COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 9 Tiger wrestling team opens up the 66th season of Missouri wrestling this Sunday, Nov. 13, with a matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers. Action between the Tigers and Boilermakers will kick off at 1 p.m. CT from the Hearnes Center. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth/seniors. Students get in free with their ID.
This will be the third straight year the Tigers have opened the dual season with a contest against a Big Ten school, and the third time in program history the Missouri and Purdue have kicked off the season against each other. It's the 22nd overall matchup between the two schools, with the Boilermakers holding a 13-7-1 edge over Mizzou. Purdue was victorious against the Tigers last season in West Lafayette, pulling out the 18-15 victory for their second straight win over MU. Mizzou last defeated Purdue in the 2004-05 season opener with a 25-10 win.
It's the 10th straight season that Missouri has earned a top-15 ranking in the NWCA/USA Today Division I Coaches Poll, as they open the year at No. 9. Six of Missouri's 10 starters appear in Intermat's top-20 individual preseason rankings, led by sophomore Alan Waters, who sits at 5th in the country at 125 pounds. Junior Nathan McCormick is 15th at 133, while sophomore Kyle Bradley ranks 13th at 149. Intermat ranks sophomore Zach Toal as the 13th best 165 pounder going into the season, while Missouri's lone senior in the starting lineup, Dorian Henderson, sits in sixth at 174 pounds. Junior Brent Haynes rounds out the Intermat rankings for the Tigers at 197 pounds at 11th.
Missouri returns seven of their program-best nine NCAA qualifiers from last season, but they do not return any All-Americans. Todd Schavrien, who finished in sixth at last year's NCAA's at 141 pounds, graduated and is now coaching at Drexel University. Heavyweight Dom Bradley, who placed third last year, is taking an Olympic redshirt this season as he pursues a spot on Team USA and will return for the 2012-13 season.
Under head coach Brian Smith, Missouri is 8-5 all-time in season openers and have won six of their last eight duals to open the year.
Live stats will be available for free at mutigers.com, and live audio and video will be available for Mizzou All-Access subscribers at mutigers.tv. Additionally, fans can get live match-by-match results by following the Mizzou Wrestling Twitter page, @MizzouWrestling.
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS The Purdue Boilermakers come into this season-opening dual unranked, but are receiving votes in the preseason NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. Last year the Boilermakers went 8-8-1 in dual action and 3-5 in the Big Ten. They finished ninth at the Big Ten Championship and finished T-39th with nine points at the NCAA Championships.
Purdue returns six of their 10 starters, four of their seven NCAA qualifiers and an All-American from the 2009-10 season. Cashé Quiroga, who finished sixth at 125 pounds in 2009-10, is the returning All-American and is ranked as high as No. 8 at 133 pounds after taking a redshirt last year. Other returning NCAA qualifiers include Camden Eppert at 125 pounds and A.J. Kissel at 197. Joining the program is Ivan Lopouchanski at 149 pounds, who transferred to Purdue from UNC Greensboro.
The Boilermakers are led by fifth year head coach Scott Hinkel, who has a career record of 41-33-2. The Boilermakers hold a 13-7-1 edge over Missouri all-time and have won the last two contests, which includes a 19-15 win over the Tigers last year in West Lafayette.
We're only expecting to see two rematches from last season's dual, starting with Alan Waters vs. Camden Eppert to open up the dual at 125 pounds. Last season, Waters scored a 6-0 decision over Eppert to improve to 20-0 on the season. There will also be a rematch at 165 pounds, with Zach Toal facing off against Kyle Mosier for the second straight year. Toal pulled out the 7-3 win over Mosier last year.
FOLLOW LIVE Fans will be able to get live scoring and results through the NWCA Online Scorebook. A link to the match page will be posted at mutigers.com. Those who subscribe to Mizzou All-Access can get audio and video of the match at mutigers.tv. Additionally, fans can get live match updates by following the team's Twitter page, @MizzouWrestling.
WHAT'S NEXT Following the season opening dual with Purdue, the Tigers jump right into conference play as they open up a five-match road trip. Missouri will head down to the state of Oklahoma to face the Sooners at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 and will then head to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.
