Rutgers comes into this match at .500 in conference action and ranked between 8-12 in the country. Far exceeding preseason expectations. Wisconsin comes in happy that most people are talking about Michigan State and not them. A solid win for Rutgers over Wisconsin helps them continue to gain national recognition as the Bowl Championship series approaches. A solid win to me means that Rutgers wins 7 of the ten matches. 165 has to be the marquee matchup. Jordan owns a win over Perrotti but it was tight and close. Who has grown more since then? Lots of national media have been critical of Coach Davis over the last few years as Wisconsin has fallen from national prominence. It was only 6 years ago that Davis led Wisconsin to a 4th place finish at NCAA’s. Coach Goodale has stopped hearing much of the media speculation about his performance, as his team is not only exceeding preseason expectations but also the incoming class looks like the program trajectory will stay pointed in the right direction. I think that this is part of a larger trend as D1 wrestling shifts east to reflect the quality of high school talent. Outstanding Jersey wrestlers like Donny Pritzlaff , Jordan Burroughs or James Green will no longer head to the Midwest. Or they will at a much smaller rate. NJ high school wrestling is a tremendous feeder system for all Jersey colleges. Will the weather permit the dual to happen? Wisconsin is east for 2 matches over the weekend. Will they knowingly fly into a potential blizzard?
125lbs Johnny Jimenez (W) vs. #21 Sean McCabe (R). McCabe has a clear advantage in this match. The question is can he get bonus points? Yes
133lbs Ryan Taylor (W) vs. #18 Anthony Giraldo (R). Taylor is just coming back into the Wiscy lineup after suffering injuries at the end of last season. He looked rusty and a bit out of sorts against Clark last week. Pre injury (top 5 guy) I’d take Taylor but comebacks are a strange and tough thing to go through. I have this as a toss up. This would be huge for Giraldo to take the next step as a D1 wrestler.
141lbs Gabe Grahek or Luke Rowh (W) vs. #3 Anthony Ashnault (R). How does Ashnault bounce back from his loss at Minnesota to Thorn? I’d guess that he gets a tech or fall in front of a loud RAC crowd.
149lbs Andrew Crone (W) vs. Tyson Dippery (R). Dippery hasn’t been able to break through with a series of close losses to similarly ranked wrestlers. Crone comes in with a slightly lower ranking but this hasn’t help Dippery in the past. Does the home crowd help Dip. Does the travel affect Crone? Toss up.
157lbs TJ Ruschell (W) vs. #18 Richie Lewis (R). Lewis is usually a solid wrestler but he has lapses and has losses to much lesser ranked foes. I think the energy at the RAC will propel him to a bonus point win.
165lbs #3 Isaac Jordan (W) vs. #5 Anthony Perrotti (R). Looking forward to this one. Jordan is solid in all aspects but can be an especially tough rider. Perrotti can be dynamic and emotional but has struggled with consistency. I thought that he was cruising to a bonus win against Nebraska’s Austin Wilson earlier in the season and he just stopped with 3 minutes left in the match. The RAC crowd should help him but he’s got to put 7 minutes together to beat Jordan. Jordan had a tight win over Perotti at NCAA’s last season. Not sure if Perotti was nicked up or just didn’t get to any offence for other reasons. He also couldn’t get out from underneath Jordan during that match. Jordan has to be the favorite, even with the travel. That said if Perotti gets the first takedown all bets are off. As a fan I’m hoping for offense.
174lbs Ricky Robertson (W) vs. Phil Bakuckas (R). Both guys are similarly ranked. Bakuckas is the better wrestler however Robertson knows how to keep things close which leaves him the opportunity to win late with last points. Bakuckas needs to open his offense up. The home crowd should help.
184lbs Ryan Christensen (W) vs. #20 Nick Gravina (R). I’ll say it out loud, I’m a big fan of Gravina’s physical style and mental toughness. He’s better than Christensen in all 3 areas. I think that he’ll get bonus points for the Scarlet Knights.
197lbs Eric Peissig (W) vs. Hayden Hrymack (R). Hrymack too comes into the dual as a favorite. The question is can he get bonus points?
285lbs Brock Horwath (W) vs. #9 Billy Smith (R). The Smith win should give the RAC ample opportunity to applaud the Rutgers team.
Love the B1G season!