Nebraska vs Minnesota – Preview + Predictions
Both the #6 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the #11 Minnesota Golden Gophers were able to get past the #13 Wisconsin Badgers last week. While Nebraska won rather convincingly, the Gophers had to rely on an upset at 184 lbs in order to edge Wisconsin 18-15. As long as Nebraska wrestles as they should, avoiding upsets, they should win this dual.
125 lbs – #5 Tim Lambert (Nebraska) Vs #6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota)
Lambert is 2-1 against Lizak, owning two 4-3 victories against a 3-2 loss. If history is an indicator, this match will be low scoring, wait for an opportunity and capitalize methodical match. In hopes of an upset, this is a must win match for the Gophers.
133 lbs – #5 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) Vs #16 Mitch McKee (Minnesota)
Normally a call for bonus points would be made in this match, but Montoya is coming off of a 13-7 loss to #4 Stevan Micic of Michigan. This may cause him to wrestle a bit more conservatively and keep this match to a decision. Considering McKee recently avenged a loss to Cornell’s #19 Mark Grey, his confidence is high and he may make the match even closer.
141 lbs – #10 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) Vs #13 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota)
An upset that will be extraordinarily difficult for Nebraska to avoid will be this one at 141 lbs. Rankings suggest a McCrystal win, but the last time these two squared off Thorn took a decisive 9-2 decision. Neither wrestler is the type to ever bet against, but only one person will have his hand raised at the end. At this point, this one goes to the Gophers.
149 lbs – U.R. Collin Purinton (Nebraska) Vs U.R. Carson Brolsma (Minnesota)
This should be another three points added to the board for Nebraska.
157 lbs – #3 Tyler Berger (Wisconsin) Vs #11 Jake Short (Minnesota)
Berger’s only losses this year have been to those ranked above him. A 15-7 loss to #1 Jason Nolf of Penn State and a 6-5 loss to #2 Michael Kemerer of Iowa. Other than that, he may keep some of his matches close, but he’s won them all. Short on the other hand, has earned his way into the rankings, but he’s also suffered a few upsets including a recent 5-4 loss to Wisconsin’s unranked T.J. Ruschell. The last time these two met, was Berger’s first match of the season at the Daktronics Open, in which he won 3-2.
Three months into the season, both with over twenty matches wrestled already, the score should be higher. A decision for Nebraska.
165 lbs – U.R. Justin Arthur (Nebraska) Vs U.R. Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota)
Like a 149 lbs, this battle of the unranked favors the Cornhuskers.
174 lbs – U.R. Micah Barnes (Nebraska) Vs U.R. Nick Wanzek (Minnesota)
Micah Barnes is the best wrestler at 174 lbs, who is not currently in the rankings. Wanzek is a tough wrestler in his own right, but this one goes to Nebraska.
184 lbs – #3 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska) vs U.R. Chris Pfarr (Minnesota)
Pfarr, the hero of last week’s dual against Minnesota will have to fight like mad to avoid getting pinned or giving up a technical fall in this one. Bonus points for sure in this one, although keeping it at a major decision is more than doable.
197 lbs – #7 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska) Vs #2 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota)
It’s been said before, it’ll be said again. The only thing keeping Pfarr from an NCAA title this year is #1 J’Den Cox of Missouri. While Studebaker should keep this match to a respectable decision, no real threat of upsetting Pfarr will be made.
285 lbs – #15 Collin Jensen (Nebraska) Vs #9 Michael Kroells (Minnesota)
Being 4-0 against Jensen, including decisions of 1-0, 7-5 sudden victory, 8-4 and 9-8, Kroells adding a fifth win is the most likely scenario in this battle of heavyweights.
OVERALL FINAL PREDCTION