No. 4 Ohio State travels to Purdue for first Big Ten Road Dual

By Andrew Hipps
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:33:00 AM EST
Published: Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:51:56 AM EST

On Friday, No. 4 Ohio State will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana and wrestle its first Big Ten Conference road dual meet of the season against Purdue at 7 p.m. ET.  The event will be broadcast on tape delay on the Big Ten Network on Friday at 11 p.m. ET.  The Buckeyes come in with a 12-1 dual meet record, while the Boilermakers are 10-5. 

Below is a weight-by-weight breakdown of Friday night’s dual meet.

125: No. 18 Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) vs. Cashé Quiroga (Purdue)
Last Sunday, Triggas showed marked improvement from last season against Penn State’s Brad Pataky, losing a hard-fought 9-7 battle.  Pataky thumped Triggas, 14-3, last season.  Triggas has done well against unranked opponents this season and has struggled with ranked opponents.  Quiroga may be an unranked true freshman, but he is certainly a formidable opponent.  This past summer, Quiroga captured a prestigious Junior Nationals freestyle title in Fargo.  He comes into this match with a 19-7 mark.  He has yet to beat a ranked opponent, but he has been competitive with some.  He lost by one point to No. 8 Eric Morrill of Edinboro and two points to No. 14 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech.

Bottom Line: This is an intriguing match.  For Triggas, it’s an opportunity to gain some momentum and begin to separate himself from the middle tier of 125-pounder in the conference.  For Quiroga, it’s an opportunity to pick up his first conference victory and knock off his first ranked opponent in the process.

Prediction: Triggas (Ohio State) dec. Quiroga (Purdue)

133: Ian Paddock (Ohio State) vs. Akif Eren (Purdue)
Paddock was dominant in his victory over Penn State’s Bryan Pearsall on Sunday, winning by major decision, 13-2.  Efren, on the other hand, was dominated in his last outing, losing 15-6 to Iowa’s sixth-ranked Dan Dennis.  Paddock has won seven of his last nine, while Efren has lost four of his last five.

Bottom Line: This will be a good test for the true freshman Paddock.  Efren is an experienced competitor who has shown that he can battle with highly-ranked opponents.  Both Paddock and Efren had similar results against No. 10 Danny Mitcheff of Kent State.  Paddock lost by three points to Mitcheff, while Efren lost by four.  On paper, this match is virtually a tossup at this point.

Prediction: Paddock (Ohio State) dec. Efren (Purdue)

141: No. 2 Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) vs. Juan Archuleta (Purdue)
Humphrey, who is 21-2 on the season, looked great in his last match, scoring early and often, winning by technical fall, 22-7, over Penn State’s Adam Lynch.  He suffered a back injury at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, but is now healthy and wrestling with a lot of confidence.  Archuleta has been knocking on the rankings door for most of the season.  He broke into the rankings once this season, coming in at No. 20 on December 8, but he has not been able to get back in the rankings.  He has wins this season over No. 12 Elijah Nacita of Cal State Bakersfield, No. 17 Seth Ciasulli of Lehigh, and No. 19 Todd Schavrien of Missouri.

Bottom Line: With the way Humphrey is wrestling right now, it would be difficult to envision him losing this match.  Archuleta has only given up bonus points once this season, which occurred Sunday when he was pinned by Iowa’s fifth-ranked Montell Marion.  Humphrey is the obvious pick, but expect Archuleta to be game.

Prediction: Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. Archuleta (Purdue)

149: No. 3 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) vs. Sam Patacsil (Purdue)
Palmer, a three-time All-American, is coming off a 5-3 victory over No. 5 Frank Molinaro of Penn State.  He has won nine straight matches … with his last (and only) official loss coming on December 4 to Wisconsin’s second-ranked Kyle Ruschell in the finals of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.  Patacsil comes from perhaps the most famous wrestling family in Purdue history.  His father, brother, uncle, and grandfather all wrestled for the Boilermakers.  He comes in with an 18-10 mark on the season, but he has yet to beat a ranked opponent.  Interestingly, Patacsil has a victory this season over Lance Palmer’s younger brother, Collin, at the Cleveland State Open, while Lance had two victories over Patacsil’s older brother, Jake, last season.

Bottom Line: Palmer has his sights set on winning a national title this season, while Patacsil will be looking to qualify for his first NCAAs in his final campaign.  Patacsil avoided bonus points against second-ranked Ruschell, so it is certainly not out of the question for him to avoid giving up bonus points against Palmer. 

