Watch the Michigan State Dual!
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Feb. 8, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's 13th-ranked wrestling team resumes Big Ten competition this weekend by taking on a pair of ranked opponents in No. 18 Michigan State and No. 9 Iowa. The 'Cats face the Spartans at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 in the friendly confines of Welsh-Ryan Arena before heading to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12.
The Wildcats enter the dual riding a two-match winning streak and tied for third place in the Big Ten standings after going 2-0 last weekend, including a win over then-No. 3 Illinois.
The 'Cats dominated Ohio State Friday, taking eight of 10 matches, including five of the last six, for a 31-6 win--the fourth time NU has reached 30 points in a dual this season.
The Wildcats followed that performance by recording one of the biggest wins in program history against Illinois. Northwestern won five matches versus the Illini, but came up with wins when it needed them. Sophomore Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) earned a win in the second tiebreaker of the day's final match to secure the 19-16 win.
Northwestern enters this weekend with seven wrestlers ranked top-15 in the USA Today/NWCA/Intermat poll. All seven notched at least one win last weekend, and will face some interesting matchups this weekend.
Michigan State enters the dual at 2-2 in conference action after dropping Purdue and then-No. 7 Iowa last weekend.
Andy Simmons is ranked third in the nation at 125 lbs., and is slated to face senior John Velez (Kings Mills, Ohio/Kings), who pinned Illinois' third-ranked Kyle Ott last week to help propel the 'Cats past the Illini.
One key matchup for both teams will be at 141 lbs., where MSU's fifth-ranked Andy Simmons will face NU's sixth-ranked Ryan Lang (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Edward). The two met once earlier this season as Lang recorded a 6-5 win over Simmons to claim the 2005 Michigan State Open 141-pound title.
All-American Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) will likely face the Spartans' fifth-ranked R.J. Boudro at 174 lbs., in another matchup that could end up being the deciding match in the dual. Herbert has topped Boudro twice this season--by pin and major decision--en route to the Michigan State Open and Midlands titles.
The Hawkeyes are coming off an 0-2 weekend after falling to Penn State and Michigan State. Iowa has six wrestlers ranked top-25 with three ranked from 141-157 lbs.
At 174 lbs., Herbert looks to face Mark Perry, who he topped to claim the 2005 Midlands crown. The Wildcats look for a repeat of the 2005 Iowa dual, when NU shocked the Hawkeyes 22-19 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.