Rutgers vs. Wisconsin wrestling preview, prediction: Scarlet Knights aim for top-10 win

All eyes are on Sunday for Rutgers . But first, Friday. Before the Scarlet Knights can focus solely on their home showdown with Oklahoma State , they will host Wisconsin. And it is not exactly something they can overlook. Rutgers thumped the Badgers last season in Madison, so they will likely be looking for some revenge. Wisconsin has also been one of the Big Ten’s hottest teams so far this season under new coach Chris Bono, climbing into the national top-10. "This is a whole different animal. It’s a bunch of different energy," Rutgers coach Scott Goodale said. "They’ve done a great job and have gotten those guys to really wrestle hard. You can tell by the way they wrestle. It’s all about hustle, getting back to the center, trying to break their opponents, which is good. But I don’t think we’ll get caught up in it. We’re going to wrestle just as hard. … We have to take care of Friday night." John Munson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Rutgers will try to avoid an 0-2 start in the conference after falling at Minnesota last weekend. The Scarlet Knights wrestled hard and were competitive with the Golden Gophers, but they left a potential upset on the table with an inability to eke out a few key bouts. "We were inconsistent," Goodale said. "Getting scored on first, finishing periods with our head down on the bottom. There were some things from a staff standpoint that kind of irked us a little bit. Things you have to change going forward." Here is a bout-by-bout look at the potential matchups for the dual meet, as well as a match prediction. All common opponent statistics are courtesy of WrestleStat and rankings are via Intermat; Rutgers wrestlers are listed first. John Munson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Prior meetings : — Common opponents : Metzler 1-1, Brown 2-0. Forecast : This is a big bout for Metzler, and it will bring back memories of his heroics last year in Madison, where his fall spurred Rutgers to a win and helped preserve its streak of non-losing seasons. Metzler’s spot in the lineup appears pretty secure, but Rutgers would like to see some more production, obviously. He’s dropped his last two dual meet bouts and suffered a major decision loss to No. 6 Sean Russell at Minnesota this past weekend. Brown is a clear favorite, but this is a bout where Metzler should have a puncher’s chance. Rutgers needs to hold this to a decision. Prior meetings : — Common opponents : Lipari 2-4, Moran 5-3. Forecast : Lipari did not do much in a major decision loss to Minnesota’s No. 6 Mitch McKee the last time out, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Rutgers goes back to Mike VanBrill (4-4). Moran will be a slight favorite over either wrestler. This could be a key swing bout; Rutgers would love to take it, and the Badgers would love to find a path […]