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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    #9 Michigan at #4 Nebraska Preview

    Michigan is coming off one of the biggest wins of the season and will look to continue that momentum into Lincoln, NE on Friday night when they face the Cornhuskers. For Nebraska, it will be Senior Night and it’s no secret they’d like to send Peyton Robb, Brandyn Van Tassell, and Nash Hutmacher off with a win. But it won’t be easy as the Wolverines have a loaded lineup that just won seven of the 10 bouts against the Hawkeyes last week. 

    Let’s not forget, the Huskers, who are currently on a five-dual winning streak, outplaced Michigan earlier this year at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite where they came in third as a team while the Wolverines finished eighth. However, that was a very different Michigan team back then. They didn’t have Dylan Ragusin or Austin Gomez in the lineup at 133 and 149, respectively, and Shane Griffith was still having some growing pains as he was getting things started in his new weight class of 174. These three will certainly be huge difference-makers this time around, especially Gomez.

    Also, for the sake of creating a co-main and main event style card, I hope the dual starts at 157. But for this preview, I will run through it straight up.

    125 – No. 13 Caleb Smith (16-5) or Alan Koehler (7-1) vs No. 6 Michael DeAugustino (9-2)

    I’m predicting that Caleb Smith takes the mat here to face Michael DeAugustino. The matchup between the two was supposed to happen at CKLV, however, DeAugustino medically forfeited in the consolation semifinals to Smith keeping it from going down. Smith was having an incredible tournament that day and has shown that he can go with some of the best. DeAugustino just had a huge win over Drake Ayala where he literally clung on to victory in the final seconds. The advantage is certainly on DeAugustino’s side, but if Smith brings the same explosiveness and movement we’ve seen from him so far this season, I can see him taking it. 

    DeAugustino dec. Smith (Michigan, 3-0)

    133 – No. 19 Jacob Van Dee (15-6) or Kyle Burwick (7-3) vs No. 4 Dylan Ragusin (20-0)

    I’d imagine it would be Jacob Van Dee facing Dylan Ragusin here. Van Dee will be looking to bounce back from an unexpected loss to Tony Madrigal, but he’s going to have a tough hill to climb to make that happen. No matter what, I think Ragusin gets bonus. He’s been on another level this year which is apparent from the 20-0 record. 

    Ragusin md Van Dee (Michigan, 7-0)

    141 – No. 7 Brock Hardy (13-5) vs No. 10 Sergio Lemley (13-4)

    After last week, this is now an extremely close second for the matchup of the night. Sergio Lemley really put the weight class on notice with his dominant win over Real Woods. And now he’s up against another tough opponent in Brock Hardy. Hardy has been a tough task for just about everyone as the returning Big Ten runner-up looks to get back on the NCAA podium again this year. He comes into the match holding the No. 7 ranking and has collected wins in the last two duals after taking a little break from the lineup a few weeks ago. I think Hardy cools off the red-hot true freshman with a very close decision.

    Hardy dec. Lemley (Michigan, 7-3)

    149 – No. 1 Ridge Lovett (19-0) vs No. 6 Austin Gomez (5-0)

    This is the premier bout of the night. So far this season Lovett has been the top dog and proved as much as he’s gone unbeaten. On the other hand, there have been some people who think Gomez is the best in the weight class. He will have the opportunity to prove those people right. I think this will be a fireball of a match. Both these guys are going to let it fly and I expect at least one shot at a throw. So far this year, we’ve seen top-ranked guys at the first three weights go down and it’s very possible this could be the fourth. 

    Gomez dec. Lovett (Michigan, 10-3)

    157 – No. 7 Peyton Robb (15-4) or Ethan Stiles (15-2) vs No. 10 Will Lewan (8-4)

    Will Lewan is one of the stingiest wrestlers. And he couples that with an extremely low attack rate. He put both of those into action to get a win over Jared Franek a week ago. Across the mat is Peyton Robb who will be getting his Senior Day honors to start the night. Robb just returned to the lineup last week after a three-match losing streak. He got back to his winning ways with a 10-1 major decision against Illinois. He’s going to need to bring his best offense to get through that stingy defense from Lewan. If it goes to overtime I won’t be surprised, but I expect it to be a low-scoring bout.

    Robb dec. Lewan (Michigan, 10-6)

    165 – No. 16 Antrell Taylor (15-4) vs No. 10 Cameron Amine (8-4)

    The last few weeks it’s been Beau Manatanona in the lineup instead of Cam Amine, but Amine will probably be making his return this week to take on Antrell Taylor. Amine’s last showing was an OT win in the Rutgers dual a few weeks ago. That came off the heels of a rough outing against Penn State. So look for Amine to get back in the mix this weekend. Taylor has great attacks and can get to just about anyone’s legs. This should be a good matchup. 

    Amine dec. Taylor (Michigan, 13-6) 

    174 – No. 33 Bubba Wilson (11-8) or Christopher Minto (16-4) vs No. 3 Shane Griffith (11-2)

    Shane Griffith looked to be hitting his stride last week with his win over Patrick Kennedy. He had some early season struggles but has come out of it and looked his best a week ago. Bubba Wilson has moved into the spot at 174 after the Huskers had some questions about who will step up here. Wilson started the season as a potential 165 but made the move after Taylor proved to be the guy there. So, while Wilson has become the best option here, it’s still a tough spot to fill.

    Griffith md Wilson (Michigan, 17-6)

    184 – No. 3 Lenny Pinto (16-3) vs No. 18 Jaden Bullock (13-7)

    If there is any chance for Nebraska to get the win, Pinto is going to need to get bonus here. For Michigan, we’ve seen Bullock here as well as Joseph Walker, who took the mat against Iowa. No matter who is out there for the Wolverines, I think Pinto can come out with the needed bonus points here.

    Pinto md Bullock (Michigan, 17-10)

    197 – No. 13 Silas Allred (18-4) vs Bobby Striggow (5-7) or Rylan Rogers (4-4)

    Michigan has struggled to get a guy here that truly holds down the weight class. Unfortunately for UM, Nebraska has the returning Big Ten champ here. I think that Allred comes out of this with bonus as well. 

    Allred fall Striggow (Michigan, 17-16)

    HWT – Harley Andrews (10-9) or Nash Hutmacher (4-1) vs No. 6 Lucas Davison (11-3)

    And now we are down to heavyweight. There’s no guarantee that we see Hutmacher against Davision. It would be Davision’s athleticism against the brute strength and size of the defensive lineman. It’s Davison's world here. He comes through to get the win and give Michigan the dual. 

    Davision dec. Hutmacher (Michigan wins 20-16) 

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