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ILLINI Preview of the Purdue Dual

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  • ILLINI Preview of the Purdue Dual

    This comes in two parts, with a lot of ambitious artwork, scholarly research and intelligent writing. It's free and proudly Made in America. Here's part one. And here's part two. Both are at


    It was 2008.

    Music service Spotify is launched. SpaceX sends up its first Earth orbital mission. The Large Hadron Collider becomes operational in Geneva, Switzerland, presaging Skynet, the Terminator and the end of human civilization as the robots take control. The Beijing Olympics take place, with Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and gymnast Nastia Liukin becoming even bigger stars.

    And the ILLINI roll.

    Ben Friedl earns a big upset over Purdue's four-time NCAA qualifer, round of twelver and pins leader A.J. Kissel. There are nine ILLINI winners. Purdue gets a win because of an injury default. This was the box score from February 22, 2008:

    #11 Illinois 31, Purdue 6

    125: #8 Gabe Flores (ILL) maj. dec. Akif Eren (PUR), 15-3 (4-0)
    133: #7 Jimmy Kennedy (ILL) maj. dec. Sean Schmaltz (PUR), 11-1 (8-0)
    141: #15 Ryan Prater (ILL) dec. Matt Redmond (PUR), 8-2 (11-0)
    149: #10 Jake Patacsil (PUR) inj. def. Grant Paswall (ILL) (11-6)
    157: #2 Mike Poeta (ILL) maj. dec. Nick Bertucci (PUR), 15-4 (15-6)
    165: Roger Smith-Bergsrud (ILL) dec. Justin Fraga (PUR), 4-3 (18-6)
    174: #15 John Dergo dec. #17 Nick Corpe (PUR), 6-2 (21-6)
    184: Ben Friedl (ILL) dec. A.J. Kissel (PUR), 5-3 (24-6)
    197: #11 Patrick Bond (ILL) maj. dec. Logan Brown (PUR), 13-4 (28-6)
    HWT: #15 John Wise (ILL) dec. Chris Kasten (PUR), 7-1 (31-6)

    DANNY BRAUNAGEL (8-6) vs. EMIL SOEHNLEN (3-5) or HAYDEN LOHREY (6-5). For this match, is predicting a near major decision, 10-4, for the good guys. The Brawlnagel is 8-3 versus common opposition while the Boiler is 5-5.

    If Lohrey wrestles for Purdue, takes one step closer to a major, prognosticating a 12-5 ILLINI win. Lohrey has been the wrestler at this weight during conference duals as it appears that Soehnlen might have been injured.

    During last year's dual, this weight was manned by Luke Odom, jumping up from 157 to wrestle the current Purdue 174 pounder. Luke fought valiantly, but gave up the 8-0 major.

    With Danny Braunagel in the lineup, the ILLINI will be favored at 165. Possible bonus. I might even say likely bonus, as Little Brawny came off a loss, but a confidence-boosting tight loss to #1 Alex Marinelli, somebody who crushed Lohrey by techfall. That close loss also propelled the ILLINI back into the NWCA rankings.

    It's called "the Iowa bump."


  • #2
    I'll believe Duncan wrestles for the illini again when I see him on the mat. I'd love to see it as the team really needs his experience.


    • #3
      Without Duncan in the lineup I don't think this team has a chance to even beat Purdue. Other than Byrd this is a really weak lineup they are putting out there. Unless there is a drastic improvement in the next few weeks they will have the lowest number of Ncaa qualifiers in a long time. I am thinking maybe 3-5 will qualify this year


      • #4
        Possible qualifiers: Cardani, Byrd, the 2 Braunagels, maybe Wroblewski, and Luffman.


        • #5
          Reposted from


          The folks at have revealed the probable starters for the ILLINOIS-Purdue dual. A couple of quick observations: No Dylan Duncan. No Matt Wroblewski. DJ Shannon and We Rachal are back. No "ors" for either team. The latter is the most surprising given Covid and the injuries that have plagued the ILLINI lineup this season. Here are the lineups:

          Justin Cardani 9-4 125 lbs. Devin Schroder 13-2
          Lucas Byrd 12-1 133 lbs. Matt Ramos 12-4
          We Rachal 8-9 141 lbs. Parker Filius 16-6
          Christian Kanzler 8-7 149 lbs. Alec White 0-2
          Joe Roberts 9-9 157 lbs. Kendall Coleman 10-3
          Danny Braunagel 8-6 165 lbs. Hayden Lohrey 6-5
          DJ Shannon 5-4 174 lbs. Gerrit Nijenhuis 13-9
          Zac Braunagel 6-4 184 lbs. Max Lyon 9-7
          Nikita Nepomnyashchiy 2-5 197 lbs. Thomas Penola 13-5
          Luke Luffman 11-3 HWT Michael Woulfe 12-8
          The ILLINI will need some upsets here to take the dual. Bonus will be important, getting it and not giving it up. Last year, the most decisive match was a Lucas Byrd pin. Nobody else scored better than a major. Even more important may be unexpected wins. Slight upsets at 125 and 184 would go a long way to helping the ILLINI cause.

          SOLID FAVORITES: ILLINI-133, 165, 285 PURDUE-141, 157, 174, 197

          SLIGHT FAVORITES: ILLINI-149 PURDUE 125, 184


          • #6
            The rest of the recap can be found here.



            LUUUKE LUFFMAN vs. MICHAEL WOULFE. This match didn't have one. And it didn't have two. It had three leg sweeps for the ILLINI! Luffman may just retire the special IWB&F Leg Sweep Trophy.

            There were two takedowns for the good guy in the first period with a ride-out after the last one. Going into the second, the score is 4-1 for Luuuuke. In that period, there is a bodylock, and it almost spelled disaster for Luke. He was a bit tentative, which is the absolute worst approach to take to bodylocks. He ends up squirming out of what could've been a pinfall.

            There are additional leg sweeps and another bodylock. In this instance, Luke was very aggressive and assertive. That put Woulfe on his back hard. Besides escapes, the leg sweeps might have accounted for more ILLINI match points in this dual than anything else. Luffman gets a riding point for the 10-2 major. This is quite an improvement over the 5-2 win at the Matmen Open.


            • #7
              We reached the point where the Illini are losing to Purdue. I thought I would never see this day. That coaching change is really making a difference. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss! Hope you are happy that your Illini are becoming irrelevant, Chief!


              • #8
                Puts us right there with Indiana and Maryland.