The Cyclones will be in Tempe tonight to take on Arizona State. The Sun Devils were also among the teams at the Virginia Duals last weekend and took 4th. But ASU presents some interesting matchup problems for the Cyclones that could make this a very tight dual. With lots of close matches expected this dual is a chance for the the Iowa State lineup to keep building momentum after a poor start to the season while picking up a sixth dual win in a row.
Where: Tempe, AZ
When: Friday, January 15th at 8 p.m. CST
TV: Pac-12 Arizona
|Weight||Iowa State Wrestler||Record||Arizona State Wrestler ||Record|
|125||Kyle Larson||17-9||vs.||Ares Carpio||7-10|
|133||#9/#9 Earl Hall||21-5||vs.||Cord Coronado
|141||John Meeks||7-7||vs.||Robbie Mathers||14-9|
|149||#18/UR Gabe Moreno||11-6||vs.||#15/#15 Matt Kraus||16-5|
|157||Logan Breitenbach||8-10||vs.||Oliver Pierce||14-11|
|165||#11/#11 Tanner Weatherman||21-5||vs.||Jacen Peterson||7-9|
|174||UR//#20 Lelund Weatherspoon||17-7||vs.||Anthony Anderson
|184||Dane Pestano||19-8||vs.||#9/#2 Blake Stauffer||10-2|
|197||Marcus Harrington||4-3||vs.||Josh DaSilveira||10-6|
|HWT||Quean Smith||14-6||vs.||#9/#9 Tanner Hall||16-7|
For a detailed look at past results and common opponents, check out WrestleStat's comparison page for this dual
Last season Kyle Larson eked out a 2-1 win over Carpio when Arizona State made the trip to Ames. He'll be the slight favorite once again and in a meet where every point matters Iowa State can't afford to give up any upsets. The score doesn't matter much here, Larson just needs to get a win.
Earl Hall should be significantly better than whoever Arizona State sends out against him. In many matches this year when facing guys he like that, who he should easily outclass, Hall has been content to eke out a 1-2 point win. Hopefully his near loss against Virginia Tech on Saturday was the wakeup call Hall needed to turn into the dominant wrestler he is capable of being. In this case that is especially important because 133 is a weight where Iowa State should be able to come away with 2 or 3 bonus points, which could be the difference in the dual. Hall needs to destroy his opponent both for his own confidence and for the team score.
Gabe Moreno gets another test against a good, but not elite opponent in fifteenth ranked Matt Kraus. Moreno has had mixed results against guys in this range. Sometimes he wrestles well and picks up a win, sometimes he struggles and drops a close loss. If Moreno is going to stay in the rankings and earn a top sixteen seed in New York, this is a match he has to win. Additionally, this is a key match for the dual because it is the most likely weight for ISU to pick up an upset, which would give the team breathing room to make a mistake or two elsewhere and still picking up a dual win.
Dane Pestano has shown himself to be a much better wrestler than expected this season. However, when facing elite wrestlers he has struggled mightily, giving up several pins, a stalling disqualification, and a near tech fall. Against Stauffer his job isn't going to be to win the match. His job is going to be to not give up bonus points. Hopefully he's been hanging out with Kyle Larson this week to learn how to slow things down and stay off his back when he's overmatched. Giving up three or four points rather than five or six could be the difference in this dual and presents a challenge for Pestano's style of wrestling.
As Coach Jackson pointed out in his weekly presser on Monday, Arizona State will be favored in half of the matches. So this meet will come down to somebody getting an upset or pin. I look for the Cyclones to give up some bonus points but pick up an upset win at 149 or 197 and leave Tempe with a 19-15 type victory.
The Cyclones will spend next weekend in Oklahoma, taking on the Sooners at 7 p.m. on Friday in Norman and then swinging over to Stillwater on Sunday for a 6 p.m. matchup against the Cowboys.