Spartans Host No. 23 Northwestern, Travel to Take on Ohio
 
 
 
No. 7 Michael McClure is scheduled to face two ranked opponents this weekend.
 
No. 7 Michael McClure is scheduled to face two ranked opponents this weekend.
 
 

Jan. 23, 2013

Dual #12: Michigan State (4-7, 0-4) vs. No. 23 Northwestern (5-5, 0-3)
 Date | Time Friday, Jan. 25 | 6 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Television Big Ten Network (Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons and Kara Lentz)
 Live Stats TrackWrestling.com
 Notes  Michigan State | Northwestern
 Statistics  Michigan State | Northwestern
 Social Media Twitter @wrestlingmsu

Dual #13: Michigan State (4-7, 0-4) at Ohio (3-3, 2-2 MAC)
 Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 27 | 2 p.m.
 Location Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center
 Live Stats TrackWrestling.com
 Notes  Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State
 Social Media Twitter @wrestlingmsu

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State wrestling takes on its third straight ranked opponent on Friday night when it hosts No. 23 Northwestern. The dual is slated for 6 p.m. and will be live on the Big Ten Network. MSU will then travel to Athens, Ohio to take on the Bobcats on Sunday, Jan. 27.

"Northwestern is a very solid team," head coach Tom Minkel said. "I think we've grown a lot in the last two or three weeks and our last dual against Iowa we showed real improvement. We need to continue to improve and stay focused on what we need to do to get better."

MSU is coming off a 27-12 loss to No. 4 Iowa last weekend, while the Wildcats split non-conference duals falling to Northern Iowa, before beating SIU-Edwardsville in its last competition. Both teams are looking for its first win in the Big Ten.

"It is kind of a learning process and early on we didn't fully understand the intensity level we needed to compete with the very best teams," Minkel said. "We've got to continue to learn and grow, if we do that, we will be in good shape. Hopefully the level of competition we have been seeing will allow us to compete better."

Michigan State vs. Northwestern Probable Starting Lineup
 125 MSU: Brenan Lyon (Jr., 5-12)
NU: No. 19 Dominick Malone (Fr., 13-6)
 133 MSU: Brandon Fifield (So., 9-11)
NU: Garrison White (Fr., 19-12)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-14)
NU: Pat Greco (So., 6-7)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 16-7) OR Roger Wildmo (R-Fr., 8-1)
NU: Dylan Marriott (So., 6-11)
 157 MSU: Ryan Watts (So., 14-8)
NU: No. 2 Jason Welch (Sr., 19-1)
 165 MSU: Nick Proctor (So., 13-9)
NU: No. 16 Pierce Harger (So., 17-3)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 15-10)
NU: No. 9 Lee Munster (So., 16-4)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 20-5)
NU: Marcus Shrewsbury (Sr., 3-11) OR Jacob Berkowitz (Fr., 5-13)
 197 MSU: Luke Jones (So., 16-9) OR Nick McDiarmid (So., 16-7)
NU: No. 16 Alex Polizzi (So., 14-8)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 7 Michael McClure (Jr., 23-2)
NU: No. 9 Mike McMullan (So., 11-2)

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
No. 23 Northwestern is 5-5 on the season and 0-3 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats split non-conference duals last weekend, falling to Northern Iowa, 21-13, before taking down SIU-Edwardsville, 39-12. NU boasts a starting lineup with six ranked wrestlers and is led by No. 2 Jason Welch at 157 pounds and a pair of ranked sophomores at 174 pounds and heavyweight. Lee Munster is ranked No. 9 at 174 and Mike McMullan checks in at No. 8 at heavyweight. MSU holds the all-time series record against Northwestern, 26-19-0.

A LOOK AT THE BOBCATS
Ohio is 3-3 this season and 2-2 in the MAC and the Bobcats fell to both Kent State and Bloomsburg last weekend on the road. Heavyweight Jeremy Johnson leads Ohio and is ranked No. 16 in the nation according to InterMat and freshman Cody Walters is ranked No. 17 at 174 pounds. The Spartans lead the all-time series with Ohio, 10-1-1.

RIZQALLAH ON A ROLL
Sophomore John Rizqallah is in his first year in the starting lineup and leads MSU with 10 dual wins on the season and has won 15 of his last 17 matches overall. Rizqallah, wrestling at 184 pounds, had won nine consecutive matches before falling to No. 1 Ed Ruth of Penn State. He is ranked No. 18 by InterMat and is 20-5 overall this season and 10-5 in duals.

FOUR SPARTANS IN THE RANKINGS
John Rizqallah and Don Osterman broke into the latest InterMat rankings this week, bringing the total to four Spartans ranked nationally. Rizqallah, ranked No. 18, is 20-5 on the season and upset No. 11 Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa last weekend, 6-3. Rizqallah leads the team in dual victories with 10 this season. Osterman checked in at No. 20 after taking down No. 17 Michael Kelly of Iowa, 6-3, last weekend.

Junior heavyweight Michael McClure is the highest-ranked Spartan and checks in at No. 7 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 23-2 overall and 9-2 in duals this season, last weekend he won by forfeit and currently leads the team with seven falls. Senior David Cheza is ranked No. 19 and is 7-2 in duals this season. The 157-pounder rattled off seven straight wins before falling in duals at Clarion and at Penn State.

REMATCH AT HEAVYWEIGHT
No. 7 Michael McClure and No. 16 Jeremy Johnson are familiar foes and could square off again on Sunday. McClure and Johnson faced off in the championship match of the MSU Open back in November, with McClure needing overtime to top Johnson, 3-1.

