Missouri's Zach Elam (left) and Arizona State's Cohlton Schultz (photos courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Who's ready for some Thursday night wrestling! The schedule-makers and wrestling gods must have known it was a certain InterMat employee's birthday on Thursday and decided to throw a party. One between the third-ranked dual team in the land, Missouri and home-standing, fifth-ranked Arizona State.
Just three weeks into the season and we get to have a dual with such national superpowers in action! Arizona State will wrestle in front of their home fans for the first time and welcome the returning Big 12 champion Missouri Tigers to Mullett Arena.
Both teams have been bitten by the injury bug in the early going and have been without some of the key starters. With injuries and the 2022 All-Star Classic (Tuesday the 22nd) looming, there's the possibility that big guns for both sides sit out.
This will be the second consecutive year that Missouri has traveled out west for this dual. Last year's meeting saw Brian Smith's Tigers prevail 19-14. I'd only expect for three rematches from that dual, at the most.
Both Zeke Jones' Sun Devils, and Mizzou come into this dual with undefeated 1-0 records.
Below you'll find a match-by-match breakdown of this, our Dual of the Week, featuring a pair of top-five teams.
125 - #14 Noah Surtin (Missouri) vs. Richie Figueroa (Arizona State)
Yesterday, it was made public that Arizona State's two-time All-American Brandon Courtney would not compete at the All-Star Classic on November 22nd. With that in mind, we can't expect him to compete this week. That's fine because the Sun Devils have as good depth at 125 as any team in the country. Top recruit from the Class of 2021, Richie Figueroa, is also in the mix. Figueroa saw action in four matches over the weekend and came away unscathed and picked up wins over a pair of ranked wrestlers (#15 Ryan Miller - Penn and #20 Dylan Shawver - Rutgers). Right in that mix is Noah Surtin who finished in the NCAA Round of 12 last season. Last weekend, Surtin was knocked off in sudden victory by Antonio Lorenzo (Cal Poly) in the finals of the TigerStyle Invitational. Though we have a top-15 guy against an unranked opponent, I'd call this a toss-up and one that will provide momentum for whichever wrestler's team is victorious.
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