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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    #1 Penn State at #13 Michigan Preview and Predictions

    Friday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan is the setting for one of the most anticipated dual meets of the 2023-24 season when top-ranked Penn State comes into town to face #13 Michigan. Don’t be fooled by the dual rankings, Michigan’s largely revolves around a dual loss to South Dakota State where three All-Americans were out of the Wolverine lineup. At full strength, Michigan has the tournament potential to challenge for that wide-open second-place trophy, behind the Nittany Lions. 

    Both of these teams were excellent in 2022-23, yet each reloaded in a major way during the offseason. Michigan added four past All-Americans and a second-ranked recruiting class to an already excellent wrestling room. A fifth All-American joined the team before the second semester started. Penn State added two All-Americans and a U20 world champion from the transfer portal, while inking the third-ranked recruiting class in the nation. 

    With so many new faces in both lineups, there is only one potential match slated for Friday, which was a rematch of the 2023 dual. That means there’s plenty of uncertainty and speculation about the results of the individual matches. 

    The offseason additions for Michigan led some to wonder whether they’d be able to threaten Penn State. As crazy as it sounds, adding five All-Americans still doesn’t seem to make a significant dent in the Nittany Lions lead over Michigan (and the rest of the nation). 

    Below is a bout-by-bout look at the potential matchups for Friday’s clash between these college wrestling bluebloods. Along with each match is a prediction of a winner and, then, a dual winner. 

    125 lbs

    #5 Michael DeAugustino (Michigan) vs. #14 Braeden Davis (Penn State)

    I like going into matches figuring that we’re going to learn something about one or both of the competitors. That’s the case at 125 lbs, as a lot can be learned about both Michael DeAugustino and Braeden Davis. The 2022 NCAA fourth-place finisher, DeAugustino, transferred to Michigan from Northwestern after an injury-plagues 2022-23 campaign that saw him in action only ten times before the postseason. DeAugustino looked like he may be close to his past former earlier this year, before suffering an injury in the semifinals of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. After missing more than a month, DeAugustino returned last week to collect a pair of wins over Tommy Capul (Maryland) and Tristan Lujan (Michigan State). 

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