When Rutgers steps on the mat tonight to take on the visiting, it will have been 12 days since the Knights have competed. Thanks to Winter Storm Jonas (and when did we start naming snow storms?), the match against Wisconsin was postponed. And the taste of the team's last match, a 17-16 loss on the road to Minnesota, still needs to be washed away.
The Knights (11-3, 2-2 B1G) open a stretch in which they wrestle three of their next four matches at the RAC where they are undefeated this year. The Terps enter the contest at 4-9, 1-5 in Big Ten competition. The only match up of ranked wrestlers is at 133, where UMd's only ranked wrestler, No. 16 Geoffrey Alexander - ranked by Intermat, will face redshirt freshman No. 18 Anthony Giraldo. Two Terrapins that qualified for last year's NCAA Championships return to the lineup, including Alexander and 157-pounder Lou Mascola.
Besides being unbeaten at home this season, RU seeks its seventh consecutive home win dating back to last season and third consecutive RAC victory. A win would also surpass RU's Big Ten win total from last season.
|Maryland Terrapins (4-9, 1-5 Big Ten)|
|Date||Friday, Jan. 29|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Piscataway, N.J. | Rutgers Athletic Center
|Live Stream||BTN Plus|
|Radio||WRSU 88.7 FM|
|Statistics||Rutgers | Maryland|
|Match Notes||Rutgers | Maryland|
On Sunday, RU travels to Princeton to take on the Tigers at 1 pm. Princeton features three ranked wrestlers, including New Jersey product No. 14 Jonathan Schleifer at 174. Princeton returns four NCAA Championships qualifiers from last season in 141-pounder Jordan Laster, 149-pounder, Schleifer, and 197-pounder Brett Harner. Rutgers owns a 40-33-5 all-time advantage against the Tigers and has won the last 19 meetings between the two schools dating back to 1993.
If you aren't aware, the NCAA Championship Tournament comes to the World's Most Famous Arena on March 17-19. All of the tickets allocated to RU are gone.
The loss to Minnesota knocked the Knights from the Top Ten in some polls. Rutgers remained ranked No. 12 this week in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, released Tuesday.
The Knights find seven of their wrestlers in the rankings this week. Jumping into the rankings for the first time since Dec. 22 was 125-pounder Sean McCabe, who is No. 20 this week. McCabe is 11-7 and has won his last two matches.
|Intermat||FloWrestling||The Open Mat||Win Magazine|
|R-Jr. Sean McCabe – 125 Pounds (11-7, 8-5 Duals)|
|R-Fr. Anthony Giraldo – 133 Pounds (13-7, 9-5 Duals)|
|R-So. Anthony Ashnault – 141 Pounds (18-2, 12-1 Duals)|
|Jr.– 157 Pounds (15-3, 9-1 Duals)|
|R-Sr. Anthony Perrotti – 165 Pounds (14-2, 12-1 Duals)|
|R-Jr. Phillip Bakuckas – 174 Pounds (11-8, 6-6 Duals)|
|R-Sr. Billy Smith – 285 Pounds (17-5, 11-3 Duals)|
The NCAA released Thursday the first of four coaches' panel rankings for the 2015-16 wrestling season. Represented in that panel were nine Scarlet Knights, including top-10 grapplers in No. 5 Anthony Ashnault at 141 pounds and No. 6 Anthony Perrotti at 165 pounds.
The final coaches panel rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Other Scarlet Knights ranked among the top-33 wrestlers in their weight class were No. 23 125-pounder Sean McCabe, No. 17 133-pounder Anthony Giraldo, No. 30 149-pounder Tyson Dippery, No. 11 157-pounder Richie Lewis, No. 24 174-pounder Phillip Bakuckas, No. 21 184-pounder, Nicholas Gravina, and No. 12 heavyweight Billy Smith.
The full NCAA Coaches Panel can be found here.
Around the Big Ten
The biggest match of the week was in Champaign,Illinois where this week's Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (below) pulled the biggest upset of the season, certainly in the conference but possibly in the country. When a returning NCAA champion is pinned by a freshman, it makes news.
Big Ten Wrestler of he Week
Jason Nolf, Penn State, 157 pounds - Fr.
- Notched two takedowns and recorded a pin at the 4:56 mark in the second period over No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois, ending Martinez's 54-match unbeaten streak
- Extended his winning streak to 21-0 overall with 10 pins, six technical falls and three major decisions on the season
2015-16 Wrestling Standings
|1/29/16||vs. Maryland *||RAC||7:00 p.m. ET|
|1/31/16||at Princeton||Princeton, N.J.||1:00 p.m. ET|
|2/05/16||vs. Wisconsin *||RAC||7:00 p.m. ET|
|2/07/16||vs. Michigan *||RAC||12:00 p.m. ET|