Rather than being reactive, let’s get pro-active this week and break down the potential matchups for the Tigers as they take on #23 Cal Poly at noon today and Purdue later on this evening at the Hearnes Center. Remember, these matches, along with the Open Tournament on Sunday, are your last chance to see the Tigers in person until conference season in February.
Mizzou vs Cal Poly & Purdue
The Tigers will start with the #23 ranked Mustangs of Cal Poly. Let’s go weight for weight to see how the Tigers stack up against both schools, with a closing paragraph on each dual to close. We will lead off with Poly and as always, all rankings are care of Intermat Wrestle.
125 – Senior Micah Ferguson of Poly was pinned his last time out against Fullerton. Sophomore Troy Dolan was shut out in his first match. Consider this class on Brad Wisdom Watch. Until then (and until Wisdom in turn proves himself), I will have to always give the advantage to the opposition.
For the Boilers, RS Frosh Matt Fields is 7-2 on the season, with three falls already to his credit. I think it is very possible we will see Wisdom wrestle with two matches on the same day, but I still have to side with Purdue here.
133 - RS Frosh Nathan McCormick has looked good coming out of the gate, but he will have his work cut out for him against sophomore #14 Boris Novachkov. A win by McCormick would really make a statement, but I have to go Mustangs on this.
Junior Akif Eren is likely to see the start here for Purdue, and sports a 6-1 record so far on the season. Tough to call this one so early in the season, but given that Eren does not have a career winning record (was only 20-33 coming into the year), let’s mix it up and step out on a limb and go with McCormick
141 – Junior #19 Todd Schavrien overcame his opening loss to get the title at the UCM Open last weekend. He will once again face a ranked opponent, this time against junior #14 Filip Novachkov. This is probably a pretty even batter, and one Mizzou may need to win, but I will go with Poly again here.
Junior Juan Archuleta is likely to see the mat at 141 for Purdue, and does so with a 6-0 record on the season. He recently won the Eastern Michigan Open with a 4-0 mark. I still like Schavrien here, as I do not anticipate the Purdue dual to be as close as the Poly one might be.
149 – Senior Eric Maldanado of Poly has been ranked before I believe, but finds himself out of the Top 20 currently. Junior Brandon Weist looked OK against Illinois, but may still be finding his way. Will Poly really win four matches in a row?
Purdue has a couple of wrestlers who have seen just about split action this season, one of which is Sam Patacsil, whose brother was a prominent wrestler for the Boilers and whose grandfather was a national champion. Sam is only 5-3 on the season (senior Nick Bertucci is 7-3), but I like both to beat Weist here.
157 – Sophomore Patrick Wright lost a tough one to Illinois, but rebounded well at the UCM Open. Very likely however, it will not matter, as he takes on senior and #2 Chase Paimi. Oy…this is starting to look bad here.
Purdue will put their first ranked opponent on the mat at this weight with #10 junior Colton Salazar. He will be a great opportunity for Wright, but what a tough day for the young man, as he is likely staring down a 0-2 day.
165 – Poly will likely trot out RS Frosh Steven Vasquez against senior #7 Nick Marable. Marable just won the UCM Open, but he may need to get some bonus points here, depending on how the first half of this dual (assuming the 125 start) goes. No matter where the action starts, a bonus point win here might be a must for MU.
Purdue has only put one wrestler on the mat this season at this weight, and senior Jason Martin is 1-5. Look for Marable to win once again, and probably big.
174 – This will be a battle of sophomores, as Poly’s Ryan DesRoches will take on #16 Dorian Henderson of Mizzou. Henderson was the third winner at the UCM Open (Schavrien and Marable) and should be expected to win here.
Here is probably the match of the dual against Purdue, as a ranked Henderson will face #12 junior Luke Manuel, who is unblemished on the season at 7-0. I like the experience of Manuel here, though he made the move UP to 174 this season, while Henderson made the move down. Will be interesting to see how that plays out.
184 – With the loss of Mike Pucillo of Ohio State to Dustin Kilgore of Kent State, Max Askren is your new national #1, though we I am not too sure who the senior will be facing. Last time out against Fullerton, Poly trotted out junior Tyler Holt, who is certified at 174. Senior Brandyn Tepper is the oldest of three at 184 per the Poly roster, but look for another big win here by Askren.
Purdue is not getting much out of this class, as senior (good lord Purdue has an old team) Nick Corpe is 2-3 on the season in this slot. My guess is it will be his job not to get bonus points scored against him by Askren, but I see that as being pretty likely.
197 – RS Frosh Brent Haynes was a breath of fresh air, winning his first match over a ranked opponent against Illinois. His first win and week has led him to cracking the top 20 at #17. Against Poly, I am also not sure of the opponent, as the Mustangs had (listed) 184’er senior Ryan Smith against Fullerton. I look for Haynes to avoid any sort of potential upset here.
#11 junior Logan Brown for Purdue is still undefeated on the season and the likely opponent for Haynes. While Haynes was able to take down #18 Bond of Illinois, it is still a little too early to expect he will be able to raise his game higher still this early. However, a win here will be a very solid statement and likely launch him into the first set of in-season rankings if he kept it up.
HWY – Don’t let the UCM results (Dom Bradley 3rd, Mark Ellis 4th) fool you. Yes, a national champ should not expect to lose in a smaller tournament like this, but the margin of error at this weight is really the smallest. Sophomore Lenny Romero of Poly will draw one of our pair, and I do expect both to wrestle today. No matter who steps out, look for a Mizzou win.
Freshman Adam Walls has been the most successful HWY for the Boilers on the season at 6-3. I think he will likely move to 6-4 no matter who he faces from the Tigers here, as this winning prediction is likely to stand almost all season for Mizzou at this class.
A funny note…because Bradley defeated Ellis in the 3rd place match, Bradley now appears at #4 (below Rosholt of Okie State who beat him in the previous round), but Ellis is no longer ranked. So congrats to Dom Bradley on his first ranking I suppose.
I think this is a really dangerous dual for the Tigers. They are going to need a win or two at the lower half to stay away from NEEDING bonus points in the upper half. The matches at 125 and 141 are going to be really important, and it has to make one nervous to pin some hopes on to any match at 125. The Tigers certainly should own a significant advantage at 165 and higher, and may very well need an extra point or two of bonus to pull this one off, while being careful at 157 to control the outcome as best they can. This one will be very interesting to watch unfold, as I like the Tigers in a close win. Maybe the time change/difference will have an effect on the Mustangs?
Good to get the tough one out of the way early and hopefully win it before moving on to the Purdue match. It will be a good match at 174, with likely Boiler wins at 149 and 157. I could see where they get some breaks and this match ends up being closer than that, but it will take some Tiger mistakes and some great efforts from the Boilers for that to happen, and I don’t think it will. I do believe Mizzou will come out 2-0 on the day, though not after some tense moments from the Poly dual.