Mizzou vs Purdue
Dack Punke (1-2) vs. #16 Devin Schroder (11-4)
Thoughts: It looks like Punke is the only wrestler listed for the Tigers on the entry sheet so I will assume he is wrestling here in these previews. Punke is really compact and is good at getting to legs. Schroder wrestles at a really high pace. He is tough to keep pace with for a whole bout, which may be a problem for Punke as he only really has three bouts under him this year. I look for Punke to try to slow this one down and steal takedowns at the ends of periods. Ultimately I think Schroders mat game will give Punke problems and he will win a controlled decision here for the Boilermakers.
Prediction: Schroder Dec. Punke 7-4 (PUR 3-0)
#9 John Erneste (7-2) vs. Ben Thornton (12-3)
Thoughts: This should be a really fun bout. Thornton is really strong for the weight, counters well and is stingy. He is really positionally solid and he does not make many mistakes. Erneste is extremely good at controlling the pace of matches and his top game gives him an edge here over Thornton. One thing Erneste does well that is underrated is his ability to win scramble positions from bottom and turn a high percentage of them into reversals rather than escapes. Thornton will likely be pushing for a takedown on his feet, but I think that plays into Erneste’s game and that he will win this one fairly handily with his mat game.
Prediction: Erneste Dec 9-3 (TIE 3-3)
#3 Jaydin Eierman (10-1) vs. Nate Limmex (10-5)
Thoughts: Limmex is pretty solid. He was an NCAA qualifier last season at this weight class. Limmex is likely to come forward a lot early as Purdue as a team tries to push the pace and hold position well. This favors into Eierman’s counter game. Eierman is excellent in countering shots either in scrambles or by creating offense from shots or throws.