Big Ten

Iowa Wrestling Faces Tough Road Test Against Michigan On Friday

Iowa Wrestling Faces Tough Road Test Against Michigan On Friday

Second-ranked Iowa faces #13 Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Jan 31, 2024 by Kyle Klingman

What: #2 Iowa (10-0, 5-0 B1G) vs #13 Michigan (5-3, 3-2 B1G)
When: Friday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 p.m. ET)
Where: Ann Arbor, Michigan (Crisler Center)
How To Watch: Big Ten Network/Fox Sports App
Series History: Iowa leads 34-26-1

Probable Line-ups
125: #4 Drake Ayala, SO, 17-2 (Iowa) vs #15 Michael DeAugustino, SR, 8-2 (Michigan)
133: Cullan Schriever, JR, 8-1 (Iowa) vs #4 Dylan Ragusin, JR, 19-0 (Michigan)
141: #1 Real Woods, SR, 12-0 (Iowa) vs #19 Sergio Lemley, FR, 12-4 (Michigan)
149: #14 Caleb Rathjen, SO, 12-3 (Iowa) vs #6 Austin Gomez, 4-0 (Michigan)
157: #2 Jared Franek, SR, 18-1 (Iowa) vs #14 Will Lewan, SR, 7-4 (Michigan)
165: #6 Michael Caliendo, SO, 18-1 (Iowa) vs #8 Cameron Amine, SR, 8-4 or Beau Mantanona, 15-5 (Michigan)
174: #6 Patrick Kennedy, JR, 10-2 (Iowa) vs #3 Shane Griffith, SR, 10-2 (Michigan)
184: Aiden Riggins, FR, 10-10 (Iowa) vs #16 Jaden Bullock, JR, 13-7 (Michigan)
197: #12 Zach Glazier, SR, 18-0 (Iowa) vs Bobby Striggow, 5-6, SR or Rylan Rogers, FR, 4-4 (Michigan)
285: #27 Ben Kueter, FR, 2-0 or Bradley Hill, FR, 15-4 (Iowa) vs #6 Lucas Davison, SR, 10-3 (Michigan)

#2 Iowa (10-0)
WON — Cal Baptist, 40-0 (Nov. 4, 2023)
WON — Oregon State, 25-11 (Nov. 19, 2023)
WON — Iowa State, 18-14 (Nov. 26, 2023)
WON — Penn, 22-13 (Dec. 1, 2023)
WON — Columbia, 38-3 (Dec. 8, 2023)
WON — Nebraska, 22-10 (Jan. 12, 2024)
WON — Minnesota, 22-9 (Jan. 15, 2024)
WON — Purdue, 34-6 (Jan. 19, 2024)
WON — Illinois, 36-6 (Jan. 26, 2024)
WON — Northwestern, 46-0 (Jan. 28, 2024)

#13 Michigan (5-3)
WON — Columbia, 33-6 (Nov. 17, 2023)
WON — Rider, 27-14 (Nov. 19, 2023)
LOST — SDSU, 22-17 (Jan. 4, 2024)
WON — Maryland, 38-3 (Jan. 12, 2024)
WON — Michigan State, 29-12 (Jan. 14, 2024)
LOST — Penn State, 27-9 (Jan. 19, 2024)
WON — Rutgers, 23-10 (Jan. 21, 2024)
LOST — Ohio State, 20-19 (Jan. 26, 2024)


Is this 2011 All Over Again?

Does anyone remember Iowa’s 2010-11 season? If not, here’s what you need to know.

The Hawkeyes won three straight NCAA team titles (2008-10) and the cupboard looked bare. Virtually every star graduated and many wondered how Iowa could muster a top-10 finish at nationals.

Tom Brands eventually led his team to a 15-0-1 record and finished third at the 2011 NCAA Championships with only two returning All-Americans. There might be shades of that team in 2024.

Iowa is undefeated and has shown consistent week-to-week improvements with a makeshift line-up. Several of the team’s stars — including All-Americans Nelson Brands and Tony Cassioppi — are currently sidelined due to a bizarre gambling probe. 

