Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Ohio Bobcats Coach Stutzman's squad hits the road today for their final road match of the season as they take on nationally ranked Central Michigan.
#22 Central Michigan Chippewas (7-4, 4-1 MAC)
All-Time Series: CMU leads
Last Meeting: UB lost 24-13
2015 Common Opponents: The MAC
Event Date/Time/Location: 7 February, 2 PM, Mount Pleasant, MI
Event Coverage: Bull Run, Video coverage via CSN
125: Kyle Akins (Buffalo) vs. ?
133: Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) vs. #27 Corey Keener (CMU)
141: Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) vs. #15 Zach Horan (CMU)
149: Colt Cotten (Buffalo) vs. #11 Justin Oliver (CMU)
157: Tim Schaefer (Buffalo) vs. #9 Luke Smith (CMU)
165: Tyler Rill (Buffalo) vs. Jordan Atienza (CMU)
174: Muhamed McBryde (Buffalo) vs. #9 Mike Ottinger (CMU)
184: Joe Ariola (Buffalo) vs. #31 Jordan Ellingwood (CMU)
197: James Benjamin (Buffalo) vs. Jackson Lewis (CMU)
285: Jake Gunning (Buffalo) vs. Newton Smerchek (CMU)
What to Watch For
Outside of Missouri, I'd argue that Central Michigan is UB's toughest opponent in the MAC. I'm sure Coach Stutzman will be looking for a bit of a rebound after a defalting loss at home against Ohio. Stutzman will once again look to Jake Gunning to take the win at 285 pounds - as of the most recent MAC coaches poll, Gunning moved into a tie for second with Eastern Michigan's Gage Hutchison. Gunning has really come on as of late and I think he keeps up his momentum against CMU.
You'll notice that there's a question mark where Kyle Akins' opponent should be, and that's not a mistake. In their last two dual meets, Central Michigan hasn't fielded a man at 125 pounds and a forfeit today could be a nice boost for UB especially since CMU's normal starter, Brent Fleetwood, is nationally ranked in several polls. Outside of that, CMU's lineup is an absolute buzzsaw, highlighted by Luke Smith and Mike Ottinger both ranked in the top 10 in their respective weight classes.
Buffalo will need wins from Tyler Rill, James Benjamin and Jake Gunning to give themselves a better shot if they get a few upsets in the center of CMU's lineup. For an upset, the odds on favorite would have to be Colt Cotten - he's been wrestling at a high level and has already nearly upset several top ranked wrestlers and I think today may be the day that he breaks through.
Luckily, CMU will have FREE video of the match so be sure to tune in and chat here at 2 PM.