A battle of top 10 teams will take place this Sunday when Missouri travels to Ohio State. It should be noted that Ohio State will most likely be without Hunter Stieber (149) and Bo Jordan (165). Likewise Missouri is without Devon Mellon (285). Even with these wrestlers out of the line-ups it is expected to be a great dual.
No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 7 Ohio State
125: #2 Alan Waters (Missuori) vs. #6 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)
133: #16 Matt Manley (Missouri) vs. #9 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State)
141: #6 Lavion Mayes (Missouri) vs. #1 Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
149: #3 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) vs. Randall Languis (Ohio State)
157: #6 Joey LaVallee (Missouri) vs. #3 Josh Demas (Ohio State)
165: Cody Johnston or Tyler Prazma (Missouri) vs. Justin Kresevic (Ohio State)
174: #16 Mike England (Missouri) vs. #11 Mark Martin (Ohio State)
184: #11 Willie Miklus (Missouri) vs. #12 Kenny Courts (Ohio State)
197: #2 J’Den Cox or John Eblen (Missouri) vs. #7 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State)
285: Forfeit or #2 J’Den Cox (Missouri) vs. #12 Nick Tavanello (Ohio State)
A top 10 battle will occur when Waters and Tomasello square off. Waters may be undefeated but has yet to face top level competition this year. Matter of fact so far he has not faced anyone currently ranked in the top 20. Tomasello on the other hand has faced numerous ranked opponents. He was third last week in Vegas. He may have made it further but lost a match in which he was winning. This is a big match for bot wrestlers. For Waters it can solidify him as a real threat to win the title in March. For Tomasello a win here puts him in the conversation with the upper echelon. This will most likely be low scoring based on the style match-up.
Pick: Waters by decision
Early this year Manley was moving up the rankings pretty fast winning his first eight matches, including a win over Daniel DeShazer (Nebraska-Kearney). Why that is important is because DeShazer did get a win last week over DiJulius. DiJulius did come back strong to take third with several solid wins. Manely did recently drop a match to No. 14 Danny Sabatello (Purdue) who was unranked at the time. This will be a close bout and would be a big win for the Tigers since they may be giving up a forfeit at heavyweight.
Pick: DiJulius by Decision
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Logan Stieber finally had a match go the distance last weekend, but he is clearly wrestling on a different level right now. Each week he seems to separate himself more as the best wrestler in the country regardless of weight class. His opponent Mayes comes into the dual with a perfect 11-0 record. That most likely will change after this match. If Mayes can hold this to a decision that will be a huge help for the team.
Pick: Stieber by Major Decision
Houdashelt will be the heavy favorite in his match against Languis. Houdashelt has yet to lose and Languis is coming off a 2-2 performance in Vegas. Of Houdashelts 10 wins, seven have come with bonus points. That is exactly what he will be shooting for here.
Pick: Houdashelt by Major Decision
Assuming that Demas is back after taking personal time, there will be a great match between him and LaValle. Demas has all the way up to No. 3 in the country and a win here helps cement him as a top five kind of guy. So far he is 8-0 on the season. LaValle has only dropped one match It should be close and in the 3-2 range with Demas having the edge.
Pick: Demas by Decision
Although it is unclear how gets the nod here for Missouri, either may this should be considered a toss-up and a possible pivot match in the dual. Johnston has dropped three of his last five matches while Prazma just lost to unranked Clark Glass (Oklahoma). Kresevic who is filling in for the injured Bo Jordan went 2-2 in Vegas and has yet to get a signature win. By all accounts this match will be close with all three wrestlers appearing to have similar abilities.
Pick: Johnston by Decision (assuming Johnston gets the nod)
Two more ranked wrestlers will take to the mat in this bout with England and Martin. England started the season hot winning his first nine matches before going 1-2 in his last three. Martin Started the year 6-1 but has lost five of his last eight. That is not a great sign for the Buckeyes right now. England is aggressive and will get after it which should get the scoring up in this match.
Pick: England by Decision
This should be a great bout between Miklus and Courts. Miklus is 12-0 so far this year and made a name for himself a few weeks ago by knocking of then No. 2 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion). Courts was upset last week in Vegas by unranked Jakob Scheffel (West Virginia). He won his next match and then medical forfeited to end his weekend. Expect a battle in this match that should have a serious impact on the final outcome of the dual.
Pick: Miklus by Decision
Everyone in the country is most likely hoping that Missouri does not move Cox up to heavyweight. People want to see freshman sensation Kyle Snyder take on the defending national champion. Snyder just lost his first match on the season to current No. 1 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State). Although Cox does not have an official loss on the season he did drop his match to No. 3 Scott Schiller at the All-Star Classic. If Eblen goes Snyder should be a pretty heavy favorite.
Pick: Cox by Decision
If Missouri keeps Cox down this will be six points for Ohio State, if Cox comes up he should cruise and earn a win.
Pick: Tavenello by Forfiet
TOM DOW Record: 3-1
Team Score Prediction
Ohio State: 16