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B1G Wrestling: Ohio State impresses against Virginia Tech, plus previewing a short week of action

Oklahoma State too much for Minnesota, Iowa and Penn State make home debuts

Ohio State v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

#3 Penn State Nittany Lions 32, Army West Point 7

Atinat: Penn State lost only two matches, with one being Brandon Meredith bumping up to 141 pounds and falling to Corey Shie. The other is slightly more concerning, as presumed starter Terrell Barraclough lost by major decision to Markus Hartman. Hatrtman is a two-time national qualifier. Penn State got major decisions of their own at 184 and 285 pounds, and RBY, Carter Starocci, and Max Dean all scored technical falls.

Max Dean has really impressed thus far in Happy Valley, getting five bonus points in three matches. A national runner-up in 2019, and an All-American in 2018, Dean always had a high ceiling, but he looks like a front-runner at a weight that could be loaded at the top between AJ Ferrari, Pat Brucki, Eric Schultz, and Braxton Amos.

#8 Ohio State Buckeyes 17, #10 Virginia Tech 13

Atinat: This was a fun dual! The match started with a minor upset when then-14th ranked Malik Heinselman knocked off #12 Sam Latona, the defending ACC Champion, 5-2. It would be the only upset of the night. Dylan D’Emilio beat Collin Gerardi 4-0 in the only unranked bout of the night at 141 pounds, and two top-ten matchups went according to script as #2 Sammy Sasso beat #9 Bryce Andorian 11-7 at 149 pounds and #4 Mekhi Lewis knocked off #6 Ethan Smith 6-4 at 174. Finally, with the Ohio State leading 15-13 into the decisive heavyweight match, #7 Tate Orndorff edged out #14 Nathan Trexler 3-2 to win Ohio State the dual. He was docked for stalling and deducted a team point, which ordinarily happens when a wrestler is slow to start or restart action after a stoppage.

Unfortunately, this dual was not televised anywhere but ACCN Extra, so the wrestling world missed a great one. Ohio State has to feel good about getting a close win like this on the road, in Blacksburg. Malik Heinselman won Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors for his victory.

#1 Iowa Hawkeyes 32, Princeton 12

Atiant: As fun as it was to be back in Carver, this dual opened and closed with disappointments. No Spencer Lee at 125 meant Jesse Ybarra got the nod, but Princeton forfeited the weight after Pat Glory either failed to make weight or failed to weigh in, depending on who you ask. DeSanto and Eierman each got bonus points in the next two weights, then “freshman” Cobe Siebrecht made his Carver debut with a 2:34, 16-1 technical fall over Josh Breeding. Unfortunately, Kaleb Young looked thoroughly outmatched against #7 Quincy Monday, who won 9-5. Marinelli looked controlling, but fell just short of bonus points, then Nelson Brands earned the Hawkeyes a major decision at 174 pounds, and Myles Wilson earned a technical fall over Forest Belli 23-8. Zach Glazier got sent out for Iowa at 197 but lost to Luke Stout 5-0. Then, in one of the more shocking matches I’ve witnessed personally, and maybe the most disappointing match in a dual since Piccininni stuck Lee in 2019, the great Tony Cassioppi slipped his hold on an armbar and got reversed to his back, where the weight of Del Garbino was too much, and the great Tony Cassioppi was pinned. It was his first loss to a wrestler not named Steveson or Parris since Matt Stencel in 2019.

There isn’t much to say about the team that we didn’t know before. Kaleb Young isn’t going to win a championship. Cassioppi is still probably exactly third-best in the country. I don’t know if Brands at 174 is a permanent fixture, but obviously we hope to have Kemerer back.

In other news, Iowa hired their first Women’s Wrestling coach, former Women’s National Team assistant Clarissa Chun. Chun was a bronze metalist at the 2012 Olympic Games, a World Champion in 2008, and an assistant on the national team from 2018 until her hiring by the university. Iowa’s inaugural season will be 2023-24.

