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Spartans Host Nebraska on Friday, Travel to In-State Rival Sunday

Senior Curran Jacobs is currently ranked No. 11 at 174 pounds according to InterMat.

Jan. 26, 2012

Michigan State (3-6, 1-4 Big Ten) vs No. 7 Nebraska (12-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
 Date | Time Friday, Jan. 27 | 7 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Coverage Live webstream available for purchase at | Live results via Twitter @wrestlingmsu
 Notes Michigan State | Nebraska
 Statistics  Michigan State | Nebraska
 Video  Weekend Preview
 Multimedia  Coach Minkel Podcast | Curran Jacobs

at No. 10 Michigan (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten)
 Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 29 | 2 p.m.
 Location Ann Arbor, Mich. | Cliff Keen Arena
 Coverage Live webstream available for purchase at | Live results via Twitter @wrestlingmsu
 Notes Michigan State | Michigan
 Statistics  Michigan State | Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich.- Michigan State wrestling welcomes No. 7 Nebraska to Jenison Field House on Friday, Jan. 27 and heads to Ann Arbor to face in-state rival Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 29. Both weekend duals will be streamed live for a fee at

"We have to take what we learned and take some of that energy and fight that we had in the Illinois dual and carry it over to the duals this weekend," head coach Tom Minkel said. "These are both big duals for us and we need to come out swinging."

No. 7 Nebraska (12-1, 3-1 Big Ten) is already making an impact in its first Big Ten season. The Cornhuskers are 3-1 in conference duals and are coming off wins over Purdue (24-9) and Indiana (23-17) last weekend.

No. 10 Michigan (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) is fresh off a 23-14 home win over No. 19 Central Michigan on Jan. 22. The Wolverines' only conference loss came at the hands of Illinois, 31-9. Last season the Spartans lost to Michigan, 24-15.

"The environment in this particular dual is always nuts," Minkel said of the matchup against Michigan. "It's always one of those duals that you mark on your calendar as a real important dual. We have to deal with Nebraska on Friday but we are very aware of the Michigan dual on the horizon."

Four Spartan wrestlers are ranked in the latest InterMat rankings, and senior Curran Jacobs made the leap from unranked at 174 pounds to No. 11. Jacobs defeated both No. 11 Lee Munster of Northwestern and No. 10 Jordan Blanton of Illinois last weekend.

Next up Michigan State hosts No. 5 Ohio State in its final dual of the season at Jenison Field House on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.

Michigan State Probable Lineup at Nebraska, Michigan
 125 Eric Olanowski (Sr., 4-5)
 133 Brandon Fifield (Fr., 9-11) OR Terry Turner (Fr., 9-3)
 141 Brian Gibbs (Fr., 15-11)
 149 Dan Osterman (Jr., 18-10)
 157 No. 12 Anthony Jones Jr. (Sr., 15-5)
 165 David Cheza (Sr., 13-5)
 174 No. 11 Curran Jacobs (Sr., 19-6)
 184 Ian Hinton (Sr., 13-6)
 197 Nick McDiarmid (R-Fr., 14-8)
 Hwt. Steve Andrus (Jr., 14-9) OR No. 18 Michael McClure (So., 12-7)

Michigan State is coming off of a tough road weekend in which they faced No. 18 Northwestern on Jan. 20 and No. 6 Illinois on Jan. 22. The Spartans lost to Northwestern, 30-12, and fell to Illinois, 26-13.

Senior Curran Jacobs had an outstanding weekend, picking up two decisions over ranked wrestlers over the weekend. Jacobs defeated No. 11 Lee Munster of Northwestern, 3-1, and dropped No. 10 Jordan Blanton of Illinois, 7-3. Jacobs jumps from unranked last weekend to No. 11 in the latest polls, according to InterMat.

The Spartans lost to non-conference foe West Virginia on Jan. 13, 23-12., but defeated Indiana 21-20 on Jan. 15. in a thrilling match at Jenison Field House. The win over the Hoosiers was the first conference win for Michigan State.

Westling picked up its first Big Ten win of the season over Indiana in exciting fashion in front of the home crowd. Michigan State led 20-16 heading into the final match at 141 pounds between Andrew Ermatinger and Matt Ortega of Indiana. Although Ortega recorded an 11-2 major decision over Ermatinger, the Spartans were awarded a tiebreaker point based on total match victories. MSU won six matches throughout the dual and Indiana won four.

Spartans that contributed to the victory were Eric Olanowski (125), Terry Turner (133), No. 13 Anthony Jones Jr. (157), David Cheza (165), Curran Jacobs (174) and No. 10 Michael McClure (HWT).

