Finally, the 2023-24 Rutgers Scarlet Knight Wrestling team’s schedule has been released and we can take in a full picture of what the upcoming campaign will look like on the banks and beyond. This season features a robust NINE home dual meets with an additional nine away duals//events. The No. 13 ranked Scarlet Knights will travel as far west as NorCal and up into the frozen tundra of Michigan for a slate that includes seven matchups against currently ranked foes and the always daunting Big Ten Conference schedule. Below, I give a quick preview of each of the event dates for the upcoming season. Stay tuned for weight class previews, coming soon!
11/3/2023 – Cal Poly and Duke (Away)
A season opening west coast swing for the Scarlet Knights as they head to San Luis Obispo, CA to take on Cal Poly and Duke. Cal Poly is always a scrappy team that seems to have at least a couple guys make deep tournament runs; whether it be at the Midlands Championships or the national tournament. Duke appears to be in a rebuild and based on their online roster, aren’t currently a very deep team.
11/17/2023 – No. 4 Virginia Tech (Home)
After a two week break, the Scarlet Knights will host perennial powerhouse and No. 4 ranked Virginia Tech to open the home slate at Jersey Mike’s Arena for the new season. Va Tech is loaded with eight ranked wrestlers including four ranked in the top-5. They are led by former NCAA Champion Mekhi Lewis, a Bound Brook HS Grad, at 174 lbs who is also a three-time All American for the Hokies.
11/19/2023 – Black Knight Invitational (Away)
The following Sunday, Rutgers will head to West Point, NY for the annual Black Knight Invitational. Not a whole lot of details available that I can see at this point, but No 1. ranked Penn State will be in attendance.
12/1/2023 – Edinboro (Away)
After another two week break, the Scarlet Knights will get their first taste of MACtion (Mid-American Conference) this year as they head to Edinboro, a storied program that has fallen off slightly in the past few years. The lineup has just one ranked wrestler currently, No. 24 Ryan Burgos at 149lbs, who should have a good matchup with RU’s No. 25 ranked newcomer, Jacob Butler.
12/8/023 – Princeton (Home)
The 2023-24 iteration of the BIG-IVY Rivalry will head back to Piscataway and Jersey Mike’s Arena this year as Rutgers will host in-state rival Princeton in December. Longtime Tiger Head Coach Chris Ayers recently left for Stanford and his assistant of many years, NJ native Joe Dubuque, has taken over the reins. Princeton is a young team and RU should handle this one fairly easily, but look for a fun match at 197lbs between No. 14 Luke Stout of PU vs No. 12 John Poznanski of Rutgers.
12/10/2023 – Buffalo (Home)
The final dual meet of the first semester will feature some more early season MACtion as the Bulls of Buffalo will head down to the banks for a Sunday afternoon tilt. The Bulls have only one wrestler currently ranked, No. 27 Sam Mitchell at 197lbs, so expect another win for the Scarlet Knights to wrap up the first semester.
1/6/2024 – No. 19 Penn (Away)
A tough opponent to kick off the second semester, Rutgers will head to No. 19 Penn in early January for a rematch of a dual from last year that saw the Scarlet Knights win 19-12 at the Prudential Center in Newark. This year’s Quaker squad features six ranked wrestlers including a pair of lightweights in Michael Colaicco (133) and CJ Composto (141) both clocking in at No. 7 nationally.
1/7/2024 – Rider (Home)
In-state rival Rider University returns to Jersey Mike’s Arena the very next day after the Penn dual for their now annual showdown with the Scarlet Knights. Lots of former NJ high school talent featured in Rider’s lineup, led by former two-time state champion Quinn Kinner, No. 22 at 149 lbs for the Broncs.
1/12/2024 – Indiana (Home, BIG)
The BIG Ten portion of the schedule opens up with a visit from the Indiana Hoosiers on the 12th. Rutgers lost to the Hoosiers in Bloomington last year, 24-16, so they’ll hope to extract a measure of revenge at home. Indiana picked up an All-American transfer from Minnesota in Brayton Lee at 157/165lbs and will likely have four other ranked wrestlers in their lineup including Graham Rooks, No. 7 at 149 lbs.
