The Season is starting nice and early for the Tigers this year with a huge road dual Saturday, November 3rd to start things off. I am happy to announce that I will again have the pleasure of bringing you Mizzou wrestling previews and recaps this season. All rankings utilized in this article are courtesy of Flowrestling. Without further ado, Let’s explore the match-ups.
Colby Smith vs. #11 Travis Piotrowski
Thoughts: Smith is a past NCAA qualifier at 133 for Appalachian State who redshirted this past season at Missouri. He is not an unfamiliar face to Missouri wrestling fans, however as he competed at Wentzville Holt high school. Smith is an active wrestler on his feet who is really long and lanky for this weight class. Expect to see a high shot volume from Smith and for him to look for turns from top frequently. Smith is coming down from competing at both 133 and 141 last season, so if he struggles with conditioning here the early season weight cut could be a contributing factor. Piotrowski is a long wrestler who is very comfortable in upper body ties and with utilizing his length to set up short offense. Piotrowski has been a gatekeeper sort of guy since entering college and a win over him here for Smith would be a nice win. I think that the most interesting aspect of this match will be mat wrestling for Smith, as both guys are extremely long for this weight class. The Mizzou staff is really high on Smith and if he can handle the cut he could be a serious All-American contender this season. I am taking Smith in a close match to start the year off with a slight upset.
Prediction: Smith Dec 7-5 (MIZZ 3-0)
#10 John Erneste vs. #12 Dylan Duncan
Thoughts: Erneste and Duncan have wrestled three previous times with Erneste taking two out of the three bouts, so there is a little history between these two. All three prior bouts between them have ended in 5-4 decisions for the victor, so the margin between these two is very thin.