Prediction: Palmer (Ohio State) major dec. Patacsil (Purdue)

157: Tony Jameson (Ohio State) vs. Colton Salazar (Purdue)
You would be hard-pressed to find a more inconsistent wrestler in the country this season than Salazar.  A quick glance at his notable wins this season might have you scratching your head as to why he is not ranked … that is, until you look at his losses.  He has wins over No. 6 Kurt Kinser of Indiana and No. 7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy, but eight losses, with three of those being major decision losses to unranked opponents.   Jameson, a redshirt freshman, is 3-3 and coming off a 10-2 loss to No. 5 Cyler Sanderson of Penn State.

Bottom Line:  Salazar, a two-time NCAA qualifier, is certainly the favorite in this match.  But which Salazer will show up?  The one who beat Kinser and Saddoris?  Or the one who was thumped by Derek St. John of Iowa and Mallie Shuster of Kent State?

Prediction: Salazar (Purdue) dec. Jameson (Ohio State)

165: No. 7 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) vs. Jason Martin (Purdue)
Sponseller is coming off a win over No. 8 Dan Vallimont of Penn State, a wrestler who defeated him at the Big Ten Championships last season.  He is 18-3 on the season and wrestling well.  Martin comes in with a 6-12 record, but has been competitive with several ranked wrestlers.  Of the five ranked wrestlers Martin has faced, only one has been able to score bonus points against him.  He is coming off a 10-4 loss to No. 5 Ryan Morningstar of Iowa.

Bottom Line: Sponseller is known for pushing the pace and wearing out his opponents with his superior conditioning.  Look for him to push the pace in this match while looking for bonus points.

Prediction: Sponseller (Ohio State) major dec. Martin (Purdue)

174: No. 12 Dave Rella (Ohio State) vs. No. 6 Luke Manuel (Purdue)
This is perhaps the most anticipated individual matchup in the dual meet.  Manuel, a two-time NCAA qualifier, has built a very impressive 32-2 record this season.  He sat out last weekend’s dual against Iowa with a knee injury, but indications are that he will wrestle on Friday night.  His only losses this season have come to No. 4 Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska and No. 9 Colby Covington of Oregon State.  However, he avenged the loss to Covington the very next day.  Manuel has won his last 11 matches.  Rella is having the most consistent season of his career.  He has beaten several ranked opponents this season, including Covington, who he beat 11-4.  When he gets to his offense, he is tough to beat.

Bottom Line: Expect a tight battle that could be decided by a takedown.

Prediction: Manuel (Purdue) dec. Rella (Ohio State)

184: No. 9 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) vs. Nick Corpe (Purdue)
Pucillo, who comes in with a 13-4 record and No. 9 ranking, was held out of last weekend’s dual against Penn State because of a skin infection.  He is expected to go on Friday night.  Corpe is 15-12 on the season, but he has lost four of his last five matches.  He lost 13-4 to No. 5 Dustin Kilgore of Kent State at the Wendy’s Duals on January 17, and then was hammered by No. 7 Phil Keddy of Iowa, 11-1, last weekend. 

Bottom Line: Puccillo should handle Corpe.

Prediction: Pucillo (Ohio State) major dec. Corpe (Purdue)

197: C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) vs. No. 10 Logan Brown (Purdue)
Brown, a two-time NCAA qualifier, has wrestled a brutal schedule this season, facing many of the nation’s top 197-pounders, including No. 2 Craig Brester of Nebraska and No. 3 Hudson Taylor of Maryland twice.  He is 26-6 on the season.  Brown placed fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, but failed to place at the Midlands Championships.  Last weekend, Brown defeated Iowa’s Luke Lofthouse in sudden victory, 3-1.  Magrum, a redshirt freshman, picked up a win last weekend against Penn State in his first Big Ten dual meet.  He is currently 13-8 on the season and has quality wins over No. 17 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh and two-time NCAA qualifier Riley Orozco of Cal State Bakersfield.

Bottom Line: Brown is the more accomplished and battle-tested wrestler, which makes him the favorite in this match.  But Magrum certainly has the tools to battle with Brown.

Prediction: Brown (Purdue) dec. Magrum (Ohio State)

285: Corey Morrison (Ohio State) vs. Adam Walls/Roger Vukobratovich (Purdue)
Morrison, a returning NCAA qualifier, has bounced in and out of the rankings all season.  He has some quality wins over ranked wrestlers … and all eight of his losses have come against ranked wrestlers.  He is coming off a 10-4 loss to No. 11 Cameron Wade of Penn State.  Walls, a redshirt freshman, is 11-18 on the season, while Vukobratovich, a junior, is 2-2 and has not competed since the Eastern Michigan Open in early November.

Bottom Line: Morrison should dominate whoever Purdue puts out on the mat.

Prediction: Morrison (Ohio State) major dec. Walls (Purdue)

Dual Meet Prediction: Ohio State 25, Purdue 9