Alright Nation readers, another fantastic feature (as we seem to be going for alliteration) we will hope to provide to you all season will be my review of Mizzou Wrestling matches. A little background on my wrestling experience and expertise...I really don't have much to be honest. I wrestled a couple of seasons in high school in CT...I was not very good at all, but loved the sport. I have followed it since, so I feel I have as good a grasp as any of our contributors on it. But PLEASE (and as always), if you have something to share, always know that any of my posts are open and you are invited to throw your 2 cents (or more) on the pile.
This week, Mizzou traveled out east to start their season against #27 Rider and #13 Hofstra, who is ALWAYS a giant killer. Let's get to it, but before we do, some basics to wrestling in case this is your first real exposure to commentary on the sport.
10 weight classes: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197, HWY (275)
3 periods: First period is 3 minutes, last 2 are 2 minutes
Opponents will start "neutral" (both standing) to start first period. Coin toss to determine position in 2nd period, where one can take "up" (on top), "down" (on bottom) or neutral. Winner of coin toss can also defer to 3rd period.
2 points for a takedown
1 for an escape (getting up and back to neutral)
2 points for a reversal (going from being taken down to a position of advantage)
2-3 back points (exposing both shoulders to the mat (more than 5 seconds=3 points, 3-5 seconds (I believe) is 2 points)
1 point for riding time (time in control of your opponent goes to this with a running clock which will click up and down. For instance, if you have 45 seconds of riding time, then get reversed for 23 seconds, you have 22 seconds riding time) If you have more than 1 minute riding time at the end of the match, you get an extra point. If often decides very close matches.
3 points for a win by 1-7 points.
4 points for a win by 8-14 points (Major Decision)
5 points for a win by 15+ points (match is stopped once points are official) (Tech Fall)
6 points for a win by fall.
Alright...with that out of the way, let's get to the action.
Rider 34-4 WIN
A dominating start to the season for Mizzou, who lost in only one match of the 10 on the evening. Starting his first ever match, red-shirt freshman Tony Pescaglia started it off for the Tigers with a 10-4 decision. #2 (in the country) Tyler McCormick started his senior campaign with a 7-3 decision at 133, and junior Marcus Hoehn kept it going with another decision at 141. The lone loss on the day for Mizzou came next, as #9 senior Josh Wagner fell to #4 and All American Don Fisch 17-9 to lose the major decision (see how this works?) Junior Emanuel Brooks also won his first ever match at 157, winning an 8-4 decision. Bonus points (considered in team points with anything over a decision) were picked up at 165 by #12 sophomore Nick Marable with a 20-3 tech fall. Senior James Williamson became the first person in 4 years to win a match at 174 not named Ben Askren as he won 7-2. Junior #6 Raymond Jordan started what should be an All-American (finish top 8 in your class at NCAA's) campaign with another tech fall, and that was followed by #3 sophomore Ben Askren taking a close decision over #11 TJ Morrison 7-6. #13 sophomore Mark Ellis finished it out for the Tigers with a first period pin at 2:18.
Hofstra 22-21 WIN
What a nail biter, but a great win for a pretty young Tiger team to go on the road, and not only win, but pull this one out in the fashion they did. The dual featured a ranked wrestler in each weight class, with 5 of them having a match between 2 ranked opponents. Needless to say, there will be few duals this year in the country that will sport that kind of talent on the mat.
Tony Pescaglia got off to a rough start for Mizzou at 125, losing a major decision to #7 Dave Tomasette 16-2. #2 Tyler McCormick looked to regain the advantage, but was upset in a big way by #6 Lou Ruggirello, who pinned the two-time All American at 5:30 (early 3rd period). That was followed by Marcus Hoehn falling 13-0 at 141 to #2 Charles Grffin and Mizzou was down 14-0. Josh Wagner got the comeback started for Mizzou with a close decision over #17 Mitch Smith, and that was followed by a big win by #9 Mike Chandler at 157. The junior wrestled his first match of the season after falling to Emanuel Brooks in the wrestle-offs for the spot in the class, but came up big in his match against #15 Johnny Bonilla-Bowman with a major decision 15-6. #12 Nick Marable kept it going for Mizzou as he won a major against #12 Ryan Patrovich to cut the Hofstra lead down to 14-11. Next up at 174, James Williamson lost a major decision to #10 Alton Lucas, pushing the Hostra lead back to 7 points at 18-11. But, coming right back, #6 Raymond Jordan got a big pin for Mizzou, pinning his opponent at 4:20 in the match, and cutting the lead to one. Things looked good for Mizzou with #3 Max Askren coming to the mat, but he was upset in a close match against #6 Joe Rovelli 4-2, making the total 21-17 going into the HWY class. Mizzou would need a major decision to simply tie (no tie-breaker, match would have ended as a tie) and more to take the win, and more they got as #13 Mark Ellis won a tech fall against his opponent with 21 seconds to go in the match, taking it 21-6 and giving Mizzou the 22-21 win.
Up next for the Tigers will be the Missouri Open tournament this coming Sunday in the Hearnes Fieldhouse. There should be 12 mats of action going at one time, with the finals expected around 3pm. The Open will not be scored on a team format, and will simply crown individual weight class champions. Mizzou will then travel to Las Vegas for the Vegas Invitational the first weekend in December, where it will be a team tournament (team points awarded based on finish of top wrestlers in each class).