South Dakota State (0-1, 0-0) is set to take on No. 9 Nebraska (1-0, 1-0) in a nonconference dual on Sunday. The Jacks look to rebound from their season-opening loss to Drexel, 26-10. Wrestling is slated to begin at 2 p.m. in Frost Arena on the campus of South Dakota State University.
Last Time Out: SDSU is coming off of an impressive showing at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. Seven Jackrabbits placed, led by freshman Isaac Andrade, who placed second at 125 pounds. Other Jackrabbit placewinners include Alex Kocer (3rd), Joe Brewster (4th), J.J. Everard (4th), Cody Pack (5th), Ben Schwery (5th) and Hunter Weddington (6th).
Jacks’ Facts: SDSU enters Sunday’s dual in search of its first win on the young season. Three Jackrabbits will enter Sunday’s dual with double-digit wins, led by redshirt freshman Alex Kocer (149 pounds), who boasts a 13-3 record. Junior Joe Brewster (165 pounds) and freshman Isaac Andrade (125 pounds) have 11 and 10 wins, respectively. Kocer also leads SDSU in overall winning percentage (.813), pins (3) and major decisions (5).
Scouting the Huskers: Nebraska is coming off of a 25-16 win over No. 13 Northwestern last weekend in their Big Ten opener. Nebraska won six matches vs. the Wildcats, dropping decisions at 149 and 197, while also giving up a major decision at 165 and a pin at 285. Led by 14-year head coach Mark Manning, NU currently has four wrestlers amongst the nation’s best as noted in InterMat’s latest rankings: Tim Lambert (No. 15 – 125 pounds), Jake Sueflohn (No. 6 – 149 pounds), James Green (No. 4 – 157 pounds) and Robert Kokesh (No. 4 – 174 pounds).
Inside the Series: Nebraska leads the all-time series 18-16-2 and enter Sunday’s dual on an 10-dual win streak dating back to 1982. The Huskers defeated SDSU last season, 32-7. The schools first met in 1950 with the Huskers winning 30-0. SDSU went on a eight-dual winning streak from 1967-77.
Second Home: Nebraska is returning to the Mount Rushmore State for the second time this month, as the Huskers also competed in the 21st Annual Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 3. NU brought home three titles at the Dak Open, including James Green (157), Robert Kokesh (174) and Collin Jensen (285).
Husker Homecoming: Head coach Mark Manning (Vermillion) and wrestlers Robert Kokesh (Wagner) and Collin Jensen (Mobridge) will all return to their home state for Sunday’s dual. Kokesh and Jackrabbit redshirt freshman Alex Kocer each won individual state titles for Wagner High School en route to the South Dakota team championship in 2010 for the Red Raiders.
Probable Matchups: 125 pounds – No. 15 Tim Lambert (NU) vs. Ben Gillette (SDSU)…133 pounds – Colton McCrystal (NU) vs. Brance Simms (SDSU)…141 pounds – Anthony Abidin (NU) vs. Eric Orozco (SDSU)…149 pounds – No. 6 Jake Sueflohn (NU) vs. Alex Kocer (SDSU)…157 pounds – No. 4 James Green (NU) vs. Cody Pack (SDSU)…165 pounds Austin WIlson (NU) vs. Joe Brewster (SDSU)…174 pounds – No. 4 Robert Kokesh (NU) vs. John Nething II (SDSU)…184 pounds – TJ Dudley (NU) vs. Ben Schwery (SDSU)…197 pounds Spencer Johnson (NU) vs. Trey Hable (SDSU)…285 pounds Nyle Bartling/Collin Jensen (NU) vs. J.J. Everard (SDSU)
Looking Ahead: SDSU will return to action Saturday, Nov. 30 as it hosts rival North Dakota State. This will be the first of two meetings on the year with the Bison, as SDSU will travel to Fargo, N.D., on Feb. 23 for its season finale.
Socially Supreme: South Dakota State was named the Top Newcomer in the Best of Brand Annual Achievement Awards, as presented by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, in coordination with Elite Level Sport Marketing. Jackrabbit wrestling continues to launch itself into the national spotlight through expanded use of its social media platforms and the #GetJacked mantra. To go along with its popular “Jacked Up Monday” videos, SDSU has added “Jackrabbit Wrestling: All Access” as a second weekly video. These videos are released on Thursdays and gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the Jacks away from the mat.
Program History: 2013-14 marks the 65th season of Jackrabbit wrestling. SDSU owns a 502-345-22 (.590) program record. Chris Bono is the 12th coach in Jackrabbit history and owns a 44-30 career (.595). SDSU has won six conference championships, with the last two coming in back-to-back seasons in 1996-97.