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Wrestling Preview: Central Michigan

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The Cyclones are out in Michigan this weekend for two road duals, starting with the Central Michigan Chippewas on Thursday evening.

Iowa State Daily

Hitting the road again dominant wins over Utah Valley and Boise State last Friday, the Cyclones are in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Thursday to seek revenge on a Central Michigan team that beat them 19-18 at the National Duals last season.  The Chippewas have graduated or are redshirting most of the strength of the team that beat the Cyclones last year, but they still look to be a step up from the competition we faced out west.

Where: Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Live Blog: Available Here
Live Stream: CSN Digital (Subscription required)
When: November 20th, 6:00PM CST

Projected Lineups

Iowa State Cyclones Central Michigan Chippewas
Weight Wrestler Record - Wrestler Record
125 Kyle Larson 5-1 vs. Brent Fleetwood 5-2
133 #12 Earl Hall 6-0 vs. Tyler Keselring 5-3
141 John Meeks 1-1 vs. #12 Zach Horan 1-2
149 Gabe Moreno 7-0 vs. Colin Heffernan 1-2
157 Luke Goettl 6-1 vs. Malcolm Martin 2-2
or #9 Luke Smith 0-1
165 #3 Mike Moreno 6-0 vs. Jordan Wohlfert 2-1
174 #6 Tanner Weatherman 6-0 vs. Jordan Ellingwood 2-1
184 #18 Lelund Weatherspoon 6-0 vs. Jackson Lewis 2-1
197 #18 Kyven Gadson 6-0 vs. Austin Severn 0-3
HWT Quean Smith 6-0 vs. Newton Smerchek 1-5

(rankings from Intermat)

Key Matchups

133: Tyler Keselring has three losses, but all three are to ranked wrestlers, and overall for his career has compiled a decent record backing up graduated All American Joe Roth.  This is a match that Earl Hall has no business losing.  But, as I said last week, Hall struggled with consistency last season and was known to drop matches like this one.  A win here is important to show Hall is somebody we can count on every meet.

141: Meeks disappointed last time he took the mat, but was said to be recovering from an injury which likely played into his conditioning levels.  Against Horan he gets the chance to make a statement win against a fairly highly ranked opponent.  A loss doesn't mean Meeks's season is over before it began, but a win would mean Meeks might be the guy we hoped he'd be when he signed his letter of intent.

149: Hefferman is a redshirt freshman who is 1-2, but both of his losses came against top five wrestlers, and he is coming off of a 26-5 record as a true freshman.  He's a guy who could very well be ranked before the season gets into full swing.  I'd call this match a tossup and a win would really legitimize Gabe's improvement from what was at times a disappointing freshman campaign.

157: Luke Smith made it to the round of twelve last year, but he has only wrestled one match so far this season, a 0-6 loss to #8 Austin Mathews of Edinburo, and if he takes the mat Goettl will need a big upset to score us a win.  In Smith's absence this spot is being held down by Malcolm Martin, who is a big step down in terms of quality.  However, Martin injury forfeited his last match at the Eastern Michigan Duals last weekend.  So I have no idea which one of them will take the mat against the Cyclones.  If it is Smith, Goettl doesn't have anything to lose and can only impress.  If it is Martin, Goettl needs a win to show he can be competitive with his move up to 157.

165: Wohlfert put together a 22-12 record at 174 for Michigan State last season before transferring to CMU and dropping down to 165 over the summer.  He is  2-1 with his loss coming on a 3-1 decision to #4 Pierce Harger of Northwestern.  This info shouldn't scare Mike Moreno, and I don't expect a loss.  However, Wohlfert is significantly better than the guys Moreno walloped on the first few weeks of the season.  So we'll get the chance to find out if Moreno can be the kind of dominant force on the mat that Jon Reader was during his senior year a few years back, just tearing through and dominating his competition no matter the level, or if we'll be seeing a lot of the tight matches he put us through last season.

HWT: The "Quean pinning himself" count still stands at zero for the season.  Will the goose egg survive this meet?

Prediction

This won't be a blowout like we saw last weekend.  Central Michigan has a couple really good wrestlers and are reasonably solid at most of their other weights.  But at the end of the day the Chippewas aren't the kind of team that can match up top to bottom against an ISU team that is finally coming into its own after several rebuilding years.  I expect us to win 5-7 of the matchups and use bonus points from our upper weights to pull out a victory.