Feb. 11, 2014
• Steve Dutton Spotlight
Saturday, Feb. 15 -- at No. 6 Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 7 p.m.
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The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (10-4) will wrap up the dual-meet portion of its 2013-14 schedule on Saturday (Feb. 15), traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., to face No. 6 Pittsburgh (12-1) at 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald Field House. It will be the Wolverines' fifth straight nationally ranked opponent -- and fourth straight top-10 opponent -- and eighth over their last nine duals.
Michigan's Projected Lineup
||Hometown (High School)
||Parma, Mich. (Mason)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Miller Place, N.Y. (Rocky Point)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North)
||Midway, Utah (Wasatch)
||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Gates Mills, Ohio (St. Edward HS)
||West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)
||Fowlerville, Mich. (Fowlerville)
The Wolverines, who entered January with the No. 19 national ranking, have defeated five nationally ranked teams since the start of the second semester, including top-10 opponents in No. 2 Minnesota (19-14, Jan. 19) and No. 7 Nebraska (17-16, Feb. 7).
Michigan's 6-2 Big Ten dual record is its best since the 2005-06 season when it went 8-0 en route to its third straight conference dual title.
U-M's 17-16 road win at Nebraska marked its first tiebreaker victory since the criteria was re-implemented for all dual meets prior to the 2011-12 season. U-M won on the third criteria -- most match points -- with a 56-52 advantage across all 10 weights.
With U-M trailing 16-12 entering the final match against Nebraska (Feb. 7), freshman Adam Coon scored five takedowns en route to a 12-3 major decision over Collin Jensen at heavyweight. It was Coon's second dual-clinching victory in the last match. He also sealed U-M's win over No. 2 Minnesota with a 4-2 decision over Tony Nelson in the second sudden-victory frame on Jan. 19.
Coon used six seconds of riding time to edge Iowa's third-ranked Bobby Telford, 3-3, in the second tiebreaker (Feb. 9). It was his second win over Telford this season. Coon is 9-1 against nationally ranked wrestlers this season, including a 7-1 mark against heavyweights currently ranked among the nation's top 10.
Coon is a perfect 6-0 in overtime matches this season. On the other side, he boasts 10 bonus wins with six pins and four major decisions.
Coon suffered the first -- and only -- loss of his collegiate career with a 5-1 decision against Michigan State's No. 9-ranked Mike McClure (Jan. 24). Coon's 23-match win streak represents the best start for the Wolverine true freshman in program history, topping Kellen Russell's 18-0 start in 2007-08.
Michigan is 3-1 this season in true road duals.
Senior/junior Steve Dutton earned a pair of weekend wins at 141 pounds, including a 3-2 comeback decision over Iowa's ninth-ranked Josh Dziewa (Feb. 9). Dutton started his season with three straight major decisions before falling to Ohio State's No. 3 Logan Stieber and Penn State's No. 2 Zain Retherford two weeks ago.
Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey has defeated ranked wrestlers in two of his last four matches, earning a 2-1 TB decision over Ohio State's No. 15 Nick Roberts (Jan. 31) before knocking off Nebraska's ninth-ranked Tim Lambert, 2-0 (Feb. 7).
Fifth-year senior Eric Grajales saw his second-semester win streak halted at seven matches after suffering a pair of decision losses to nationally ranked opponents over the weekend.
Grajales went undefeated at home for the second straight year with a perfect 8-0 mark at this season Cliff Keen Arena. He won 19 straight home matches, stretching back into the 2011-12 season. His last home loss was a 6-3 decision to Illinois' Eric Terrazas on Jan. 8, 2012.
Freshman Domenic Abounader earned back-to-back wins over ranked opposition, defeating Michigan State's then-No. 18 John Rizqallah (6-0, Jan. 24) before earning a 7-2 win over Ohio State's No. 10 Kenny Courts (Jan. 31). After recently making his first ever appearance in the national rankings, Abounader is currently No. 16 in the latest InterMat poll.
Sophomore Rossi Bruno and fifth-year senior Eric Grajales both avenged earlier Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational losses at Ohio State (Jan. 31). Bruno defeated No. 5 Johni DiJulius, 2-1 TB, after previously falling 6-3 in the CKLV quarterfinals, while Grajales rallied to beat No. 18 Ian Paddock after dropping each of his last two meetings against the Buckeye wrestler, including an 8-2 decision in the CKLV wrestlebacks.
Freshman Brian Murphy knocked off his highest ranked opponent to date with his 5-3 decision against Minnesota's No. 8 Dylan Ness at 157 pounds (Jan. 19). Murphy has defeated three ranked wrestlers this season, previously earning decision wins against Wyoming's then-No. 14 Andy McCully (7-5 SV) and Cal Poly's No. 19 Max Schneider (3-1) at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 6-7).
Fifth-year senior Eric Grajales has earned three wins over opponents ranked in the top two this season, beating Oregon State's then-No. 1 Scott Sakaguchi (10-6, Nov. 17), Northwestern's No. 2 Jason Tsirtis (6-3, Dec. 29) and Minnesota's No. 2 Nick Dardanes (6-4, Jan. 19). In all, Grajales boasts a 5-3 record vs. ranked opposition this season.
Fifth-year senior Dan Yates earned a 4-0 decision against Nebraska's Austin Wilson last Friday (Feb. 7) to up his career record to 110-43 and claim a share of the 24th spot among U-M's all-time career wins leaders. He needs six more wins to reach the 23rd position, currently held by two-time All-American A.J. Grant (116-58, 2000-03).
The Wolverines' win over No. 2-ranked Minnesota on Sunday (Jan. 19) marked the highest-ranked opponent that U-M has defeated since knocking off No. 1 and undefeated Minnesota, 19-15, on Feb. 17, 2006. With that win, Michigan clinched a share of the Big Ten dual-meet title and defeated Indiana two days later to claim the title outright.
Michigan has had six different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season. All six -- freshmen Adam Coon, Brian Murphy and Domenic Abounader, sophomore/freshmen Conor Youtsey and Angelo Latora and junior/sophomore Ben Ralston -- claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action.
U-M Individual Rankings
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Pittsburgh -- The Panthers enter the weekend with a near-perfect 12-1 record and clinched at least a share of the ACC title with a 19-14 win over Virginia Tech in their most-recent outing (Feb. 7). Seven Pitt wrestlers own national rankings at their respective weight classes, most notably No. 7 Tyler Wilps (174) and No. 6 Max Thomusseit (184). Michigan holds a 21-9-1 advantage in the all-time series against Pitt, dating back to 1950. The two teams have faced each other each of the last three seasons with U-M posting a 2-1 mark in those recent meetings, including a 16-15 decision in last season's dual in Ann Arbor.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines split their Big Ten road trip, using the tiebreaker criteria to defeat No. 7 Nebraska, 17-16, last Friday (Feb. 7) before falling to No. 3 Iowa, 26-6, on Sunday (Feb. 9). Michigan claimed five matches against the Cornhuskers, jumping to an early lead with three straight wins at the lowerweights, before freshman Adam Coon secured the dual win with a 12-3 major decision in the final bout. Coon also won a big match against Iowa's No. 3-ranked Bobby Telford, using six seconds of riding time to win the match, 3-3, in the second tiebreaker. Senior/junior Steve Dutton also posted a perfect weekend at 141 pounds, including a 3-2 decision over Iowa's ninth-ranked Josh Dziewa. [ Recaps: Nebraska | Iowa ]
Sat-Sun., March 8-9 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison, Wis.)