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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Five B1G Takeaways from the week in Big Ten (1/17/24)

    The B1G Ten dual meet season is in full swing and things are heating up. Between new heavyweights making appearances, incredible atmospheres, and buzzer-beating takedowns, it’s already been an exciting time for fans. With that being said, let’s take a look at five moments from the past week that caught our eye.

    Turley and Blockhus Claim Big Upsets

    Later on in this article, you’ll hear about Iowa rolling to some dominating wins. But I want to draw some attention to the upset win at 157 when the Hawkeyes took on Minnesota. Michael Blockhus came back this season on a mission, and he’s had some missteps so far, but on Monday night he was ready to battle. Late in the bout as he trailed 4-2 to #2-ranked Jared Franek, the Bellator MMA fighter, collected the winning takedown and rideout to hand Franek his first loss of the season. 

    On the East Coast, Rutgers All-American Jackson Turley brewed up his own upset du jour against undefeated Donnell Washington of Indiana, who came in ranked 9th at 174. But Turley went big as he defeated Washington by 15-0 technical. Turley threw a bag of tricks at Washington and everything hit. It was one of those moments we’ve seen from Turley where everything is clicking. If the same person shows up in March he will find himself on the podium once again.

    Penn State Flawlessly Flexes

    Even for a squad as deadly as Penn State, a team that epitomizes track 2 of Dj Khaled’s Victory album, flawlessness is rare. However, it was accomplished last weekend when the Nittany Lions shutout Indiana 46-0. But it wasn’t just the shutout that I’m talking about, PSU didn’t give up a takedown throughout the entire dual. This weekend they face off against a high-powered Michigan team in what will surely be a must-watch dual

    Iowa continues to roll

    Admittedly, I didn’t know what to think of the Hawkeyes before the season began. I figured they’d be a strong team, but at the time there were pending suspensions, transfers in and out of the program, and speculations on who would step up in the lineup. Fast forward to now, and Iowa is 7-0 and has shown that they remain one of the toughest teams to beat in the country. Despite some fireworks from a few short weeks ago, from a competitive standpoint the team appears to have rallied and guys have stepped up. Patrick Kennedy has looked better in the lineup at 174, Zach Glazier has proven to be a real competitor at 197 after beating the returning B1G champ Silas Allred Friday night, and Drake Ayala appears to be a national championship threat at 125. Not to mention we got our first sighting of Ben Kueter at heavyweight Monday night against Minnesota. The Hawkeyes next dual is this Friday against Purdue at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

    Michigan with a strong weekend

    Michigan traveled to Maryland Friday before returning home to take on the Michigan State Spartans Sunday at the Crisler Center. These duals weren’t supposed to be huge challenges for the Wolverines, but in the B1G conference, anything can happen. To their credit, they took care of business in both duals. Against Maryland, Michigan only lost one match to #5-ranked Jason Smith at 197. They even got a win at 157 with Zack Mattin filling in for Will Lewan. Despite some travel issues, Michigan made it back in time to take on the Spartans in Ann Arbor. Caleb Fish got a win over #5 Cameron Amine in dramatic fashion, but that match was expected to be close, as it always is. Next up the Wolverines have their biggest test of the season as they welcome the Nittany Lions to Ann Arbor Friday night, followed by the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers Sunday.

    Maryland Bounces Back on Sunday

    Despite a tough dual against Michigan Friday night, the Terrapins bounced back against Northwestern on Sunday. After dropping the first match at 125, Maryland rattled off three straight technical falls at 133, 141, and 149, followed by an upset win for Michael North by fall over #13 Trevor Chumbley. That stretch led to 21 of their eventual 29 dual meet points. Their next two wins came in come-from-behind fashion by Dominic Solis at 174 and eventually a technical fall at 197 from Jaxon Smith. Six wins is typically enough to win a dual meet, but especially when five of those six are technical falls, or pins. Maryland wrestles Ohio State in Columbus next on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see how this dual ends up with Ohio State dealing with a slew of injuries to their starting lineup. They remain very tough though, so this should end up being a fun dual to watch.

    Bonus Points

    Check out this week’s conference crossover conversation. Holmes, Claunch, and Wendell discuss Nebraska vs Iowa, Andonian’s injury and some of Cornell’s studs looking gassed against Lehigh. 

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