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AWN Duals of the Week: Minnesota at Ohio State (LIVE BLOG)

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Follow the action with AWN’s Live Blog as Minnesota heads to Columbus to take on Ohio State in Big Ten wrestling action at 7 p.m. Friday, January 11. Dual of the Week Preview below

Both Minnesota and Ohio State are coming off what we would consider rough outings. Minnesota placed fourth at the Southern Scuffle and Ohio State got rolled up by Iowa. Both teams will be looking to get back to their winning ways. This is the second dual of the week that features two top five teams.

There are 17 wrestlers who are currently ranked in the top 20. Every bout in this dual should be exciting.

#3 Minnesota vs. #5 Ohio State
Projected Lineup

(Subject to change – Rankings by AWN)

125: #11 David Thorn vs. #13 Nikko Triggas
133: #6 Chris Dardanes vs. #1 Logan Stieber (Possible)
141: #9 Nick Dardanes vs. #2 Hunter Stieber
149: #7 Dylan Ness vs. #15 Cam Tessari
157: Danny Zilverberg vs. #15 Josh Demas
165: #10 Cody Yohn vs. Mark Martin
174: #2 Logan Storley vs. #7 Nick Heflin
184: #3 Kevin Steinhaus vs. Kenny Courts
197: #11 Scott Schiller vs. #13 Andrew Campolattano
HWT: #2 Tony Nelson vs. #10 Peter Capone

Breakdown

125: This will be a fight. We expect both guys to get after it and do think there will be a lot of points scored. It is just the way both these guys wrestle we suspect leads will change hands often. Thorn recently injury defaulted out of the Scuffle, but we are assuming he is ready for this dual. Thorn is 7-2 on the season. He had been wrestling entering the Scuffle he did drop a match there to No. 10 Josh Martinez of Air Force in overtime.  Triggas has been solid for the Buckeyes posting a 13-6 record. He also has a loss to Martinez. Triggas likes to go upper body and we know Thorn is not afraid to go there either. This should be a good test for both wrestlers.

Pick: Thorn by decision

133: We are hoping Stieber is good to go this week. He missed last weeks duals with what was reported as a minor leg injury. Last year in Minnesota Dardanes pulled a big upset over Stieber. He will be hard pressed to duplicate that again. Stieber is 15-0 and has won every match by bonus. That is rather impressive. Dardanes is 11-1 on the season; He recently lost in the finals at the Scuffle. Stieber is the clear favorite, but we would be surprised to see him get bonus.

Pick: Stieber by decision

141: Dardanes is coming off a third pace finish at the Scuffle and currently has a 15-4 record. He lost to No. 6 Michael Nevinger of Cornell who is becoming his nemesis. Other then that he has had a strong season. Stieber has been pretty impressive all season. His current record is 20-0 and he is coming off a tough 6-4 win over No. 10 Mark Ballweg of Iowa. We do not expect this one to be real high scoring, but we do expect it to be close. Dardanes will have to find some offense if he wants a shot at winning this match.

Pick: Stieber by decision

149: We are not positive if Ness will go for the Gophers, but we are going on the assumption he is. Ness wrestled will in his debut at the Southern Scuffle before dropping a match to No. 4 Cole VonOhlen of Air Force. He then injury defaulted out which gives us some concern he may not wrestle this weekend. If he does expect him to show some improvement from last week as he knocks more rust off. Tessari is coming off a close with Iowa’s Mike Kelly. Tessari has had an up and down year posting a 9-5 record so far. One thing is for certain and that is both these wrestlers like to go for big moves. Expect scoring in these one and several moments of excitement.

Pick: Ness by decision

157: Demas comes into dual with a 13-4 record. He stared the year by winning 10 matches in a row. Since then he has only posted a 3-4 record. Granted two of those loses came at the hands of the top two wrestlers at his weight. He will be looking to getting back to his winning ways this weekend. Zilverberg appeared to secure his spot in the Gopher line-up by placing fifth at the Southern Scuffle. He is 11-4 on the season. All of his losses with the exception of one were to ranked wrestlers. Zilverberg has been wrestling better, but will need to pull everything together if he wants to knock off Demas.

Pick: Demas by decision

165: Yohn had a somewhat disappointing Southern Scuffle tournament where he placed seventh. Yohn is more then capable of winning this match, but he will probably have to wrestle better then he did at the Scuffle. He is 14-5 on the season. Martin brings a 13-9 record in to this dual. He has yet to defeat anyone in the top 20. If Yohn wrestles to his ability he should be able to secure a win in this match.

Pick: Yohn by decision

174: A great match should occur at 174 pounds. Storley has looked real good all season and in his first event back from injury he placed second losing to No. 1 Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. Of his 13 wins 10 of them resulted in bonus points. He has shown improvement on his feet and is scoring more points then he did a year ago. Heflin is coming off a loss to No. 4 Mike Evans, who at the time was ranked below Heflin. He has an 8-1 record on the year. Storley defeated him last year and it was close. We expect this one will be close as well. Look for a rather low scoring affair.

Pick: Storley by decision

184: Steinhaus is 14-1 currently with his only loss coming at the Southern Scuffle to No. 4 Steve Bosak of Cornell. Other then that he has been rock solid for the Gophers. We are guessing, but sure, that he will face Courts who is 16-7 on the season. They have a common opponent in Kevin Radford of Arizona State. Steinhaus won his match with Radford by fall, while Courts dropped a 6-4 decision. Look for Steinhaus to control the tie and ride tough.

Pick: Steinhaus by decision

197: Campolattano will look to rebound after he lost to unranked Nathan Burak of Iowa. He is currently 13-6. He has had a tough schedule so far and it won’t get any easier when he faces Schiller. Schiller has wrestled well for Minnesota going 13-3 so far. He is coming off a fifth place finish at the Southern Scuffle. Schiller has a grinding style similar to that of his teammate Steinhaus. Both of these wrestlers have solid leg attacks and whoever wins this one will be the guy that can keep the pace up and covert their attacks.

Pick: Schiller by decision

HWT: Nelson will be tested again. He has faced some good competition the past month and is coming off his first loss in nearly a year. Look for Nelson to get after it and try to get back to his winning ways. Capone just knocked off No. 7 Bobby Telford of Iowa. We have said it in other previews; Capone has a track record of knocking off some of the countries best big men. Can he do it two weeks in a row? We will know soon.

Pick: Nelson by decision

AWN Pick: Minnesota 21, Ohio State 9