Michigan State fell to No. 4 Penn State, 36-6, on Jan. 8 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. Over 3,000 spectators took in the dual that served as a feature event for the Spartan Country youth tournament in an attempt to bridge collegiate and youth wrestling in the same setting.

"It is nice to have an event like this in conjunction with the youth tournament because youth wrestling is very important to collegiate wrestling," head coach Tom Minkel said after the dual. "We have to foster youth wrestling in the state of Michigan in order for collegiate wrestling to go to the next level."

Michigan State placed fifth out of 28 teams and six wrestlers placed in the top six at the 17th annual Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18. Dan Osterman (149) and David Cheza (165) both placed third individually.

Anthony Jones Jr. placed fourth and reached the semifinals at 157 pounds with three straight victories. Curran Jacobs reached the semifinals and placed fifth at 174 pounds. Nick McDiarmid wrestled at 197 pounds for the Spartans and also placed fifth. At heavyweight, Steve Andrus finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and made it to the fifth place match before having to forfeit due to injury.

Head coach Tom Minkel, who is in his 21st season as head coach and notched his 150th dual win last season, could set another benchmark this season in all-time career wins. Minkel currently has 154 dual wins and needs just four more to tie Fendley Collins for second all-time at Michigan State with 158. Collins coached MSU from 1930-1962 and mentored 13 national champions during his tenure. Legendary head coach Grady Peninger leads Michigan State with 213 career victories.

For the second time this season Michigan State split five of the 10 matches, but came up short in the Big Ten opener at Purdue, 22-17 on Dec. 9. Tyler Dickenson beat No. 12 A.J. Kissel at 197 pounds.

The Spartans boast one of the strongest heavyweight classes in the conference with three formidable wrestlers all battling for the starting position. Junior Steve Andrus has started four duals and this past summer he qualified for the 2011 Pan American Championships in Rionegro, Colombia, but had to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury.

Other heavyweights include No. 18 Michael McClure and Joe Rizqallah who qualified for the NCAA championships last season.

"Three of the best heavyweights in the country, and they're all in the same program," Minkel said at the beginning of the season. "Seriously, these guys are great wrestlers, but they have really helped make each other great. They all have different styles and they're all big."

Michigan State traveled to Pennsylvania on Dec. 3 and picked up dual wins over both Lock Haven and Bucknell at their respective campuses. Michigan State finished the day with a combined score of 57-12.

Lock Haven was up first for the Spartans and Michigan State dropped only two matches en route to a 30-6 victory. After then traveling to Bucknell, Michigan State dropped two of the first three matches before stringing together seven consecutive wins to take a 27-6 win.

Last season the Spartans were without two key contributors in the middle of the lineup, as both No. 12 Anthony Jones Jr. (157) and David Cheza (165) lost the majority of last season due to injury. This season they are a combined 28-10 and have each placed in two of the three tournaments MSU has competed in, including an individual title for Cheza at the MSU Open. These seniors have been counted on to add consistency to the Spartan lineup.

Head Coach Tom Minkel boasts a lineup filled with experience and senior leadership in the 2011-12 season. Michigan State has six seniors, all of which are regular starters. The seniors include; Eric Olanowski (125), No. 12 Anthony Jones Jr. (157), David Cheza (165), Curran Jacobs (174), Ian Hinton (184) and Tyler Dickenson (197). Currently the seniors are a combined 71-28 overall.

The Michigan State wrestling program hosted the MSU Open all day on Nov. 13 at Jenison Field House. The event featured more than 600 wrestlers and more than 29 schools were represented from around the country.

The Spartans had 16 wrestlers place in the top six on the day, including individual titles from David Cheza in the 157-pound open division and Nick Proctor in the 165-pound freshman/sophomore division

Michigan State head wrestling coach Tom Minkel announced Wednesday, Nov. 16 that Nick Trimble (Sparta, Mich./Sparta High School) and Jordan Wohlfert (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns High School) have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Spartan wrestling program beginning in the 2012-13 season.

"Nick and Jordan are both very successful high school wrestlers and are really committed to Michigan State," said Minkel. "They're really excited about wrestling here. We're definitely looking forward to having them as a part of our program.

Nick Trimble won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 130 pounds with a 9-5 victory over previously unbeaten Jeff Jenkins of Tecumseh and Jordan Wohlfert won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 152 pounds with a 14-6 win over Dan Fleet of Lowell.

Eleven Michigan State wrestlers placed at the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the first competition of the 2011-12 season.

In his first collegiate tournament, true freshman Roger Wildmo won all six of his matches, including two falls, to claim first place at 149 pounds in the freshman/sophomore division.



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