With the exception of the National Duals Tournament, which takes place towards the end of February, Friday night’s dual against Okie State was our last against a highly ranked opponent for awhile. In the end, the Tigers walked away with 7 of the 10 wins on their way to a 22-10 win. What stood out to you on Friday night, first on the positive side?
Waters holding on for the win against top 10 foe Kilmara and Mellon going to the tie-breaker against AA Marsden were the highlights for me. Would have liked to see a bit more from Waters, but I'm not going to nitpick that much in a top 10 win.
Anything else stand out for you?
On the positive side, I like what I saw from Miklus at 184 taking on a REALLY large Nolan Boyd. I know Miklus wrestled up at times at 197, and perhaps that helped, but Boyd was really big. I thought Mayes did a nice job of wrestling all seven minutes to close out his match against Heil. I thought Eblen had real nice energy against his guy at 184, even though it ultimately went to OT before Eblen just gassed the other kid out.
So let’s turn it around. What did you see from a 22-10 win over the #7 team in the nation that had you scratching your head or yelling at your ESPN3?
Gotta say I was more than a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see Houdashelt vs Kindig for the rematch. I was also let down by Synon's performance. he just cracked the rankings and then dropped this match to Harding. Again, these are a bit nit picky, but the team got the win and that was the big goal.
I will be even more nit-picky here.
Waters got lazy in the third, and his ride (normally very solid) was really off on Friday. There were three different times when I thought he was too high on Klimara, and twice that resulted in reversals. Considering how much those two have wrestled, I did not know if he was going off of something which had worked before, but it really did not work on Friday.
I thought Synon had a solid start to his match, and just gassed out into the third period.
Mayes will need to work on his top position going into next year to take the next step.
Still not sure I love how low Lavallee gets on his stance and he almost got run over at one point early in his match, but that was a decent win nonetheless.
Devin Mellon is wrestling well, but needs to trust his shot more.
Alright, shall we close the book on the Pokes and move over to the Not Buffalo Bison Northern Illinois match?
Ha, book is closed.
So, Mizzou beat UNI 32-12 in a dual that saw a few back ups get some action and not much as far as big names. Anything stand out to you on the positive side?
Well first, and because we clearly cannot keep our opponents together, we wrestled NIU. UNI is who we are about to start discussing for the preview of this coming weekend
Synon had a good response to a tough loss by working very methodically to a major decision win, especially considering we had just started the dual by giving up a pin. Leroy Barnes was fun to watch at point and Devin’s major to end the meet was a pretty fitting close. What else made you happy?
Biggest thing for me from the meet against whomever it was we just wrestled against, is that all 3 of the bigger boys went out there looking determined and got extra team points. I loved seeing that kind of energy and determination.
What were you let down by in this dual against The University of Northern Illinois?
Enjoyed seeing the back to back pins from Miklus and Cox…especially after Cody Johnston was stuck himself. Was a good manner in which to put away that dual quickly.
The two pins are disappointing on the surface. Chase Brennan was in his 2nd ever match, but he had not been bad in his first, so I had some hope for more competition. As for Cody, he needs to learn to keep his distance from his NIU opponent, because otherwise he is wrapping him up in a bear hug and putting him on his back.
The other thing I want to complain about is something really small, but it annoyed me all the same.
Early in his match at 149, Leroy Barnes and his opponent were out on the edge, with Barnes’ opponent holding a single-leg. At this point, Barnes was fully out of bounds, but because the NIU wrestler was still in (and I agree with this rule), the run of play continued. Barnes was able to pull his leg free and escape the hold and possible takedown….and was called for stalling because he did so while standing out of bounds.
To me, if you are going to permit the action to continue with the offensive wrestler allowed one toe in bounds, the defending wrestler should be able to escape the threat without the fear of a stall call. Fleeing the mat? Totally get it. But if you are established out of bounds and escape, the fact it is an automatic stall annoyed me.
Anyway, anything else before we look at a calendar and determine our next two opponents? Lord knows we’ve probably talked about them at some point in the last two pieces already.
I agree that we've pretty much come full circle on stalling now. It was rarely called just a few years ago and now any time a guy tries to escape near the edge of the mat or simply takes that 1 step into out of bounds they're fleeing or stalling. It can't be that prevalent.
Let us move onto Northern Iowa, our lone opponent for this coming weekend. What do you know about them and is there any level of concern at all?
Jeez…I guess I REALLY want us to wrestle Buffalo already. I thought they were coming up this weekend.
Anyway, I believe it was UNI who kept us from earning the MAC regular season championship…err….um….standing last season (not sure if there is a trophy or not), so maybe that is a thing. UNI has been a very solid program for the last few years and has been kicking around the bottom of top 25 polls at different points this year. I would expect us to win at home, but I imagine there are going to be a couple of decent matches. Care to line ‘em up?
This is what I'm expecting UNI to bring for their lineup with rankings attached:
125 #6 Dylan Peters
133 Leighton gaul
141 Jake Hodges
149 Gunner Wolfensperger - amazing name
157 Jarrett Jensen
165 #12 Cooper Moore
174 Curt Maas
184 Cody Caldwell
197 Basil Minto - sounds like a fancy drink
HWT #11 Blaize Cabell
Looks like we could have a couple of really good matches at 125 and HWT. Does England take down a top 20 wrestler at 165?
I like what I saw from England against his NIU foe, and he did a decent job to keep his match with #1 Dieringer of Okie State to a major, but I don’t think so. I think Waters gets a valuable win over Peters to further cement his place towards the top (though I am reading that Delgado of Illinois plans to return this weekend finally, as he sits 2-0 on the year). The match against Cabell at HWY is one I will really be fixed on, as Devin has wrestled well against highly ranked opponents of late. This would be a nice win for him and a nice chance to positively move MAC and NCAA seeding potentially.
I too am looking forward to a bit more dominant showing from Waters. He'll only have 1 match in a 12 day stretch so he should be rested and ready to go. Good call on Mellon. He has been wrestling at a high level in the last month, he just hasn't quite gotten the big win against a ranked opponent tho. I hope this is the weekend for him to break through and get that seeding bump for the MACs.
When do we wrestle Buffalo? I am sooooooooooo ready for that match-up.