Week #8: at Ohio State, at Indiana

Jan. 25, 2011

Friday, Jan. 28 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 7 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network | Live Scoring | Ohio State website
Sunday, Jan. 30 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m.
Live Scoring | Live Blog | Indiana website

The No. 13-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten) will resume the Big Ten Conference slate with a pair of road duals this weekend against Ohio State and Indiana. On Friday (Jan. 28), the Wolverines will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to square off against the Buckeyes at 7 p.m. at St. John Arena before returning two days later (Sunday, Jan. 30) to face the Hoosiers at 1 p.m. at University Gymnasium in Bloomington, Ind.

Zeerip Brothers Feature (Michigan Daily)

Michigan's Projected Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Sean Boyle So./So. Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
133 Zac Stevens Jr./Jr. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
141 Kellen Russell Sr./Jr. High Bridge, N.J. (Blair Academy)
149 Eric Grajales So./Fr. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
157 Brandon Zeerip So./Fr. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
165 Dan Yates So./Fr. Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
174 Justin Zeerip Sr./Jr. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Hunter Collins Jr./So. Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
197 Anthony Biondo 5th/Sr. Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)
Hwt Ben Apland Jr./So. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 21

The Wolverines battled back from an early deficit, sweeping the final five matches, to knock off No. 19-ranked and previously undefeated Northwestern, 22-12, last Friday (Jan. 21) at Cliff Keen Arena. U-M claimed seven individual bouts, earning bonus points in one, to secure its third consecutive dual win. Sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales headlined the performance with an 11-5 upset over 11th-ranked Andrew Nadhir at 149 pounds, while junior/sophomore Hunter Collins' late reversal and back points clinched his 7-3 decision against Aaron Jones in a swing match at 184 pounds and put U-M firmly in the driver's seat with two bouts remaining.

Changing it Up -- Sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales picked up his third consecutive dual win in impressive fashion, rallying from an early deficit to roll past No. 11-ranked Andrew Nadhir, 11-5 (Jan. 21). After giving up an early takedown, Grajales broke open the match midway through the first, using a five-point move to take the lead for good. He added another takedown in the third, and despite giving up a late reversal, accumulated 1:41 in time advantage to cap the effort. It was his second win over a ranked opponent this season. He took far different approaches en route to pair of weekend wins in U-M's dual meet against Purdue and Central Michigan. He relied exclusively on leg attacks to claim a 6-1 decision over the Boilermakers' Sam Patacsil -- his second win over Patacsil this season -- before going to high-flying route against CMU's Donnie Corby, hitting three five-point moves to tech fall the Chippewa wrestler, 20-4, at the 6:07 mark.

Nearing the Century Mark -- Fifth-year senior Anthony Biondo tallied the winning takedown in the final 30 seconds to edge past Northwestern's John Schoen, 3-1, and clinch U-M's team victory against the Wildcats. With a career mark of 99-40, Biondo is poised to become the 33rd member of the Wolverines' prestigious 100-Win Club and the first since former Wolverines Steve Luke and Tyrel Todd surpassed the 100-win milestone during the 2008-09 season.

This Just-in -- Senior/junior Justin Zeerip was victorious in his return to the Wolverine starting lineup, notching a big 10-1 major decision against Northwestern's Robert Kellogg to put U-M ahead for good in a 22-12 comeback dual win (Jan. 21). Zeerip had missed two weeks -- and six total duals -- with injury since placing fifth at 174 pounds at the Southern Scuffle, Dec. 29-30, with a 6-2 record. The dual win over Northwestern was his first of the season.

We're Going Streaking -- Senior/junior Kellen Russell remains one of the nation's lone undefeated wrestlers -- with a perfect 23-0 record -- and has done so against a tough field at 141 pounds. Among Russell's wins this season, he has defeated six ranked opponents, including three top-five opponents in Minnesota's No. 2 Mike Thorn, Illinois' No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy and Cal Poly's No. 4 Boris Novachkov. The Wolverine captain is no stranger to starting a season on a tear; he kicked off 2007-08 -- his true freshman campaign -- with an 18-0 record before falling twice at the National Duals. Dating back to the seventh-place match at the 2009 NCAA Championships, Russell owns a 24-match winning streak. It is the longest win streak of his collegiate career. He previously recorded a 23-match win streak during his sophomore season. Russell has lost back-to-back matches on just two occasions during his collegiate career -- at the 2008 National Duals and the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Dual Domination -- With his 7-3 decision over Northwestern's Kalev Friedly (Nov. 21), senior/junior Kellen Russell extended his dual winning streak to 25 consecutive matches. The Wolverine captain sat out last season with injury but, after starting 1-1 in 2008-09 dual meets, won 16 consecutive dual appearances to close out the season. Russell boasts an impressive 45-6 dual record over his collegiate career.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 12th season as head coach of the Michigan wrestling team. Since taking over the reins in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and eight consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08), including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005. He is the third-winningest coach in program history with a 143-66-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to three NCAA individual titles, 39 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns.

Despite winning their last three dual meets in convincing fashion, the Wolverines dropped two spots -- to the No. 13 position -- in the latest NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 25). Michigan also boasts nine individuals ranked among the top 25 wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine or Division I College Wrestling polls:

125 Sean Boyle NR NR 20 NR
133 Zac Stevens NR 17 NR 21
141 Kellen Russell 1 1 1 1
149 Eric Grajales NR 10 NR 23
157 Brandon Zeerip 19 NR 19 22
165 Dan Yates 19 19 19 19
174 Justin Zeerip NR NR NR 20
197 Anthony Biondo 13 10 14 12
Hwt Ben Apland 8 12 8 8

Friday, Feb. 4 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 6 -- vs. Penn State (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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