Feb. 5, 2013
Friday, Feb. 8 -- vs. No. 5 Ohio State (Cliff Keen Arena), 6 p.m.
Tickets | Live Results | TV: Big Ten Network | Maize Out/Senior Day/Alumni Day
Sunday, Feb. 10 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 2 p.m.
Live Results | Live Video (fee)
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Promotions: Information | Maize Star Events
The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (8-5, 2-4 Big Ten) will close out the regular-season portion of its 2012-13 schedule against a pair of Big Ten rivals this weekend. U-M will host No. 5 Ohio State (10-2, 4-2 Big Ten) at 6 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 8) at Cliff Keen Arena before heading to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State (4-11, 0-7 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. at Jenison Field House on Sunday (Feb. 10).
The Wolverines will honor both their senior class and alumni during Friday's home finale.
Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup
||Hometown (High School)
||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Lansing, Mich. (Eastern)
||Massillon, Ohio (Perry)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman)
||St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)
||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
||West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)
||Gowen, Mich. (Greenville)
||Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)
||Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)
Michigan boasts a lopsided 68-18-4 advantage in the all-time series against Ohio State, dating back to 1924. The Buckeyes took the most-recent meeting, however, claiming a 24-13 decision last year in Columbus. U-M has not hosted Ohio State since the 2008-09 season.
Michigan is 64-35-5 in the all-time series against Michigan State, dating back to 1922. It is one of only five series in collegiate wrestling to surpass 100 all-time meetings. The Wolverines have dominated the series of late, claiming 11 of the last 14 meetings, including each of the last two. Michigan cruised to a 26-9 victory last season in Ann Arbor.
Michigan will honor its two seniors -- Ben Apland and Mark Boyer -- prior to Friday's home finale. Apland is a four-year starter at heavyweight for the Wolverines, posting an 85-59 career mark over his tenure. He qualified for the NCAA Championships each of the last two seasons. Boyer started for Michigan at 149 pounds in 2009-10. He owns seven career wins.
Junior Eric Grajales improved to 6-0 in Big Ten duals with a pair of wins over the weekend. He owns wins over two ranked conference opponents -- Purdue's Ivan Lopouchanski (10-6, Feb. 3) and Nebraska's Jake Sueflohn (3-2, Jan. 11) -- and three bonus wins. Grajales is 16-5 in Big Ten dual competition over his career.
Freshman Taylor Massa has scored bonus points in each of his last six matches with two pins, two technical falls and two major decisions. The U-M rookie has earned bonus points in 14 of 20 wins this season (70 percent) and, excluding pins, has outscored his opposition, 238-100. Three of his season losses have come by just two points.
Massa leads the Wolverine team with a 20-5 record, including an unbeaten 5-0 mark in Big Ten duals. Massa also leads in two bonus categories with five pins and five technical falls.
Senior/junior Sean Boyle earned a mild upset over Purdue's Camden Eppert, 4-1, last Sunday (Feb. 3), using a late first-period single-leg takedown and 2:00 in riding-time advantage. Boyle owns a near-perfect 5-1 record in Big Ten dual competition, falling only to Iowa's top-ranked Matt McDonough.
Michigan has had 10 different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season, including five freshmen who have started nearly every dual competition. Among the first-time starters, freshmen Rossi Bruno (133 pounds), Taylor Massa (165) and Jordan Thomas (184), sophomore/freshmen Camryn Jackson (141) and Justin Dozier (Hwt), junior/sophomores Jake Salazar (157) and Michael Carpenter (157) all claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action. Senior/junior Mike Hillock and junior/sophomore Collin Zeerip both made their season debuts with the start the Big Ten dual schedule.
Q: Do you feel like you're starting to get on a roll? What's been the difference?
A: Everything to this point was about getting ready for the end. I think that's starting to show. I feel like I made a huge gain between the Cliff Keen tournament and the start of the Big Ten season. I have one more push that I've got to make between the Big Ten season and Big Tens and NCAAs. We're aiming to peak right at NCAAs. That's the tournament that matters.
Q: What do you think you figured out between the Cliff Keen tournament and the start of Big Ten duals?
A: I just feel like I adjusted. It's a big change coming from high school to college, especially jumping right in. There are these little things that you learn in college, and I was just learning them as I was wrestling. I focused on the things I needed to do and needed to change, and I finally made those changes. The coaches thought I'd be ready. At first, I wasn't really sure, but now I'm right there and having a lot of success. I've done everything they told me, and I know, at the end, that's what's going to put me at the top of the podium.
Q: Even though you're just a freshman, do you feel like you're a leader on this team? You're winning consistently, scoring bonus points consistently; do you feel like you really contribute to the tone of the team?
A: I don't feel like, in wrestling, age doesn't show as much. Either you're a leader, or you're not. I've always kind of had a leadership role, and I've always embraced that. I wouldn't say I'm a vocal leader at this point; I don't know if I feel that's my place yet. But I'm doing everything I can to work hard in practice and show the result and benefit of that.
Q: You guys had another close, disappointing loss over the weekend to Purdue. This team is awfully close to having a 12-1 record, but you've lost four duals on bonus or by one match. What will it take to get over the hump?
A: Well, we've got the recruits coming in, so we'll get good and get there quickly. But we want to be good this year. I want to have a great career and be on a great team. Bottom line is we just need guys to be tougher -- just dig down and gut some matches out. Nearly every dual we've lost, we give up big bonus points and lose on bonus points. We're giving up takedowns in the last 10 seconds. We've got to dig down and win the match. We've got a lot of good guys who can do some good things. It comes down to who is going to step up.
U-M Individual Rankings
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines split their duals in the Hoosier State last weekend, cruising past Indiana, 30-13, on Friday (Feb. 1) before falling to No. 18 Purdue, 19-18, on bonus points on Sunday (Feb. 3). U-M won seven individual matches against the Hoosiers, including the first four, and posted four bonus victories. Michigan split matches against Purdue, earning bonus at 165 and 174 pounds but gave up a pin at 197 and a late major decision to fall by a point. Four Wolverines posted perfect weekends -- Sean Boyle (125 pounds), Eric Grajales (149), Taylor Massa (165) and Dan Yates (174).
[ Recaps: Indiana | Purdue ]
Sunday, Feb. 17 -- at Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals (Corvallis, Ore.), 1 p.m. PST