MSU FALLS TO IOWA, OSTERMAN AND RIZQALLAH UPSET RANKED WRESTLERS
Michigan State wrestling fell at home to No. 4 Iowa, 27-12, on Sunday, Jan. 20. The Spartans picked up wins at 149 pounds, 184 pounds and heavyweight. Sophomore John Rizqallah upset No. 11 Ethen Lofthouse, 6-3, picking up his 10th dual victory of the season to lead all Spartans in dual wins on the season. Senior Dan Osterman used a 10-4 decision over No. 17 Michael Kelly at 149 pounds to put the Spartans on the board and McClure won by forfeit

McCLURE AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
No. 7 Michael McClure is 23-2 this season and 5-1 against ranked opponents. He placed first at the Eastern Michigan Open, Michigan State Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions this season and he was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13 after winning the MSU Open and again on Dec. 17 after winning the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure's two losses have come at the hands of Big Ten opponents, No. 14 Connor Medbery and Jon Gingrich of Penn State.

SPARTANS SIGN PAGDIALO, BRINGING CLASS TO FOUR
Michigan State wrestling head coach Tom Minkel announced on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the signing of Christian Pagdilao (Corona, Calif./Corona Santiago) to a National Letter of Intent, bringing the 2013-14 recruiting class to four student-athletes. Pagdilao will be joined by Javier Gasca (Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg), Josh Pennell (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns), and Mitch Rogaliner (Temperance, Mich./Temperance Bedford) who each signed a NLI in November.

"This is an outstanding group of young men," Minkel said. "Not only are they exceptional athletes but they are all very good students. They are men of great character and were exactly what we were looking for as we head into the future."

JONES LEADS MSU IN BONUS POINTS
Sophomore Luke Jones is in his first season in the starting lineup for Michigan State at 197 pounds and he leads the team in bonus points. Jones in 16-8 on the season and has recorded bonus points in 11 matches. Jones has notched five falls and six major decisions this season.

YOUNG TALENT
The Spartans will rely on young talent to contribute in the starting lineup and could have either freshman or sophomores starting in six different weight classes this season. Nick Trimble, a freshman at 141 pounds and Jordan Wohlfert, a freshman at 174 pounds have each started this year for MSU, along with sophomores Brandon Fifield (133), Ryan Watts (157), Nick Proctor (165), John Rizqallah (184) and Luke Jones (197).

TOUGH TREK IN PENNSYLVANIA
Michigan State dropped duals to UNC and Clarion before falling to No. 1 Penn State at Rec Hall. The Spartans dropped a close dual to the Tar Heels, 23-21 and then fell to Clarion, 25-16. MSU lost five matches to wrestlers ranked inside the top-3 against the Nittany Lions.

MSU REBOUNDS WITH WINS OVER BUCKNELL AND LINDSEY WILSON
After falling to No. 21 Purdue, the Spartans came away with back-to-back wins over both Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson. MSU beat the Bison 28-11 in the first match of the doubleheader and won 28-12 over Lindsey Wilson. Michigan State dropped the first three matches of the dual against Bucknell, falling behind early 11-0. However, Dan Osterman was able to turn the tide for Michigan State with a fall over Adam Healey at 149 pounds in 0:49, leading to seven-straight victories for MSU.

SPARTANS SHAKING UP THE LINEUP
In 11 duals this season the Spartans have utilized nine different starting lineups. Freshman Jordan Wohlfert (174), John Rizqallah (184) and Michael McClure (HWT) have been the only mainstays this season, starting in all 11 duals for Michigan State, the three are a combined 26-9 in this season in dual matches.

SPARTANS FINISH THIRD IN RENO
Michigan State wrestling took third place at the Reno Tournament of Champions, finishing with 107. 5 team points and also placed eight individual wrestlers in the event. Then-No. 11 Michael McClure led the Spartans with a first-place finish at heavyweight and went 5-0 in the tournament. Dan Osterman (149 pounds), Nick Proctor (165) and Ryan Watts (165) each placed second in their respective weight classes.

BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME
Junior heavyweight Michael McClure was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Dec. 18, after taking first place at the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure was also named wrestler of the week on Nov. 13 after taking first at the MSU Open. McClure defeated three wrestlers ranked inside the top-20 in Reno, including No. 6 Chad Hanke of Oregon State, No. 9 J.T. Felix of Boise State and No. 16 Odie Delaney of the Citadel.

TEN SPARTANS PLACE AT MSU OPEN
Michigan State wrestling hosted the annual MSU Open on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Jenison Field House with more than 29 schools from around the country competing in the event. The Spartans placed 10 wrestlers in the tournament and Michael McClure placed first in the open division at 285 pounds, while Ryan Watts placed second at 157.

EIGHTEEN PLACE AT EMU OPEN
The Spartans placed 18 wrestlers, including 16 top-five finishes in their first competition of the 2012-13 season at the Eastern Michigan Open. Hermilo Esquivel (125 pounds) and Chris Nash (285) each took first place in their respective weight classes in the freshman/sophomore division and Michael McClure (285) placed first in the open division.

CHEZA MAKES MOST OF SIXTH YEAR
Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and is back in the starting lineup for the Spartans. Cheza, ranked No. 19, lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season. Currently he is 7-2 this season.

REPLACING SENIOR LEADERSHIP
Michigan State lost four NCAA qualifiers from last season and six seniors that saw regular action in the starting lineup. The Spartans have just two seniors this season in David Cheza and Dan Osterman. Cheza will serve as the captain for the 2012-13 season.

NEXT UP
Following this weekend, the Spartans will travel to take on Nebraska on Feb. 1 and Minnesota on Feb. 3. Both matches will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network.