What a time to be a Hawkeye! We’re coming off a brutal brawl with No. Penn State on Friday night that saw our Hawks comeback and win the dual on the final match of night, 19-17. I’ve been on the road nonstop attending our past two duals and due to the short turn around between PSU and MSU, Ben has put up a nice quick recap right HERE. I’ll dive into and breakdown the epic meet within the next day or so.
But in the meantime, our guys have already hit the road and are on their way to East Lansing. No rest for the weary.
We’re 39-15-2 all-time against The Spartans and have shut them out in three of the previous four meetings. If Tom Brands brings the full force of the Hawkeyes, we very well could do it again. For more match notes please head over HERE.
MICHIGAN STATE (6-7)
The Spartans have never been a strong dual team, but this year they’re struggling even more thanks to their lone returning All-American, Ravyon Foley (125lbs) redshirting. Even with their leader out they burst out of the gate racing to a 4-1 record, but have since derailed and lost six of the last eight duals, including beat downs to the hands of: Rugters, #11 Nebraska, and #5 Minnesota.
Despite not having a stacked team up and down the lineup, they do have a few guys that will give us tough individual tests. #23 Jake Tucker (157lbs), #23 Layne Malczewski (174lbs), and #14 Cam Caffey (184lbs) lead the way for this Michigan State squad. While they’re the only three ranked on their roster, they could be primed for a big day in East Lansing, especially with Iowa coming off a dramatic and emotional win back in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It’s not every day you get to host the #1 team in the country, MSU is going to have their house rocking.
With the comeback win against PSU, this could be a meet primed with a couple of upsets in the making. Friday night was the dual everyone had circled for the better part of 5 months and now it’s over. There isn’t a team left on the schedule that can compete with us from top to bottom, but we cannot allow a mental lapse, especially here. This is the fourth dual in 16 days. This isn’t the physical battle they’ve been training for, now it’s the psychological.
We’ve extended our lead in the B1G conference and are the outright front runners, but with so many emotional matches against the Nittany Lions, followed by the short turn around, and immediate 14 hour+ bus ride to East Lansing, we have to remain focused and ready to go.
The biggest question is whether or not #2 Austin DeSanto is going to go. Although he’s listed in the official probable lineup, at this point I think it’s a definite NO. But how long is he out? During his match with Roman Bravo-Young he appeared to suffer a knee injury, but as far as I’m aware, no test results have been released up until this writing.
With him sidelined I expect to see senior Paul Glynn or even redshirt freshman, Gavin Teasdale, co-op this thing until/ if DeSanto returns. My gut tells me we’ll see Glynn before The Teas. While Glynn isn’t on Austin’s level, he’s a gritty and tough scrapper that still gives us a quality 133lber. Teasdale, on the other hand, has greater upside, but he’s been very inconsistent so far and struggled at the opens and Midlands. With us being a heavy favorite in this dual, we could see either of them go.
I keep referring back to it being an emotional win, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a few other guys get some spot starts at key weights, including Nelson Brands at 174lbs.
#3 Max Murin has been out for two weeks, but we could see him inserted back into the lineup, especially after the egg Carter Happel laid in back-to-back weeks. Though I have to wonder if Vince Turk tries to make the cut to take over for 141 if Mad Max can’t make a return.
Even with Glynn and Brands in the lineup, Wrestlestat predicts at 38-0 win for the good guys.
125: #1 Spencer Lee (11-0) vs Logan Griffin (17-9) // Ethan Curtin (6-9)
133: Paul Glynn (3-2) // Gavin Teasdale (9-4) vs Garrett Pepple (14-11)
141: #3 Max Murin (10-1) // Carter Happel (6-5) vs Matt Santos (12-10)
149: #3 Pat Lugo (14-1) vs Alex Hrisopoulos (11-10)
157: #4 Kaleb Young (12-2) vs #23 Jake Tucker (22-5)
165: #2 Alex Marinelli (14-1) vs Drew Hughes (13-8) // Austin Hiles (8-7)
174: #3 Michael Kemerer (9-0) vs #23 Layne Malczewski (18-10)
184: #10 Abe Assad (19-4) vs #14 Cam Caffey (20-6)
197: #4 Jacob Warner (11-3) vs Nick May (11-14) // Danny Kruse (3-3)
285: #3 Tony Cassioppi (13-0) vs Christian Rebottaro (14-11)
Opponent: Michigan State Spartans
Dual time: 12:00PM GT (Central) // Sunday, Feb 2, 2020
Location: Jenison Field House // East Lansing, Mich
Radio: KXIC // iHeartRadio