SEASON OPENERS In the 65 seasons of Tiger wrestling, Mizzou sits with a 35-30 record in season openers and are 8-5 under current head coach Brian Smith. Missouri has opened its season against Purdue on just two prior occasions, with the team's splitting the two contests. Purdue won the meeting against Hap Whitney's Tigers in 1969-70 by a 25-6 score, while Mizzou pulled out a 25-10 victory in 2004-05. The Boilermakers hold a 7-13-1 advantage in the all-time series. Missouri has won three times in the last five meetings, though Purdue is 5-3 against Mizzou since Coach Smith took the helm. Last season, Purdue edged Missouri by a 19-15 final in West Lafayette. Missouri's season opener with Purdue marks the 18th time in program history that the Tigers will open the year against a Big Ten school. The Tigers have won four of their last five season openers against Big Ten programs.
SIX SIGN FOR 2012-13 The Missouri wrestling program announced the addition of six future student-athletes that signed their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. Joining the Missouri program starting in the 2012-13 season will be Tony Deangelo (Burlington, N.C.), Cody Hummer (Savannah, Mo.), Matt Manley (Perry, Okla.), Willie Miklus (Polk, Iowa), Austin Roper (Kirksville, Mo.) and Marc Schmidt (Centralia, Mo.)
TIGERS OPEN SEASON RANKED NINTH The University of Missouri wrestling program opens up the season ranked No. 9 in the country, as announced Wednesday morning by the National Wrestling Coaches Associaton (NWCA). This is the 10th straight year that the Tigers have started the season with a top-15 ranking. Of Missouri's 10 different dual opponents scheduled for the season, six find themselves within the top-25. Oklahoma State leads the way in third, while Oklahoma is just behind Mizzou at 10th. Oregon State is ranked 18th, while Iowa State, Stanford and Kent State are ranked No. 20, 21 and 24, respectively. Purdue, the Tigers' season opening matchup, is receiving votes.
BRADLEY TAKES FIRST AT OPEN Missouri heavyweight wrestler Dom Bradley took first place at the Sunkist Kids International Open in Mesa, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 31. Bradley, wrestling for the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, opened up action in the 120KG/264.5 lbs. freestyle class with a 3-2, 8-1 decision over Charles Fish of the Marines. He them dominated Florian Temengil of Team Palau in the finals, winning 5-0, 6-0. This is the second tournament title for Bradley this year, as he won University Nationals gold back in April.
TWO TIGERS AMONGST FIRST TRIALS QUALIFIERS Missouri senior heavyweight Dom Bradley (120 kg/264.5 lbs.) and former Tiger All-American and current strength and conditioning coach Nicholas Marable (74 kg/163 lbs) are amongst the first qualifiers for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, set to take place April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa. USA Wrestling released the initial list of qualifiers, which includes 65 wrestlers across three different Olympic styles. Marable and Bradley each qualified due to having won their true third place match at the 2011 World Team Trials back in June. Bradley is taking an Olympic redshirt this season to pursue this opportunity to make Team USA.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN IN 2012 The NCAA Wrestling Championships will return to the Midwest in 2012, as the event heads back to St. Louis, Mo., after a two year hiatus. The three day tournament will run from March 15-17 and be held at the Scottrade Center.
MIZZOU TO HOST BIG 12'S For the fourth time in program history and first time since 2007, the University of Missouri will play host to the Big 12 Wrestling Championships, held in the Hearnes Center. The event will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Stay tuned for ticket information.
BACK-TO-BACK ALL-AMERICANS In Missouri wrestling's 65 years, nine Tigers have earned back-to-back All-America honors. 32 Tigers have collected 48 honors with 13 earning two or more accolades, but only Dave Young (1981-82), Shaon Fry (1993-94), Scott Barker (2002-03), Ben Askren (2004-07), Tyler McCormick (2006-07), Nicholas Marable (2008-09), Maxwell Askren (2008-10), Raymond Jordan (2008-09) and Mark Ellis (2009-10) managed top eight finishes in consecutive years.
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