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Rutgers Wrestling splits weekend again but moves up in rankings

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With the last weekend of wrestling upon us, the Knights are well-positioned for a strong finish

Roy DeBoer with permission // https://navydad.smugmug.com/Sports/Rutgers-Wrestling/Feb-5-2017-Knights-vs-Indiana-Hoosiers-25-9-win-at-the-RAC/

There was not a lot of time to savor their win over Indiana. A 4:30 bus departure for the airport and a Sunday evening flight to Columbus was how the Knights spent the hours after their 25-9 handling of the Hoosiers. And while Head Coach Scott Goodale was happy with the win, he also knew what was ahead.

“We’ve got to get on a plane here in a couple hours and get to Columbus, Ohio, but it’s good to get a Big Ten win,” said Goodale. “I thought we wrestled really good in a lot of different positions so we’re excited about it and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow night.”

The Indiana match was on Super Bowl Sunday, and in honor of that event, three former Scarlet football players were honorary captains and led the R-U chant.

Former RU grid stars Jamaal Westerman, Mike Teel, and Kevin Malast were on the mat.
Roy DeBoer with permission

And at the outset of the second match in the rare back-to-back/home-road matches, it was good going for the Knights. Heading into intermission, RU had a 12-7 lead on the No. 4 Buckeyes. Anthony Ashnault and John Van Brill scored bonus points and Jordan Pagano added a decision. But OSU came out with three straight wins after the break, including a major decision and a tech fall. Rutgers would win only one bout among the last five, and that by forfeit.

Twenty-nine hours earlier, though, it was a different story as the Knights won seven bouts, including two bonus point wins. Freshman Matt Correnti scored a major and Anthony Ashnault took a 1:30 fall against the Hoosiers. With the split, the Knights are 11-4, 5-3 B1G.

National Rankings

Rutgers’ win over Indiana, along with a pretty competitive match against the No. 4 team in the country, helped the Knights. In the NWCA poll, the Knights inched up one spot as Michigan dropped four places.

When we post team rankings, we only show the USA Today/NWCA poll. There are others, including Intermat which has a tournament and a dual match ranking. And for those who know wrestling - and here’s the mini-tutorial for those who don’t - having a good dual match team doesn’t always mean the team will do well in a tournament, and vice versa. The two rankings reflect that difference. In the Intermat dual ranking, Rutgers is at No. 11. But in its tournament ranking, RU comes in at No. 22, indicating that the pollsters don’t see the Scarlet as doing as well in that type of competition.

Individual Rankings

In one poll, Jordan Pagano returns to the rankings. All other previously ranked Scarlet Knights are still in place with some minor movements up or down. The biggest - and best move - was by Ken Theobold who moved up two spots in the Open Mat rankings. Theobold was 1-1 on the weekend but the loss was to Ohio State’s No. 5 Micah Jordan.

UPDATE

New rankings - not previously published as AWN was not out at the time of the post.

Around the Big Ten

Despite what the conference posts in its standings, while Rutgers and Illinois are tied for fourth place, the Knights should be listed ahead of the Illini based on RU’s dual match win over them. So says I!!

Matches at the top of the standings

The standings will be impacted by this weekend’s matches. Nebraska has a brutal pair of matches but at least will be wrestling in the Devaney Center against the Nitts and Hawkeyes. OSU, on the other hand, has two tough matches on the road. The conference order of finish will also determine where and who Rutgers will face in the NWCA Duals on February 19.

Penn State: Home to Illinois (Fri) and Maryland (Sun)

Nebraska: Home to Ohio State (Fri), at Iowa (Sun)

Iowa: At Indiana (Fri), home to Nebraska (Sun)

Illinois: At Penn State (Fri), home to Indiana (Sun)

Ohio State: at Nebraska (Fri) and Minnesota (Sun)

Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

Thomas Gilman, Iowa, 125 pounds

  • Led the third-ranked Hawkeyes to wins over No. 13 Minnesota and No. 16 Wisconsin
  • Defeated Jens Lantz of Wisconsin with a 21-8 major decision before claiming victory over sixth-ranked Ethan Lizak of Minnesota with a pin at 5:58
  • After trailing 0-8 against Lizak, rallied to pull within two points before earning the pin to clinch the dual for the Hawkeyes

Rutgers this week

Rutgers hosts Northwestern on Senior Day. The Sunday match starting at noon is the home and regular season finale for the Knights. The Wildcats will face Maryland on Friday night in the first leg of their east coast swing. They are coming off a 28-15 loss to Illinois at home last Friday. Northwestern’s strength is at the top of the lineup where they have three ranked wrestlers: 184 No. 20 Mitch Sliga ; 197 No. 20 Jacob Berkowitz ; and 285 No. 24 Conan Jennings.

Match Results

No. 14 Rutgers 25, Indiana 9

Rutgers Athletic Center Attendance: 2,130

174: Jordan Pagano (RU) dec. over No. NR/17/20 Devin Skatzka (IU), 2-0

184: No. 7/6/7 Nathan Jackson (IU) dec. over No. 13/12/13 Nicholas Gravina (RU), 5-4

197: Matthew Correnti (RU) major dec. over Jakob Hinz (IU), 10-0

HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Fletcher Miller (IU), 3-1 (SV)

125: Elijah Oliver (IU) dec. over Brandon Paetzell (RU), 8-3

133: Scott DelVecchio (RU) dec. over Garrett Pepple (IU), 4-2

141: No. 6/6/6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) wins by fall over Cole Weaver (IU), 1:30

149: No. 14/16/15 Ken Theobold (RU) dec. over Chris Perez (IU), 8-1

157: Anthony Giraldo (RU) dec. over Jake Danishek (IU), 8-7

165: Bryce Martin (IU) dec. over Dylan Painton (RU), 4-0

No. 4 Ohio State 23, No. 14 Rutgers 18

141: No. 6/6/6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) major dec. over No. 15/12/11 Luke Pletcher (OSU), 10-1

149: No. 5/5/5 Micah Jordan (OSU) major dec. over No. 14/16/15 Ken Theobold (RU), 12-4

157: No. 18/14/13 John Van Brill (RU) tech fall over Josh Powell (OSU), 17-0

165: Cody Burcher (OSU) dec. over Anthony Pafumi (RU), 7-5

174: Jordan Pagano (RU) dec. over Justin Kresevic (OSU), 7-1

184: No. 10/9/10 Myles Martin (OSU) dec. over No. 13/12/13 Nicholas Gravina (RU), 9-2

197: No. 4/4/4 Kollin Moore (OSU) major dec. over Matthew Correnti (RU), 16-8

HWT: No. 1/1/1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) tech fall over Razohnn Gross (RU), 24-9

125: Brandon Paetzell (RU) wins by forfeit

133: No. 1/1/1 Nathan Tomasello (OSU) major dec. over Scott DelVecchio (RU), 15-5

Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open MatNR denotes not ranked