The final score may not be pretty, it was never going to be heading into one of the toughest places to wrestle in the country against one of the best teams. I'm not big on moral victories, but after watching last season's match against Missouri and now this season's, there's a stark difference and that's even with 7 underclassmen in the lineup.
Kyle Akins wrestled tough against #8 Barlow McGhee; McGhee was better in the neutral position and was able to counter any shot attempt that Akins made, not giving him even a whiff of a takedown opportunity. Akins was able to score on three escapes but nothing outside of that in a 7-3 losing effort. Bryan Lantry had similar struggles against #11 Zach Synon. Synon is tall and lanky for 133 pounds and hunts for double underhooks that he parlays into upperbody throws and Lantry was fighting this the entire bout. Lantry was unable to overcome the reach advantage that Synon had and fell 5-0.
Brandon Lapi wrestled a strong bout against Cole Baumgartner, but wasn't able to overcome a late defecit with a flurry of takedown attempts at the end of the bout. Colt Cotten then had arguably the most exciting match of the evening against #4 Lavion Mayes, a returning All-American. At one point, Cotten had Mayes on his back and was leading 6-3. However, Cotten was dinged for 2 stalling calls, and was issued 3 cautions during starts on the mat. This resulted in giving Mayes 3 free points. Had Cotten not given up these points he would have most likely won. Cotten was active on his feet and on the mat against one of the best in his weight class in the nation - a great sign after not seeing Cotten on the mat in what seemed to be an eternity. If Cotten can remain healthy, then he is the most dangerous grappler on the UB squad and can beat just about anyone in the nation.
Things wouldn't get much better as Tim Schaefer, Rrok Ndokaj and Muhamed McBryde all lost. There was a scary moment in the beginning of McBryde's match where it seemed like he was injured and left the mat for some time before retunring to finish out the bout against #8 Blaise Butler. Joe Ariola took on #4 Willie Miklus and his match was a microcosm of the match as a whole - Ariola was taken down x times and was unable to get a takedown during his entire match. In fact, the only Bulls to score a takedown were Colt Cotten with a slick ankle pick against Mayes and Jake Gunning against James Romero.
James Benjamin took on former national champion J'Den Cox in a rematch from last season's dual and Cox dominated throughout, winning by technical fall early in the 3rd period. Finally, Jake Gunning took on James Romero, where Gunning had a noticeable size advantage. Gunning was able to use his size and strength to break the shutout by pinning Romero after planting him straight on his back off a botched roll through attempt on Romero's part.
Not the prettiest of matches but it doesn't get any easier from here for UB as they have 8 days off before heading down to the Big Apple for a tri-meet with Columbia and Sacred Heart.
#4 Missouri: 32, Buffalo: 6
125: #8 Barlow McGhee (Missouri) dec. Kyle Akins (UB), 7-3
133: #11 Zach Synon (MIssouri) dec. Bryan Lantry (UB), 5-0
141: Cole Baumgartner (Missouri) dec. Brandon Lapi (UB), 3-0
149: #4 Lavion Mayes (Missouri) dec Colt Cotten (UB), 13-10
157: LeRoy Barnes (Missouri) dec. Tim Schaefer (UB), 6-1
165: #6 Dan Lewis (Missouri) maj dec. Rrok Ndokaj (UB), 11-2
174: #8 Blaise Butler (Missouri) dec. Muhamed McBryde (UB), 8-2
184: #4 Willie Miklus (Missouri) tech fall Joe Ariola (UB), 19-4
197: #2 J'Den Cox (Missouri) tech fall James Benjamin (Buffalo), 19-4
285: Jake Gunning (UB) pinned James Romero (Missouri)