No. 9 Broncos Host Final Two Home Duals

BOISE, Idaho - The No. 9 ranked Boise State wrestling team returns home this week to host its final two home duals of the 2010-11 season before beginning preparation for a run at the Pac-10 Conference and NCAA championships.

The Broncos (8-2-1 overall, 4-0-1 Pac-10) are set to host Cal State Bakersfield (3-4, 2-3) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 2) at Taco Bell Arena. Wednesday will mark the final conference dual of the season for Boise State.

On Friday the Broncos will then square off against Utah Valley (3-2, 1-1 Western Wrestling Conference) in Boise State's final home dual of the season. The dual is part of the Beauty and the Beast event that features both the Boise State wrestling and gymnastics teams competing side-by-side in Taco Bell Arena. The No. 15 ranked Bronco gymnasts will host No. 65 Cal State Fullerton. Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Following this week the Boise State wrestlers will have just one dual left on the schedule before the Broncos can turn their attention to postseason competition. Boise State is scheduled to make a trip to Stillwater, Okla., Feb. 11 (Friday), to square off against Oklahoma State in the regular season finale.

Last time out...

Boise State is coming off a big week in Pac-10 action in which the Broncos earned wins over Stanford and No. 20 Oregon State. Boise State opened the weekend with a 35-3 win over the Cardinal, Friday (Jan. 28), at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos earned an early advantage in the dual as Stanford was forced to forfeit at 133 and 149 pounds. Boise State broke the team score wide open with wins in seven more matches; including major decision victories by Adam Hall (157 pounds) and Kirk Smith (184).

The Broncos took their momentum on the road to Corvallis, Ore., Sunday (Jan. 30), where Boise State continued to roll with a 31-6 win over Oregon State at Gill Coliseum. The Broncos won the first four matches of the day to gain an early 14-0 advantage on the Beavers and never looked back. Boise State scored four big wins in the dual to put the team score out of reach, as Smith and Andrew Hochstrasser (133) each won by major decision, while Alan Bartelli (125) won by fall and Hall won by technical fall.

The Broncos finish their regular season series with Oregon State with a 2-0-1 advantage.

National Rankings...

Following their impressive showing last weekend in Pac-10 competition the Broncos moved up on spot in both the NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll and rankings. Boise State is now No. 9 in the coaches' poll, which ranks based on dual competition. The Broncos also return to the No. 2 spot in Feb. 1 InterMat rankings, which is a tournament power ranking. Boise State (80.0 points) trails only No. 1 Cornell (87.0) this week.

The Broncos remained near the top of the InterMat team rankings thanks to eight Boise State wrestlers that are currently ranked individually for their respective weight class. The bulk of the team's points continue to come from the Broncos' four current undefeated wrestlers; Smith, Hochstrasser, Hall and Jason Chamberlain (149).

Smith continues to lead the way for Boise State as he is currently the No. 1 ranked 184-pound wrestler in the country with a 6-0 record this season. Hochstrasser (18-0 record), Hall (20-0) and Chamberlain (19-0) were all voted No. 2 for their respective weight class this week.

The Broncos also have four wrestlers ranked from No. 20 to No. 14 to round out the individual rankings. Bartelli and Jake Swartz (174) were both voted No. 14 this week, while Levi Jones (141) is No. 15 and Matt Casperson (197) is No. 20. This marks the first national ranking for Casperson this season.

Looking at the Roadrunners...

Cal State Bakersfield enters this week looking to improve upon a 3-4 overall record (2-3 Pac-10) following a 23-12 loss to No. 22 Cal Poly last Friday (Jan. 28). The Roadrunners two conference wins this season came vs. Cal State Fullerton, 35-3, on Jan. 9 and at Arizona State, 27-17, on Jan. 21.

CSBU currently has no wrestlers ranked individually by InterMat.

Looking at the Wolverines...

Utah Valley will look to stay above .500 on the season when the Wolverines travel to Boise this Friday with a 3-2 overall record. UVU is coming off a 23-15 loss at No. 15 Wyoming, which dropped the Wolverines to 1-1 in WWC competition. UVU has shown its ability to hang with top competition this season as the Wolverines' only other loss of the year came against No. 16 Nebraska, 22-12, on Jan. 15.

UVU has two wrestlers ranked individually by InterMat this week. Both Ben Kjar (125) and Flint Ray (133) are currently No. 13 for their respective weight class.

The century mark...

Smith joined the Boise State 100-win club this past weekend as he recorded his 99th win against Stanford and win No. 100 against Oregon State. Smith now boasts an incredible 100-10 career record in four seasons with the Broncos.

Smith joined Hall, who reached the 100-win plateau earlier this season while competing at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Hall is now 112-19 on his career.

Boise State head coach Greg Randall also has 100 wins in his sights as he improved to 96-31-1 overall in his ninth season at Boise State. With only three remaining duals on the schedule Randall will be able to come close, but not reach the 100 win plateau this season.

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