Michigan kicks off a big stretch Friday night at Wisconsin against the #6 Badgers before returning home for a MAIZE OUT Sunday afternoon against #3 Penn State. The Wolverines are in a tie for first in Big Ten duals at 4-0.
I thought a preview would help as the more informed you are with a match, the more fun it is to watch. I’ve compared a wrestling dual to that pace line you see in speed skating events at the Olympics. If you fall off that pace, you’ll need a prayer comeback. Always possible, not likely.
Quick team score information: 3pts for a decision, 4 pts for a maj. decision (winning by more then 7), 5 pts for a tech fall (winning by 15 or more), 6pts for a pin. When getting bonus points is talked about, its going for more then a regular decision.
#13Michigan @ #6Wisconsin
Friday 7:00pm CST (can watch online at InsideBadgerSports.com)
This dual was rescheduled from earlier in the year and Michigan is benefiting from it. Two big reasons why. The Wolverines have found their best lineup since and Wisconsin is missing their best wrestler from injury at 165 in returning National Champion Andrew Howe.
- 125 – Sean Boyle(So) 21-8 vs Tom Kelliher(So)3-5 Boyle is just outside of being ranked and should be the favorite here. Asking for bonus pts is possible, but, may not be likely. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 133 - #19 Zac Stevens(Jr)17-9 vs #3 Tyler Graff(So)25-1 Advantage Wisconsin. Graff should win this bout. I’ve been impressed with Stevens at times and UM needs to have him keep this close. I think he’s wrestling at a high level for him and can keep it close. Prediction: 3 for UW.
- 141 - #1 Kellen Russell(Jr)25-0 vs Shane McQuade(Fr)11-11 Advantage Michigan. Big advantage. Russell isn’t known for big wins, but, bonus pts is a must. McQuade started the year at 125 and is just filling a weak spot for them here. Prediction: 4 for UM
- 149 – Eric Grajales(Fr)10-9 vs Shawn Perry(Fr)11-9 This Could be a swing match, but, I feel Michigan holds an advantage. This isn’t UW’s starter and had to drop down to fill the spot. Grajales has been wrestling well as of late. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 157 - #20 Brandon Zeerip(Fr)25-8 vs Kalvin York(Fr)6-9 Zeerip didn’t start the year as a starter, but, as you can see, is now ranked and wrestling well. Advantage Michigan with the hope for bonus points. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 165 - #19 Dan Yates(Fr)18-7 vs Ben Cox(Fr)13-8 Cox is filling in the defending Nat. Champ. In turn Michigan has an advantage that it needs to jump all over. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 174 – Justin Zeerip(Jr)13-8 vs #12 Ben Jordan(So)16-4 UW’s Jordan is wrestling well of late, upsetting the #8 kid last week. These two met earlier in the season with Jordan winning 4-1. Prediction: 3 for UW
- 184 – Hunter Collins(So)8-12 vs #3 Travis Rutt(Jr)23-1 Wisconsin gets tough here. UM’s Collins has been disappointing at times and opens the door to bonus points for UW. Prediction: 4 for UW
- 197 - #10 Anthony Biondo(Sr)18-8 vs #2 Trevor Brandvold(Sr)4-0 Great matchup here with two 5thyear seniors. UW’s Brandvold just came back to action recently. He has shown to be enough of the better wrestler to me to not call this a swing match and give them the advantage. Prediction: 3 for UW
- 285 - #10 Ben Apland(So)13-8 vs #11 Eric Bgenhagen(Sr)19-4 Best matchup. These two met earlier in the season with UM’s Apland winning 6-5. They both have went on to wrestle well and this is a clear cut swing match. If my predictions hold up, the score could be 16-13 UM heading into this match (giving the bout starts at 125 by way of draw) Prediction: 3 for UM.
Final Team Score Prediction: Michigan 19 – Wisconsin 13
#3Penn State @ #13Michigan
Sunday 2:00pm MAIZE OUT (live stream on MgoBlue.com)
This dual is interesting in that these two faced off earlier on Jan 9that the Virginia duals tournament. PSU won 24-12(this doesn’t count towards the big ten record). As I stated earlier, UM has improved and found their best lineup since. They will look to limit damage and reverse fortune in some key spots.
- 125 – Sean Boyle vs #11 Brad Pataky(Sr)7-2 PSU’s Pataky won this matchup last time 8-2, but, he was held out of their last dual against Iowa. It looks like he’s going in this one. If he does, advantage Penn State. Prediction: 3 for PSU
- 133 - #19 Zac Stevens vs #9 Andrew Long(So)6-1 Bonus points for PSU’s Long last time as he won 12-3. Stevens, as I have said, is wrestling good and Long looked disappointing last time vs Iowa. Michigan needs to keep away from giving up bonus points here. Prediction: 3 for PSU
- 141 - #1 Kellen Russell vs #7 Andrew Alton(Fr)24-3 Nice to have the #1 guy here for UM. Russell won last time 3-1 in typical, low scoring fashion for him. PSU is strong here against most others. Not Michigan though. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 149 – Eric Grajales vs #5 Frank Molinaro(Jr)20-2 PSU won this last time 6-2. I think Michigan would be content with that result again. Prediction: 3 for PSU
- 157 - #20 Brandon Zeerip vs #3 David Taylor(Fr)26-0 Last time PSU’s Taylor wrestled Aaron Hynes from UM and won by tech fall 19-4. Since Zeerip has stepped up for the Wolverines. Taylor is tough though and is 26-0 for a reason. Limiting the damage is the goal. Prediction: 4 for PSU
- 165 - #19 Dan Yates vs Jake Kemerer(Fr)13-8 UM’s Yates got the win here last time 8-2, but, against a different guy then he’ll see this time. Kemerer for PSU is an upgrade, but, Yates should still win here. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 174 – Justin Zeerip vs #2 Ed Ruth(Fr)24-1 PSU’s Ruth is the real deal. He scored a pin last time against Michigan’s Jonathan Beck. Zeerip should be a tougher test to hopfully limit the damage. Prediction: 4 for PSU
- 184 – Hunter Collins vs #14 Quentin Wright(So)10-3 Michigan got the win here last time, but, not against Wright. Wright was ranked as high as #6 before a poor outing against Iowa. I’d give enn State the edge here, but, UM would want to steal this one to have a shot. Prediction: 3 for PSU
- 197 - #10 Anthony Biondo vs Justin Ortega(So)4-9 Penn State will most likely roll with Ortega here and Biondo beat him last time out 9-4. Michigan needs to push for bonus points, but, that will be tough. Prediction: 3 for UM
- 285 - #10 Ben Apland vs #5 Cameron Wade(Jr)22-3 This will most likely be close. PSU’s Wade won last time 3-0. Wade finds himself in low scoring matches like this. He beat Iowa’s unranked guy 1-0 last week. So, the door could be open to steal one. Will be tough though as he’s extremely tough to score on. Michigan will need this one if they want to pull off the dual. Prediction: 3 for PSU
Final Team Score Prediction: Michigan 9 – Penn State 23
Im not very optimistic, but, Michigan is two possible flipped matches (184 and 285) from a 12 point swing and a 15-17 dual and has things hinging on bonus points then. Keep in mind Penn State sold out their arena last week in hopes of stopping the Iowa unbeaten dual streak, only to walk away disappointed. They’re also on a road trip of MSU before coming to Ann Arbor.
Lets hope for the best. I’ll post results if you’d like. I thought it would be fun to set up the matches in hopes of more interest. Go Blue!