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Mizzou Wrestling: Two More Wins Added to the Streak

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The Tigers had a weekend of MAC duals and a bit of travel, but came through both as we expected; with two more MAC dual wins

Coach Smith did a decent bit of thinking/lineup shifting this past weekend to get some people a break
Coach Smith did a decent bit of thinking/lineup shifting this past weekend to get some people a break
The Beef

{Note from The Beef - The boys and I got going pretty good this past week, so here is part 1 of our weekly coverage.  Parts 2 and 3 will come Thursday and Friday as we take a long look at the next Tiger opponent, one who may very well end the dual winning streak}

The Beef - Two more wins for the Tigers this past weekend, both in conference, and both leave us with some things to talk about and to watch for going forward.  Weird weekend as the Tigers were home on Friday night against Eastern Michigan before travelling to Michigan to take on Central. The Tigers seemed to take their foot off the pedal against EMU, and EMU wrestled them tough, tougher than their MAC-predicted last place finish would have had you believe.  What was your take-away from the action on Friday?

Shaffe - I wasn't able to catch this one live so most of my analysis will be solely from the box score. It was nice to see three guys get some run that aren't part of the normal starting 10. Cody Johnston and Aaron Assad both dropped their matches which made the team score a little closer than if Mizzou would have sent out Blaise Butler and Barlow McGhee there, but the important part is bringing home the team victory which the Tigers still did with ease. I was quite pleased to see redshirt freshman John Ernestee go out and pick up a victory as Ernestee is a guy who I think can provide some good depth at 133/141 in the coming years.

BST - Same here. Dual score was much closer than the actual results would have been had Smith not rested more than half the starters. 

The Beef - For me, I was very impressed with Erneste as Shaffe already referenced.  The dual was potentially in some doubt if that result goes the other way, and not only did he come out and win it, but did so convincingly.  Also nice to see Barnes get such a large decision, as he showed some nice work from the top to work the score up quickly.  Barnes has to wrestle his matches a little differently since he is SO small as a 157’er (and we can get into that more in the CMU meet).

Speaking of the action from Sunday, any thoughts there as the Tigers were a bit more definitive in taking care of another MAC opponent?

Shaffe - While the EMU dual was probably not quite as close as the final team score indicated, the Central Michigan dual was probably much closer than the 26-9 final would tell you. Mizzou was able to take three straight one point decisions to open up a 12-0 lead before CMU's Lucas Smith narrowly edged Le'Roy Barnes in a one point match of his own. In watching this dual I was all ready to cue up another "Barlow McGhee wrestles passively but manages to win another match" response, but then McGhee really turned things up in the third period. Props to him for taking it to his opponent this weekend. I would have liked to see Synon and Mayes win their matches by larger margins, but a win is a win I suppose. 

BST - Agreed Shaffe. This is the epitome of a dual that Brian Smith will tell everyone, "Hey, I know we won by 25, but we wrestled like crap." He'll be on his guys about close matches and staying strong all season long, not just 1 match or 1 period. 

Synon and Manely had close matches, but they did gut them out when they counted, in OT. Horan from Central Michigan has been a thorn in the side of Mizzou wrestlers the last few years, so I was glad to see Manley get that W. 

The Beef - I’m not mad at Manley at all for his win over Horan.  That is a tough wrestler and a nice barometer against which to measure Manley and his current place in the national 141 discussion.  Strange match for Barnes, as that was the first time I ever saw a wrestler down 1-0 NOT take the bottom position when offered.  All the more strange considering he was able to reverse the late takedown towards the end of the period.  I get the reason WHY he chose to stay neutral (again, because he is so small as compared to most 157 pounders), but I fear that was over-thinking a bit.

I was not terribly impressed with the match from Butler on Sunday.  Tough opponent who is built like a brick you-know-what, but it was still disappointing to not see that match have the outcome for Butler. 

Before we move over to Okie State, any thoughts on the post-pin actions from Willie Miklus at 184?  Seemed like a little more than his normal "Are you not entertained" look we’ve become accustomed to following his pins.

BST - Butler has now dropped 2 matches in the last 2 weeks to guys ranked below him. I'm not sure if Blaise is maybe dinged up or has been under the weather. Its not the direction I'd like to see him going, especially in conference duals.

Shaffe - I wasn't too impressed with Miklus' post-pin reaction and neither were the two CMU guys on the call, but the reality of the matter is not every guy in a collection of 18-22 year old males is going to be soft spoken. I think what we have here is a minor case of "he's a jerk, but he's MY jerk". Maybe reel it in a bit on the road next time?

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea at all what Willie Miklus is like as a person and cast no judgments on his personality based on seeing him for 10-15 minutes every once in a while on a wrestling mat

Circling back to Butler if I may, I was a little surprised that he was never awarded 2 points in that last minute. I felt he got behind Ottinger at some point for a reversal or an escape/takedown combo as the Chippewa mysteriously stopped wrestling for a few seconds there. Alas, Butler did not get the call and only got the escape and couldn't finish the comeback.

BST - Just caught the replay of Miklus' match. That was pretty funny. There wasn't much of a crowd there, but he certainly got a reaction out of the 50 or so in attendance.

The Beef - That portion of the Butler match was strange, as Ottinger stopped wrestling, and so too did Butler to some extent.  He needed to just tackle him and he hung back and only got the one.  Very strange.

As for the rest of the dual, at least J’Den managed to avoid receiving his normal eye poke

Speaking of pokes (see what I did there?), we’ll get to them tomorrow, but we can wrap up the weekend action by saying that James Romero avoided a sticky situation in the first period to end up losing a decision to his CMU opponent.  As announcers have pointed out, Romero (who has 11 wins on the season, but NINE via pin) is a bit all or nothing, in part because he is still pretty small and also because his form is not always perfect on his throws.  And when a HWY goes for a body lock and a throw, being too high on your opponent can allow them to easily use your own momentum against you and turn it over on you.  We’ve seen that a few times from Romero, but hopefully he is starting to settle down a bit.