Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Minnesota Vs North Dakota State Preview (12-9-2022)


Get out your warmest winter jacket, put on your gloves & your hat. I'm freezing just thinking about this one, but I'm warming myself up thinking about how great some of these matchups are going to be.  This upcoming weekend of wrestling presents itself a grand opportunity for lower ranked guys to knock off higher ranked guys & there will certainly be opportunity to do just that in this dual. The #9 Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the #25 North Dakota State Bison. If you're there, step outside and take a record of the temperature. Wouldn't at all be shocked if this is the coldest dual of the weekend. 

Here on the top matches....

141 lbs
#3 Jake Bergeland Vs #7 Dylan Drogemueller 

This will be a grand opportunity for Drogemueller to pull off a huge upset in front of his hometown crowd. Much easier said than done when dealing with a phenomenal talent like Jake Bergeland. I think the key here for Droegemueller is to keep this match as close as he can & rely on his skills from the top position to earn a riding time point. I don't know whether he can turn the Golden Gopher, but I do think he can ride him out. Bergeland on the other hand will want to keep this match on the feet & get to his offense early.  Will be a good match. 

149 lbs
#17 Michael Blockhus Vs U.R. Kellyn March 

This match heavily favors the Golden Gophers, but I do believe Kellyn March is much better than the 4:26 he was pinned in the last time the two met. I think he can give Blockhus a much better match & I do believe he can keep it to a decision. Pull of an upset? That might be out of the question, but I do predict that he'll do much better than he did before. 

157 lbs
#2 Brayton Lee Vs #7 Jarod Franek 

 Here's your marquee match fellas. This will be the match of the evening.  We have an All American from 2021 taking on one of the best in the nation yet to All American, who has finished one match shy the past two seasons. Both of these guys are currently 1-1 on the season. Lee recently dropped a 2-0 decision to Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State as Franek lost a 7-4 decision to Peyton Robb of Nebraska.  In their only meeting thus far, Lee pulled off a 6-4 sudden victory.  I'd say both of these guys go into this match with a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Franek will be looking to bring the Fargo, North Dakota crowd to its feet with an upset. Yet Lee has wrestled in front of plenty of hostile crowds before. 

165 lbs
#27 Andrew Sparks Vs #15 Mike Caliendo 

Here's another match to look forward to in this dual. The last time these two met it was an exciting, high scoring match where Caliendo escaped with an 11-10 decision. Let's hope that these two put on a show once again for us on Friday. 

174 lbs
#18 Bailee O'Reilly Vs U.R. Gaven Sax 

Comparisons aren't always the way to go in wrestling, but I can't help but think that because Gaven Sax gave Jarred Krattiger a 4-2 match, that he can keep it close with O'Reilly as well.  Being held on NDSU's turf, I think that'll help Sax. 

184 lbs
#13 Isaiah Salazar Vs U.R. D.J. Parker 

Here's another grand opportunity for the Bison. Currently unranked, D.J. Parker gave #13 Isaiah Salazar a 4-3 match the last time the two met. There's no reason to think that he couldn't pull off an upset. What a story that'd make for the weekend. 

197 lbs
#28 Garrett Joles Vs #30 Owen Pentz 

I've been rather surprised how well Garrett Joles has been able to own Owen Pentz on the mat.  I would think that Pentz would give the Golden Gopher a better match, but so far Joles has stuck him at 4:52 & more recently shut him out with a 6-0 decision. I wonder if environment and atmosphere will make a difference. Wrestling in front of a home crowd can give someone extra motivation & see them perform at a higher level. Anxious to see how this one unfolds in Fargo. 

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