The Iowa State wrestling team is back on the road this weekend for a pair of duals against top ten teams, taking on the seventh ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Friday evening in Norman and then road tripping to Stillwater on Sunday for a dual against the #5 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Where: Norman, OK
When: Friday, January 22nd at 7 p.m. CST
TV: Fox College Sports Central
|Weight||Iowa State Wrestler||Record||-||Oklahoma Wrestler||Record|
|125||Kyle Larson||17-9||vs.||#11/#12 Ryan Milhoff||9-6|
|133||#9/#9 Earl Hall||21-5||vs.||#4/#3 Cody Brewer||11-2|
|141||John Meeks||7-7||vs.||Trae Blackwell||6-7|
|149||#20/UR Gabe Moreno||11-6||vs.||Davion Jeffries||10-5|
|157||Logan Breitenbach||8-10||vs.||Brock Wingermuehle||6-9|
|or||Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer||15-7||or||Shayne Tucker||6-5|
|165||#10/#12 Tanner Weatherman||21-5||vs.||#8/UR Clark Glass||14-6|
|174||UR/#19 Lelund Weatherspoon||17-7||vs.||Matt Reed||11-6|
|184||Dane Pestano||19-8||vs.||Lance Dixon||4-5|
|197||Marcus Harrington||4-3||vs.||Brad Johnson||11-7|
|HWT||Quean Smith||14-6||vs.||#16/#14 Ross Larson||11-8|
For a full breakdown of records and common opponents check out Wrestlestat's comparison page for the ISU at Oklahoma dual.
If Iowa State is going to win this dual they need a win here whether it is Meeks or Rodriguez who gets the call. Additionally, both of them are 0-1 against Big XII competition so far, making it very important that they pick up a win over Blackwell to avoid getting a bottom seed at the Big XII tournament in Kansas City.
Just before the Arizona State meet last week one of the coaches tweeted out this video that he'd made for Moreno. The clear takewaway from that is that Moreno is struggling with his confidence right now and could use a morale boost. This weekend sets up well for that with an unranked wrestler on Friday followed by a low ranked wrestler on Sunday. If Moreno can go 2-0 on this weekend that would be a nice bump for him as he prepares for a top ten opponent from Central Michigan next week.
Since Midlands the coaches have said that Weatherman has been rejuvenated and refocused as he enters his last few months of wrestling. And he certainly has performed better as a whole. But he hasn't faced any AA caliber opponents either. Against a top ten Clark Glass he has an opportunity to get a marquee win and put himself back into the conversation for a podium finish in March. And from a team perspective, the six point swing from a win at this weight could be the difference between a dual win or loss.
Like Moreno, Weatherspoon has been struggling as of late. He needs a win on Friday night to stay ranked and keep hope alive for a seed in New York.
Pestano already owns a 3-1 win over Dixon so this would be a good opportunity to see how Downey stacks up against a decent but unranked opponent.
With both teams favored in five matches, this dual, like the Arizona State meet last week, is likely to come down to bonus points or an upset. Since the opportunities for bonus points seem pretty even, I look for whoever wins 165 to win the dual 20-15.
Where: Stillwater, OK
When: Sunday, January 24th at 2 p.m. CST
TV: Flowrestling (subscription required)
|Weight||Iowa State Wrestler||Record||-||Oklahoma State Wrestler||Record|
|125||Kyle Larson||17-9||vs.||#5/#5 Eddie Klimara||17-2|
|133||#9/#9 Earl Hall||21-5||vs.||Gary Wayne-Harding||6-5|
|141||John Meeks||7-7||vs.||#1/#1 Dean Heil||15-0|
|149||#20/UR Gabe Moreno||11-6||vs.||#16/#18 Anthony Collica||14-5|
|157||Logan Breitenbach||8-10||vs.||#7/#6 Joe Smith||22-2|
|165||#10/#12 Tanner Weatherman||21-5||vs.||#1/#1 Alex Deiringer||15-0|
|174||UR/#19 Lelund Weatherspoon||17-7||vs.||#3/#4 Kyle Crutchmer||12-2|
|184||Dane Pestano||19-8||vs.||#19/#17 Nolan Boyd||15-6|
|197||Marcus Harrington||4-3||vs.||Preston Weigel||9-8|
|HWT||Quean Smith||14-6||vs.||#5/#5 Austin Marsden||14-1|
For a full breakdown of records and common opponents check out Wrestlestat's comparison page for the ISU at Oklahoma State dual.
Moreno is 0-3 career against Collica so this is a big match for Gabe to finally shake off his post shoulder surgery struggles and regain the top ten form he was in at the end of last season as well as position himself for a good seed in Kansas City.
Pestano has proven himself very solid this year but hasn't picked up any wins over ranked wrestlers. A low ranked guy like Boyd is the perfect opportunity for Dane to get a small upset and finally push himself in to the rankings as the season approaches its final month. If Downey gets the call then he has an opportunity for a ranked win to show he is a step above Pestano and deserves the starting spot.
Even though Oklahoma State is ranked only two spots above Oklahoma in the coaches poll the matchups mean this one is likely to get out of hand. Short of some lucky pins this one is likely to go down as a 7-34 type loss for the Cyclones.
The Cyclones will be back in Ames next weekend to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 31st