The 4th ranked Missouri Tigers host the 10th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies, December 4 at 7 PM EST as part of a tri-meet with 23rd ranked Northern Iowa. You can watch the dual live on ESPN+.
According to InterMat, Missouri has all ten wrestlers ranked in the top-33, a scary sight for any dual team opponent. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, still has a very respectable eight ranked wrestlers. Missouri may be the favorite, but can the Hokies earn the win and show Mizzou is just a tiger on paper?
Since 2004, Missouri and Virginia Tech have faced off only three times, all three ending up in a victory for the Tigers. Do you think Virginia Tech can get their first win in more than 15 years? You can download your FREE Fanco College Wrestling Score Sheets here to make your predictions!
Lineup Preview And Key Matchups
125. #12 Latona vs #19 Surtin
Assuming the dual starts at 125, it would be fireworks off the bat as this weight class is loaded! with redshirt freshman Noah Surtin, squaring off against last year’s 6th place finisher, Sam Latona. This match is big for Latona individually as he already has two losses on the young season. The Hokie needs this win to start off strong for his team, and to get back on track, or maybe Surtin starts his run as a lightweight dark horse!
174. #9 Mocco vs #4 Lewis
At 174 and 184 we will be graced with TWO top-10 matchups! #9 ranked Peyton Mocco against #4 ranked and 2019 NCAA Champion Mekhi Lewis! Lewis has moved up a weight this year and found recent success compiling an undefeated 6-0 record, Mocco will be his first test at his new home as Lewis attempts to start his run as a multiple time champion!
184. #10 Kent vs #9 Bolen
Next #10 Jeramiah Kent from Mizzou takes on #9 ranked Hunter Bolen. The two have never faced off; however, Bolen holds an 8-2 win over Clay Lautt (North Carolina) who beat Kent, 10-1. The Tiger has a chance to upset a wrestler ranked one spot higher than him!
Keys To Victory
The paths to victory for both teams are different, Virginia Tech needs their big stars to get bonus points, and Mizzou with their squad of 10 ranked wrestlers need to just keep their head strong, wrestle smart, and not go for anything too outlandish where they can be caught on their back.
The Hokies need Latona to get back on track in this dual and if he does, it will be big for the team. Korbin Myers has the chance to earn some bonus points to give Virginia Tech an advantage by more than six. After that, Tech needs Andonian, Lewis, and Bolen to score some bonus points. Lewis and Bolen might find that to be a tough task with their tough top-20 ranked opponents.
Missouri comes into this dual as the favorite team, never losing a dual-meet to the Hokies in recent history. Keegan O’Toole headlines the lineup as the 2021 3rd place finisher who looks to be a dark horse to win it all! He can definitely earn a win by fall. Going back to 125 lbs, Surtin could start his team off strong with a victory there, but Latona will be out for blood. At the tail end, heavyweight will be just as important. Zach Elam will have his hands full with Nathan Traxler, who actually advanced further in last year’s NCAAs despite the rankings.
Using the new Fanco College Wrestling Score Sheets, I have made my predictions! The one guarantee is that you can expect Keegan O’Toole to add more than three to the score.
Even with Virginia Tech earning wins at 125 and 133, the rest of the team will still have their hands full. The Elam brothers at 197 and 285 are two very good anchors Mizzou can rely on regularly. With Lewis winning by decision, which isn’t a guarantee, I’d still say The Tigers win it 19-16.
What do you think of the matchups? Do you think Virginia Tech can upset the Powerhouse Tigers? Make sure to download your score sheets to make your picks! Then tune in to watch the dual on Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM EST only on ESPN+.
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