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B1G Wrestling - Week II

A Triple-Header on Friday Night Should Provide a Needed Fix

He Was a High School Quarterback here with your weekly rasslin’ update. Last week, Iowa and Nebraska kicked off the B1G dual season with a really fun meet that lived up to the hype with Iowa winning 22-10. This week, the premiere matchup is Penn State and Michigan. Here’s to hoping they follow suit and give us another great show!

Before we get into next week, here’s a quick recap of last week’s action:

Iowa looked impressive handling both Nebraska and Minnesota with relative ease (22-10 and 22-9 respectively) and sit atop the B1G standings. Alongside the Hawkeyes with 2-0 records are Rutgers, with a Hoosier state double play beating Indiana and Purdue, and Michigan, who beat MSU and Maryland. Also undefeated are PSU, who mollywhopped the Hoosiers 46-0 and OSU, who defeated Illinois 36-6. Maryland is the only team sitting at 1-1 after they thoroughly whipped a declawed Northwestern 29-15.

Notable individual results include true freshman Kannon Webster of Illinois beating RS SR and #5 ranked Dylan D’Emilio at 149, #2 ranked Jared Franek of Iowa beat #3 Peyton Robb of Nebraska, but then lost to Minnesota’s Michael Blockhus, Maryland’s Michael North pinned #13 Trevor Chumbley of Northwestern, and Fort Dodge’s own Drake Ayala had a big weekend with convincing wins over Smith of Nebraska and Patrick McKee of Minnesota.

Week 2 Preview

First thing that pops out at me here is a Big Ten Network tripleheader Friday night!!!

Friday January 19th

Penn State at Michigan 6:00 BTN

Loads of Top Ten matchups here for your viewing pleasure!! Michigan won’t win, but they won’t get blanked like the Loosiers did either. (I think) First up, at 133 you get #4 Aaron Nagao of PSU against #6 Dylan Ragusin. Ragusin wasn’t even the starter at this spot initially as Northwestern transfer Chris Cannon was supposed to be the guy, but Ragusin has had an excellent start to the season. At 165, you get Cam Amine for Michigan, ranked #7, and looking to rebound after a loss to his instate Spartan rival, and against #9 ranked freshman Mitchell Messenbrink. 174 gives us former national champ and Stanford Cardinal Shane Griffith going against the unstoppable force that is Carter Starocci for PSU. This is the first of two matchhups of #1 ranked Nittany Lions against #4 ranked Wolverines because at HWT, we get Greg Kerkvliet against Northwestern transfer Lucas Davison. This is probably the matchup I’m looking foward to the most of the four top ten bouts. Seriously, FOUR 4! top ten matchups on TV. You gotta tune in, right?

Kind of...: Amine/Messenbrink is especially interesting. Amine looks like a safe bet to finish somewhere in that 3rd-8th range at nationals. So, if Messenbrink knocks him off, I will start banging the drum again regarding PSU’s chances at setting the scoring record at nationals. Ragusin/Nagao is also pretty intriguing. Ragusin has had some moments over the years, let’s see if he’s made a leap.

Rutgers at Michigan State 6:30 No TV listed (apparently no one cares about this dual)

Kind of...: I was going to step in and defend this, but 1) I won’t seek it out to watch, and 2) it’s a bad matchup for MSU. They’re down this year, and this isn’t the right dual for them to try to find a win. So, yeah, pass.

Maryland at Ohio State 7:00 BTN+

Purdue at Iowa 8:00 BTN

HWAHSQB: If you only catch one match from one dual this weekend, let me recommend the 125# bout in this primetime matchup. Purdue’s Matt Ramos is ranked #2 in the class and Iowa’s Drake Ayala jumped from #5 to #1 after having himself a weekend. Both of these guys will get to their offense and try to score and they both have a little funk so I expect a ton of fast-paced action in this one.

Kind of...: I know Ayala is a very highly-touted recruit, but I guess I’m late to the appreciation party. I just did not see him as a national title contender this year. But, if he beats Ramos, it’s pretty clear that he is.

Nebraska at Minnesota 10:00 BTN

Nebraska is going to win this quadrangle square-off, but there are a couple of really good matchups to watch. At 125, Gopher Patrick McKee slid to 18 in the rankings after losing to Ayala, but he is always dangerous. I think he might have more come from multiple scores down victories than anyone in the sport right now. He goes against #7 Caleb Smith. At 157, you have Peyton Robb who is ranked #5, but is coming off a loss to Iowa’s Jared Franek against #10 Michael Blockhus, who is coming off a win against........Iowa’s Jared Franek. My must see match is at 184 though, where #3 Lenny Pinto of Nebraska goes against #10 Isaiah Salazar. Their dual match last year was a hard fought 1 point win for the Cornhusker and I’m excited for the rematch.

Saturday January 20th

Northwestern at Illinois 3:00 BTN+

HWAHSQB: Both of these teams are not as strong as they have been in recent history. However, I think the Wildcats have fallen further. If I’m being honest, there aren’t really any compelling matches here. Neither of these teams are good at the same weights right now.

Sunday January 21st

Penn State at Michigan State TBA BTN+

Maryland at Indiana 1:00

Rutgers at Michigan 1:00 BTN+

Purdue at Nebraska 2:00 BTN+

Ohio State at Wisconsin 3:00 BTN

Kind of...: Wisconsin is the last team to wrestle a conference dual...and they’re probably going to get steamrolled. However, last week they handily defeated Virginia, 27-13, in a dual that WrestleStat predicted would be won by the Cavs.

Dean Hamiti is ALWAYS worth watching, and Max Maylor vs. Rocco Welsh at 174 should be a good showdown of guys good enough to make the NCAAs. Finally, Shane Liegel, a three-time All-American (and one-time champ) at Division III Loras is the feel good story of the year for UW, with a Midlands title and #16 national ranking. He has a chance to keep his momentum going vs. Gavin Hoffman. Otherwise, OSU is going to win pretty much everything else.