#16 Minnesota Gophers 10, #2 Oklahoma State 23

Atinat: It was a somewhat disappointing home opener for the Gophers, who couldn’t keep pace with the second-ranked Cowboys. It started with an upset by Trevor Matrogiovanni over #5 Mitch McKee by a score of 9-4. No Dusty Hone meant an advantage for Minnesota at 141, where Jake Bergeland defeated Carter Young 6-4, but they lost the following weight where #26 Michael Blockhus lost to #22 Kaden Gfeller 9-4. Brayton Lee couldn’t find bonus points, but still impressed in a 15-9 victory over #14 Wyatt Sheets. However, it was downhill from there, as the Cowboys won the next four weights, finally finding bonus points in defending-national champion AJ Ferrari’s 12-4 major decision over Michial Foy. Steveson entertained in his last-first home dual, beating Luke Suber 20-7.

The Gophers did impress in spots, but weak performances from McKee and Blockhus are signs of worry. Still, there’s a good team in there, and this doesn’t damper their expectations for the season.

Michigan State Spartans at Navy Classic

Atinat: Michigan State took the team title at the Navy Classic, edging out Ohio and Navy thanks to championships from Rayvon Foley at 133 pounds and Peyton Omania at 149 pounds. Malczewski and Caffey each got second place, Saldate and Caleb Fish got third, and Michigan State had additional placers at 141, 157, and 197 pounds. Neat!

#21 Purdue Boilermakers sweeps Brown, Duke, Northern Illinois

HWAHSQB: Purdue went 3-0 in a packed day of wrestling, beating Brown 42-0, Duke 28-15, and NIU 28-10. Five of the seven ranked grapplers for the Boilers went 3-0 on the day. Devin Schroder 125#, freshman Matt Ramos 133#, Parker Filius 141#, Kendall Coleman 157#, and Thomas Penola 197# all had perfect days. Out of 30 matches for the host team, only 3 featured matchups of ranked wrestlers, with Purdue winning 1 of those 3 bouts. At 184#, #23 ranked Boiler Max Lyon lost to #8 Brit Wilson of the Huskies. In that same dual, #20 Gerrit Nijenhuis beat #28 Mason Kauffman. Prior to that, Gerrit had lost to #7 ranked Adam Finesilver of the Duke Blue Devils.

#9 Nebraska Cornhuskers, #16 Minnesota at Daktronics Open

Atinat: Minnesota didn’t send any starters, but Nebraska did and had a fairly good performance. Below are the listed finishes of all attached wrestlers from Big Ten schools, as well as their championship losses and other notable Big Ten wrestlers.

125: Liam Cronin (Neb)-6th place (semifinals, Kysen Terukina of Iowa State, 4-3); Jeremiah Reno (Neb)-DNP (quarterfinals, Brody Teske of UNI, 15-0)

133: Alex Thomsen (Neb)-DNP (R16, Julian Farber of UNI, 7-3); Jordan Kelber (Neb)-DNP (R16, Kyle Biscoglia of UNI, 9-2); Drew Mattin (Unattached-Michigan)-1st, Vance Vombar (Unattached-Minnesota)-2nd, 7-0

141: Marcus Polanco (Minn)-2nd (Zach Redding of Iowa State, 6-3); Tucker Sjomeling (Neb)-DNP (quarterfinals, Cael Happel of UNI, 16-13)

149: Jevon Parrish (Neb)-2nd (Jarrett Degen of Iowa State, 13-2); Ridge Lovett (Neb)-DNP (MFF); Sebas Swiggum (Minn)-DNP (R16, Tristan Lara of UNI, 13-6); Theo Cha (Minn)-DNP (R16, Jevon Parrish of Nebraska, 5-2); Ben Lunn (Minn)-DNP (R16, Jarrett Degen of Iowa State, 10-3)

157: Peyton Robb (Neb)-2nd (David Carr of Iowa State, 7-5)

165: Cael Carlson (Minn)-5th (semifinals, Austin Yant of UNI, 12-1); Bubba Wilson (Neb)-DNP (quarterfinals, Austin Kraisser of Iowa State, 3-1); Tim Stapleton (Minn)-DNP (R16, Austin Kraisser, 8-1); Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (Neb)-DNP (R16, Carter Schmidt of Iowa State, 3-1)

