There will be no Old Oaken Bucket in Wilkinson Hall. The only buckets Monday night will be the ones holding the buttery popcorn of the Hoosier wrestling fans as they watch IU take on No. 9 Purdue.
The IU wrestling team will search for its first win against its in-state rival since 2010. Last year, the Hoosiers fell 18-11 to the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“It should be a good crowd,” IU head coach Angel Escobedo said. “We will have pride and compete for Indiana University. They’re excited, and this is going to be a good opportunity for our guys.”
The match marks the second week in a row that IU has two matches in three days, as it dropped to Northwestern 21-15 on Saturday.
Escobedo has been talking about getting a signature win, but against its last two ranked opponents, the team has been unable to come out on top.
The Hoosiers took on No. 1 Iowa and Illinois in a period of three days last week, limiting practice time and rest between competition. The first stretch didn’t bode well for IU, as it lost by a combined mark of 73-3 in the first two conference meets.
“There’s a lot of recovery and nutrition and making sure that they’re putting the right things in their bodies,” Escobedo said. “Making sure that they are getting a lot of sleep and not overworking them.”
Purdue enters Monday with a conference record of 1-1 and 8-2 overall. The Boilermakers are coming off a 21-13 win over No. 8 Northwestern on Jan. 10 and, more recently, a 41-0 collapse at the hands of No. 1 Iowa on Jan. 12.
Four of Purdue’s wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 in their respective weight classes.
For the Boilermakers, 125-pound No. 7 Devin Schroder, 157-pound No. 6 Kendall Coleman, 174-pound No. 4 Dylan Lydy and 197-pound No. 4 Christian Brunner are key wrestlers.
Brunner, as a senior and a three-time NCAA qualifier, will lead the Boilermaker squad. Lydy, who is also a senior, is a two-time NCAA qualifier at his current weight class.
IU sophomore Graham Rooks and freshman Cayden Rooks are coming off wins Saturday and will look to counteract the older Purdue wrestlers. Cayden picked up his first career Big Ten victory with a score of 8-2.
No. 25 IU junior Jake Covaciu is also coming off a first-period pin in Evanston.
Not only will Monday be an opportunity for IU to earn its first victory in a dual meet this season, but also another chance to claim a conference victory while taking down rival Purdue in the process.
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