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Wrestling Preview: #20 Rutgers travels to #4 Iowa

The Scarlet Knights travel to Carver Hawkeye Arena for another Top 5 opponent

Roy DeBoer

After splitting matches with previously ranked No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 3 Oklahoma State, newly No. 20 Rutgers will head out to Iowa on Friday night to take on the No. 4 Hawkeyes.

It was a close affair last season and Rutgers is still searching for their first dual win over the historic Iowa program.

Anthony Ashnault Tracker

Ashnault remained undefeated at 15-0 after a close call against now No. 4 Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State. In case you needed a reminder of how much fun he’s having this season, here’s a quick flashback to last Sunday:

For the record, I have no problem with Ashnault after the match. Wrestling needs more celebrations like that to get the attention of the casual and new fan. He just won a hard fought match, he earned it.

Through his first 15 matches of 2018-19, Ashnault leads the program with 51 dual points. He has won 11 of his matches by bonus points, including seven falls, two tech falls and two major decisions.

Ashnault is also now tied for 7th all-time in Rutgers history with 106 wins. With 12 more, he will become the program’s all-time leader.

Let’s get down to the showdown with Iowa.

Preview and Predictions

125: Shane Metzler vs. No. 2 Spencer Lee

-This is going to be a tough one for Metzler. He has run into his fair share of studs along the way, so Rutgers will have to hope Metzler can save bonus points against the 2018 National Champion.

Prediction: Lee by TECH FALL

133: No. 3 Nick Suriano vs. No. 8 Austin DeSanto

-DeSanto may be climbing the rankings and took out Ethan Lizak of Minnesota last week, but Suriano will be coming out swinging. Iowa coach Tom Brands even said this should be on pay-per-view.

If you don’t know the prior history of DeSanto, he was at Drexel last season and was pegged as a hot head of sorts. He was penalized in NCAA Tournament match against Michigan’s Stevan Micic for getting too aggressive and trying to pry Micic’s elbow in all of the wrong directions after the whistle.

He also shoved Lizak’s head into the mat and was shouting and getting rowdy on the road at Minnesota.

Safe to say, Suriano won’t roll over at the sight of DeSanto. Expect this one to be a borderline brawl.

Prediction: Suriano by DECISION

141: Peter Lipari vs. No. 19 Max Murin

-It’s been interesting to see Lipari in the lineup. Everyone is just waiting for that breakthrough match since he took over for Mike Van Brill. While he didn’t beat ranked Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State, Lipari had his shot. If he can wrestle along those lines here, he might be able to knock off Murin.

Prediction: Murin by DECISION

149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault vs. No. 16 Pat Lugo

-Ashnault remains undefeated and earned two more ranked victories last weekend, including a thriller over Gfeller. Lugo has been solid this season, but he is not quite on Ashnault’s level. Rutgers is the favorite here.

Predicition: Ashnault by MAJOR DECISION

157: No. 15 John Van Brill vs. No. 5 Kaleb Young

-Van Brill goes in cycles. He also had a solid weekend against Wisconsin and Oklahoma State but only he can keep it rolling. Young is top five for a reason since taking over this weight after Micheal Kemerer made the initial decision to bump up to 174 before an injury ended his season. Van Brill needs his best stuff.

Prediction: Young by DECISION

165: Stephan Glasgow vs. No. 2 Alex Marinelli

-Another opportunity to say that Richie Lewis isn’t walking through the door. Glasgow would need a monumental upset to steal this bout. While he looks healthier, he’s going up against a National Title contender. Marinelli can put up points in a hurry.

Prediction: Marinelli by MAJOR DECISION

174: Joe Grello vs. Mitch Bowman

-Grello wrestled well against top five Joe Smith of Oklahoma State and could get the win here. Bowman has not been as good as Iowa would have liked at this weight. This is an opportunity for Grello to get some momentum on Rutgers’ side heading into the final three bouts.

Prediction: Grello by DECISION

184: Willie Scott vs. No. 17 Cash Wilcke

-Gravina appears to be sidelined by the injury he suffered against Wisconsin, so we will roll with Scott for now. He is still ranked No. 20 at 174 by Track Wrestling, so there’s no reason to think he can’t pull off an upset. Wilcke is one of the tougher 184 pounders after dropping from 197 last season. An upset will be needed.

Prediction: Wilcke by DECISION

197: Matt Correnti vs. No. 5 Jacob Warner

-Another big upset potentially could happen here as Correnti has won six of his last seven matches. Warner is young, but talented and Iowa finally gave him the go to be the guy at 197 after taking a redshirt year.

Prediction: Warner by DECISION

HWT: Christian Colucci vs. Aaron Costello

-Colucci could take on Costello or Connor Corbin as it seems Sam Stoll will continue to sit out. Rutgers should be favored here and it will give Colucci a much needed win heading into the rest of the season.

Prediction: Colucci by DECISION

Final Score: Iowa over Rutgers 21-13