Covering the Land of Lincoln

PREVIEW: Wrestling at Illinois on Saturday

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CHATTANOOGA—It’s back to the mat for the Chattanooga Mocs wrestling program. The squad makes its way to Champaign, Illinois to grapple with the Illinois Fighting Illini. This is the third of five dual matchups with Big Ten opponents.

The Mocs enter the weekend after a week off following winning two of three hard-fought matches at the Boilermaker Duals. The wins came against Northern Illinois (18-15) and Cleveland State (20-13) with the loss coming to host Purdue (23-16).

The key to victory was 174, 184 and 197. The Mocs were undefeated (9-0) in those three classes, as was Brayden Palmer (3-0) at 133 who posted a 12-0 dual score in the process. Rocky Jordan (174), Matthew Waddell (184) and Jake Boyd (197) put the group in position to win over NIU and closed out Cleveland State while getting within a whisker of toppling the Boilermakers.

The Huskies led our heroes 15-6 when Jordan blanked Hayden Pummel 7-0. Waddell and Boyd followed suit to tie match at 15-all before Logan Andrew controlled Terrese Aaron to win the deciding match.

The Vikings also led early taking a 10-6 advantage into the Jackson Hurst’s 165 match where he wrestled up at 165. He claimed a dominant 8-2 win over Caleb Cass. Jordan’s tech fall and Waddell’s narrow 2-1 win made it 17-10 before Boyd put CSU away with a 3-2 decision.

The Mocs were down 17-6 when Jordan next stepped on the mat against Purdue. He started a 10-0 dual run with a 14-0 major over Macartney Parkinson. He, Waddell and Boyd combined for 25-1 scoring to send it to the heavyweights at 17-16. Andrew was unable to replicate his morning dominance losing to Tristan Ruhlman in the decider.

This week’s matchup is against an Illinois squad receiving votes in the NWCA Coaches Poll sitting just outside the top 25. The probable matchups below show the task ahead with several individually ranked opponents per Intermat.

The match is scheduled for a 2 pm, Eastern time start at State Farm Center on the Illinois campus. It broadcasts on Big Ten Network Plus. Match-by-match results will be available on the Mocs Twitter feed @UTCWrestling.



0-12 vs Illinois

  • Just third match against the Illini in Champaign.
  • Last meeting was a 19-12 loss Edwardsville, Ill.: Mocs held a 12-3 through 157 when Illinois swept the final five matches 16-0.
  • Third time is the charm? This is the third matchup between Chattanooga and Illinois athletics in the 2022 calendar year. The Illini escaped with a 54-53 comeback win over the Mocs basketball in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh on March 18, while the football team took on each other in September, a 31-0 Illini win. It’s also the third time for a Kyle Ruschell-led Mocs squad meeting Illinois.


“Nothing changes. It doesn’t matter who we wrestle. It’s natural to get a little bit more excited when we wrestle the big schools and go into their territory, but it’s just a matter of getting into our ties, force our positions and being Stingy by not giving up anything easy. Whether that’s the next escape or takedown…just making those guys wrestle a full seven minutes. If we do that, we have a chance to beat them individually.” – Coach Kyle Ruschell on the match ahead

“We obviously got better week one to week three. We saw way better performances, but what we told the guys the performance at Purdue should be our basement, should be our floor. What we did down in Jacksonville just wasn’t us as a team and what we preach. Purdue was a lot better of a job, but still, we have a lot of room to grow and that should be the floor from here on out.” – Ruschell on where the team is after six matches


  • Mocs came back from 15-6 deficit to NIU after 165 to sweep decisions by Jordan (174), Waddell (184), Jake Boyd (197) and Logan Andrew (285) for the 18-15 triumph.
  • Rocky Jordan (35:00) has not allowed a takedown thus far. He is a combined 53-5 against opponents this season starting 5-0. Dual points improved to 18-0 (3 D, 1 MD, 1 TF) in 2022-23.
  • Five straight wins for Brayden Palmer after a narrow 2-0 loss to then-No. 12 Taylor LaMont of Wisconsin in Jacksonville. He leads the team with 20 dual points won.


Boilermaker Duals: vs. Northern Illinois, W, 18-15
Boilermaker Duals: vs. Cleveland State, W, 20-13
Boilermaker Duals: at Purdue, L, 16-23


Dec 3: at Illinois, 2 p.m
Dec 10: Iowa, 7 p.m. (McKenzie Arena)

Dec 16: SIUE, 11 am (at Gardner-Webb)


Wrestling season tickets are on sale now on Click the link above or call (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Prices start at just $75 for one of the best home slates in years. There are three levels available with mat-side seats already sold out.

  • Padded Reserved (Iowa/Southern Scuffle)/Maclellan Gym GA: $110
  • 100 Level Reserved (Iowa/Southern Scuffle)/Maclellan Gym GA: $95
  • 200 Level Reserved (Iowa/Southern Scuffle)/Maclellan Gym GA: $75


Parking is charged for events at McKenzie Arena. There is a $15 fee for the lots around the Roundhouse for the Iowa match and a special 2-day parking pass at $20 for the Southern Scuffle. That will allow patrons to enter and depart at their leisure without being recharged for the 2-day event on Jan 1-2.

Parking for both events can be purchased online now at Click here for the Iowa match and here for the Scuffle. is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. Buy officially licensed gear in our online store. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page or on Twitter. Find out how to join the Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.

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