 15-5, So.

197: -/- Aaron Studebaker, 19-6, So.

HWT: 19/17 Collin Jensen, 10-7, So.

*Rankings are listed in W.I.N./InterMat

Key Match-ups

141: No. 13 Steven Rodrigues (9-6) vs. No. 12 Anthony Abidin (18-2)

- Rodrigues dropped his last two matches to top-10 opponents, but moved up one spot in the national rankings. Abidin is 6-0 in duals, and holds a 3-2 mark against ranked opponents this season. He has as many wins this year as he had all season.

157: No. 3 Isaiah Martinez (20-0) vs. No. 4 James Green (18-2)

- The match of the night, Martinez vs. Green features two Big Ten-title and national-title contenders. Martinez holds the national lead for technical falls with seven and has won each of his four Big Ten bouts by an average of 14 points. Green, a three-time All-American, is coming off his second loss on the season, 5-4 to Purdue's No. 14 Dough Welch. The Huskers' other loss was a 4-3 decision to No. 1 Dylan Ness.

174: No. 6 Zac Brunson vs No. 1 Robert Kokesh (22-0)

- Brunson is coming off back-to-back losses to Iowa's Alex Meyer, fall 6:59, and Minnesota's No. 3 Logan Stroley, 7-3, this past weekend. Kokesh remains undefeated this season and is the defending Big Ten Champion at 174 pounds.

Meet Information

Where: Huff Hall

Time: 7 p.m. CT

StreamBTN Plus ($$$)

Live ResultsTrack Wrestling

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