Patrick Kennedy (174) and Aiden Riggins (184) have moved up a weight to fill gaps. Senior Zach Glazier — a backup to Jacob Warner for four seasons — is undefeated. Brody Teske — ranked #19 at 133 — moved up to 141 and notched two wins over the weekend. Bradley Hill and Ben Kueter have split time at heavyweight. 

It all seems to be working for an undefeated Hawkeye team that faces a tough road test against Michigan on Friday. 

Sergio Lemley Makes A Difference

Michigan fell to Ohio State, 20-19, on Friday night but Sergio Lemley failed a skin check and the Wolverines didn’t have a back-up at 141. Lemley has four losses on the season — three by decision and one by major decision.

A major decision loss by Lemley to Ohio State’s Jesse Mendez would have meant a win for Michigan had he wrestled. Iowa has top-ranked Real Woods at that weight so keeping Iowa under six points is paramount.

Dylan Ragusin Also Makes A Difference

Ragusin, a three-time national qualifier, planned to redshirt but entered the line-up when Northwestern transfer Chris Cannon went down with a head injury early in the season. The Wolverine junior is currently undefeated and is a title contender at 133 pounds. 

Austin Gomez Makes A Difference, Too

Gomez transferred to Michigan during the semester following four years at Iowa State and two at Wisconsin. The Wolverine super senior is 4-0 following a two-season stint with the Badgers where he finished fourth at the 2022 NCAA Championships. He faces #14 Caleb Rathjen who has established himself as Iowa’s starter despite heavy competition in the room. 

125-Pound Madness

It’s a fool’s errand to predict what might happen at 125 pounds. Iowa’s Drake Ayala is ranked fourth and Michigan’s Michael DeAugustino is ranked 15th. And nobody cares — especially those representing the weight.

This topsy-turvy class has had more upsets, rankings changes, and chaos than any in college wrestling history. A pair of high school stars — Marcus Blaze and Jax Forrest — knocked off NCAA #1s during the season and previous #1 Jakob Camacho of NC State is currently ranked 22nd. 

It’s an endless cycle of unpredictability.

Each team is favored in five matches so a win at 125 sets the tone, and Ayala might have a slight edge at this point. He posted a 6-5 win over DeAustino during a January 14, 2022, dual against Northwestern and won by tech during his last two outings.

The former Wildcat star finished fourth at the 2022 NCAA Championships but didn’t place the following season. He fell 5-1 to Penn State’s Braeden Davis — the only undefeated wrestler in the weight — on Jan. 19 but has since rebounded with a pair of wins. 

This will likely be the best and most entertaining match of the dual.

More Misleading Rankings

Former NDSU star Jared Franek (ranked #2) posted a 3-2 win over Will Lewan (ranked #14) at the 2023 NCAA Championships — but any match with Lewan can go the other way. The Chicago, Illinois, native takes selective shots and is difficult to take down. Don’t expect much scoring here, and don’t be surprised if it goes into sudden victory. 

Beau Mantanona and Cameron Amine are listed for Michigan at 165 but Amine — ranked #8 — has a track record of reaching the podium (7-4-4 at nationals). His potential 165-pound match against returning All-American Michael Caliendo is one to circle.

It Could Come Down To Heavyweight — Again

Michigan still had a chance to win against Ohio State despite a six-point hole at 141 pounds. Two-time All-American Lucas Davison fell to redshirt freshman Nick Feldman, 4-3, in the final match. There’s every reason to believe it could happen again.

Iowa has two options at heavyweight: true freshman Ben Kueter and redshirt freshman Bradley Hill. Kueter is a 2022 U20 World champion who played football in the fall for the Hawkeyes. He has three remaining competition dates before his redshirt is pulled. There’s a chance he wrestles against Michigan but not at the Big Ten Championships. 

The One And Only Shane Griffith

Michigan’s Shane Griffith is the only current wrestler on either team who has won an NCAA title. The former Stanford star won in 2021 before finishing second and fifth each of the next two seasons. He faces a tough test against #6 Patrick Kennedy who moved up from 165.