Jan. 29, 2012
N O T E S
With today's win, Michigan improved to 64-35-5 in the all-time series against Michigan State.
Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell earned his second bonus win of the weekend. He has earned bonus points in 13 of his 22 wins this season.
Before the dual, Michigan recognized its five-man senior class: fifth-year seniors Dave Johnson, Kellen Russell and Justin Zeerip and seniors Zac Stevens and Mark Weber.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Assistant Coach Donny Pritzlaff
On the Wolverines' performance ... "I thought we wrestled well. We saw a lot more energy out of our guys that didn't perform as well on Friday. It was good to see them turn it around. I was great to see all three seniors go out with dominant wins. That was nice to see for their last matches here."
On Michigan's senior class ... "They're all great kids. They're going to go on to do great things after they graduate, but they still have a little bit left to contribute to the wrestling program. Hopefully they use today's performance and really exhaust everything they have left in their tank over the next month to come."
On next weekend's schedule ... "Friday night [against Ohio State] will be a big dual, another rivalry match. We expect to win, and we expect to perform well and wrestle hard. This one today was an easy one to get up for. We need to do that again. We need to be consistent and wrestle the whole seven minutes."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Kellen Russell
On beating Michigan State ... "Michigan State is our in-state rival, so to come out here and dominate them the way we did is really good. In most of the matches, we just came out and outworked them. That's what we wanted to do. It didn't matter if we won all the matches, we just wanted to make sure that in every match we were outworking them. I'm pretty confident that's what we did. We out-hustled them the whole time."
On his senior class ... "We have a great group of seniors -- some guys I've been with for five years and some for four. You really grow pretty close as a family on a wrestling team. You're constantly with these guys. You beat each other up in practice, then you're friends afterward. It's a different type of bond than a lot of other teams. Those guys are my family. It's special to be able to share today with them. They've all wrestled out here before, wearing that block 'M' on the singlet, so they know what it means."
U-M Junior/Sophomore Eric Grajales
On earning a pair of good weekend wins ... "I had a really good weekend. Going into it, throughout the week, we had a lot of hard practices, and I worked really hard to get myself mentally prepared. I came into both matches knowing that I was capable of winning and really dominating, and I just had to make sure I was on my game and didn't let anything throw me off."
On his approach today ... "Coming out, I just wanted to go 100 percent the whole time. Sometimes it's easy to get an early lead and relax. You might not be in danger of losing the match, but you're not going to really dominate the way you should or you're capable of. Last night, we had a talk with the coaches about pins. They asked each of us how many pins we had this season. We weren't really satisfied with the answer. I knew today that I was capable of getting a pin, so I went after it."
On winning scrambles ... "I definitely think that my experience, from years of wrestling, is a big benefit for me. There aren't any positions that I haven't been in at least 100 times. The coaches are always telling me to just go after my opponent, get in on his legs and attack, because once I create action, I often get into scrambles. That's where I'm my best. Once you're in there, it's not always about solid moves, it's being able to constantly know how to position your body and go after what you want."