174: Mikey Labriola (Neb)-1st; Bailee O’Reilly (Maybe Minnesota? He’s no longer on their roster)-3rd (semifinals, Mikey Labriola, 11-4)

184: Taylor Venz (Neb)-3rd (semifinals, Marcus Coleman of Iowa State, 5-3)

197: Silas Allred (Neb)-1st; Bennett Tabor (Minn)-4th (semifinals, Nick Casperson of SDSU, 11-8); Anthony Gaona (Neb)-DNP (quarterfinals, Bennett Tabor, fall 1:12)

285: Christian Lance (Neb)-1st; Keaton Kluever (Minn)-5th (quarterfinals, Christian Lance, 5-2)

#6 Michigan Wolverines defeats Columbia, Buffalo

Atinat: Michigan beat Columbia 34-3 on Friday before knocking off Buffalo 31-3 on Sunday, both on the road. There was only one ranked bout in the first dual, with #11 Cameron Amine beating #29 Josh Ogunsanya 3-1 at 165 pounds. They got a tech fall out of Dylan Ragusin, and majors out of Kanen Storr, Will Lewan, Jelani Embree, Pat Brucki, and backup Patrick Nolan. The only loss came from Max Maylor at 174 pounds, who fell 8-4 to unranked Aaron Ayzerov. That could be a weak weight for Michigan this season. Michigan took the first 9 matches from Buffalo before backup heavyweight Bobby Striggow lost 2-0 to spoil the no-hitter. Brucki earned a tech fall just before that, and Ragusin and Embree earned major decisions. Michigan probably expected a lot more bonus points in this one, and close matches from Storr, Lewan, and Amine should scare them into form a bit.

Maryland Terrapins 7, #19 Pitt 26

Kind of...: Pitt would probably finish in the 9-12 range in the B1G, so this score doesn’t exactly mean Maryland is coming on, but it might mean Maryland isn’t as terrible as they have been recently. At 197, the always game Jaron Smith held #2 Nino Bonaccorsi to a decision. #5 Mikey Phillipi (133) and #4 Jake Wentzel (165) also could only muster decisions for the Panthers. And three other victories by ranked/fringe-ranked Panthers all had to go to sudden victory. With Dominic Solis (174) earning a major decision and Kyle Cochran (184) not surrendering a point in his match, Maryland has a decent back half of their lineup. Mark your calendar for Jan 21 (@ Indiana) and Feb 4 (vs. MSU) if you want to catch Maryland’s best chances at a B1G dual victory. But this team is done getting shut out at the B1G tournament. I think.

#8 Ohio State 51, Notre Dame College 0

Atinat: I'd just like to remind you that a perfect score would be 60.

#1 Iowa hosts #25 Oregon State Army West Point on Saturday Sunday at 2PM on BTN+

Atinat: Well frick. Some weather issues popped up, and after initially moving the dual back to Sunday, Oregon State had to cancel altogether. Fortunately, Army West Point was in nearby Ames, presumably whooping Cyclone butt, and agreed to add us to their schedule. So, let’s see how much of this preview I can keep.

A healthy Iowa would shut Oregon State Army out, but there’s quite a few differences between the Iowa lineup now and what we expect to see in March. Spencer Lee is still absent from the probables, so Jesse Ybarra is looking to get his season going against #26 Brandon Kaylor Ryan Chauvin after Glory no-showed last week. #3 Austin DeSanto will look for bonus points against #20 Devan Turner Mark Montgomery. #2 Jaydin Eierman will also have a ranked foe in #13 Grant Willits #26 Corey Shie, a junior and 3-time (no 2020 tournament) national qualifier. Max Murin is also projected to delay his start to the season, as Cobe Siebrect is expected to get the start against #32 Cory Crooks #22 PJ Ogunsanya. Crooks Ogunsanya is a considerably better opponent on paper than Princeton’s Josh Breeding, so this will be a good test for the freshman. #8 Kaleb Young will close out the lightweights with a bout against #17 Hunter Willits #29 Markus Hartman, also a three-time national qualifier like his brother teammate.

Marinelli has an unranked freshman as his opponent at 165 pounds (this stayed true!), then Oregon State Army sends #23 Mateo Olmos #24 Ben Pasiuk to face either #2 Michael Kemerer or ringer Nelson Brands. I suspect the plan for Brands is to bump him up to 184 once Kemerer is fully healthy. In the meantime, Iowa lists Myles Wilson and Abe Assad at 184, to face unranked Jackson McKinney #29 Brad Laughlin. #3 Jacob Warner is listed alongside sophomore Zach Glazier at 197 pounds, to face unranked sophomore JJ Dixon #20 JT Brown. Cassioppi dropped to 7th following his loss in the Princeton dual, jumped by Cohlton Schultz (2-0 all time), Greg Kerkvliet (1-0, MD), Trent Hillger (4-0, 2 MD), and Tate Orndorff (3-0, 2 Falls, MD). he will begin his “revenge tour” against Ohio State transfer “Gas Tank” Gary Traub, a super-senior Ben Sullivan, a regular senior.

#12 Rutgers, #17 Wisconsin to face Hofstra, #18 North Carolina on Saturday, starting at 4:30PM (BTN+)

Kind of...: According to Intermat, Rutgers has eight ranked wrestlers (NOT 157 and 165), UNC has seven (NOT 165, 174, and HWT), UW has seven (NOT 133, 141, and 157), and Hofstra has three (157, 184, and 197). UW and Rutgers should each beat Hofstra handily, so I won’t say anything else about those duals.

Rutgers is a clear favorite over UNC. UNC’s path to an upset would likely require #10 Jaime Hernandez to defeat #12 Sammy Alvarez at 133 (I think Alvarez wins); #16 Zach Sherman over #25 Mike van Brill at 149 (this will probably happen; Sherman was recently #6), #7 Austin O’Connor to get at least an MD at 157; winning a coin flip among unranked wrestlers at 165; and #15 Clay Lautt (who just came down from 184) defeating #13 Jackson Turley at 174. Even then, they’ll have to avoid giving up bonus points to sneak out the win. I don’t see it happening, and I actually have Rutgers winning 24-10.

Wisconsin/UNC is closer to a tossup, though the match may have some swings to it. #6 Eric Barnett should get UW off to a good start at 125, but UNC is going to be favored in the next four weights. 149 will be critical as UW’s Austin Gomez #19 takes on #16 Sherman. UW should then re-assert itself behind #26 Dean Hamiti at 165 (and he’s a true frosh, so probably under-ranked) and #8 Andrew McNally at 174. The Badgers’s Chris Weiler (#14) will be favored at 184, but UNC rsFR Gavin Kane (#23) is bumping up from 174, and could be a wild card. If UW is close at this point, the closing kick of #16 Braxton Amos (197) and #5 Trent Hilger (HWT) should see them through. I have UW winning 21-16, but fully expect some nervous moments.

#15 Minnesota hosts #23 South Dakota State on Sunday at 1PM on BTN+

Atinat: Minnesota has the only ranked wrestlers in the first two bouts, but we get our first ranked matchup of the day at 141 pounds where the Jackrabbits send #7 Clay Carlson out to face #27 Jake Bergeland. Minnesota has #26 Michael Blockhus at 149 pounds, and he could see #29 Zach Price of SDSU. #4 Brayton Lee will look for bonus points against an unranked opponent at 157 pounds, then Minnesota has #22 Andrew Sparks where the Jackrabbits have #18 Tanner Cook. South Dakota State is a slight favorite again at 174 pounds, where #17 Cade DeVos will see the Gophers’ #25 Jared Krattiger. Only Minnesota’s Isaiah Salazar is ranked at 184, where he comes in at 28th. Minnesota’s only unranked wrestler will come at 197, where SDSU has sixth-ranked Tanner Sloan. Former Fresno State heavyweight AJ Nevills will be the goat sent out for T-Rex Gable Steveson. But Gable doesn’t want to be fed. Gable wants to hunt.

I have Minnesota slightly favored going into the last bout, up 17-16. However, even if they trail, I expect Steveson to deliver this dual with a pin. Call it 23-16, Gophers.