1/14/2024 – Purdue (Away, BIG)
Two days later, the Scarlet Knights will (maybe) share a plane out of Newark with the Hoosiers to head over to Indiana to face the Purdue Boilermakers in another Big Ten dual. Purdue’s lineup only features three ranked wrestlers at the time of publishing, but they are led by national runner up and the current No. 1 wrestler at 125lbs, Matt Ramos. Ramos is best known for his dramatic upset of Iowa’s three-time NCAA Champion Spencer Lee in the semi-finals of last season’s national tournament.
1/19/2024 – Michigan State (Away, BIG)
Next up, Rutgers Wrestling will spend a lovely weekend up in Michigan, taking on both BIG Ten opponents in the Great Lakes State, beginning with Michigan State. Rutgers squeaked out a 16-15 win last season in Piscataway, but the Spartans have since lost several key wrestlers to graduation, so I anticipate an easier win for the Scarlet Knights this time around. A fun matchup will likely occur at 184 lbs between MSU’s Layne Malczewski, ranked No. 11 vs RU’s Brian Soldano, coming in at No. 10. Malczewski majored Soldano 16-6 during last year’s dual meet, but Soldano earned revenge at the national tournament, pinning the Spartan in the first period to advance in the tournament.
1/21/2024 – No. 9 Michigan (Away, BIG)
The following Sunday, the Scarlet Knights will visit the Wolverines of Michigan, who procured All-Americans from schools throughout the country to produce their wildly deep lineup for the 2023-24 campaign. Three AA’s from Northwestern (Michael DeAugustino, 125, Chris Cannon, 133, and Lucas Davison, HWT), one former NCAA Champion from Stanford (Shane Griffith, 174), and now, as I’m typing, they’ve picked up former AA Austin Gomez from Wisconsin. This along with returning three-time AA in Cam Amine at 165 and three-time qualifier Dylan Ragusin at 141lbs.
1/27/2023 – No. 16 Minnesota (Home, BIG)
Rutgers returns home to close out the month of January with the Minnesota Golden Gophers visiting for a Saturday afternoon dual. The Gophers currently have six guys ranked with three in the top 10. We could be in line for an exciting rematch at 125lbs between RU’s No. 6 Dean Peterson and Minny’s No. 7 Pat McKee. These two met at the national tournament last year in the round of 16 with Peterson earning a tight 6-4 decision, ending McKee’s season (and his propensity for deep, consolation bracket runs). Also, a burning question in the back of everyone’s mind for this dual will continue to be, “Will we see Gable Steveson?” as the Olympic Gold Medalist Heavyweight’s status remains in limbo as far as I know.
2/4/2023 – No. 7 Ohio State (Home, BIG)
The BIG Ten grind continues into February when the perennial top-10 Buckeyes of Ohio State come to visit Jersey Mike’s arena for a conference matchup. This year, the Buckeyes have eight wrestlers ranked, all within the top-20, with four clocking in the top-ten nationally. They will however, miss two-time national runner-up Sammy Sasso who continues to recover from a gunshot wound he suffered in a robbery attempt a few weeks ago. The latest update came out this week and Sasso is finally out of the hospital, great news for the young man, his family and wrestling fans across the country.
2/12/2024 – No. 1 Penn State (Away, BIG)
What is there to say about Penn State that hasn’t already been said? The program produces, attracts, and develops the best wrestlers year after year. This year’s lineup is as preposterous as always, featuring eight of their ten ranked wrestlers coming in the top 3 nationally, including returning three-time NCAA champions in Carter Starocci at 174lbs and Aaron Brooks, now at 197lbs. Some say they aren’t being very cool about this whole “winning all the time” thing, not me specifically, but some are saying.
2/16/2024 – No. 22 Maryland (Home, BIG)
This is definitely one of the home matches I’m the most excited for this season as the new and improved Terps will journey up to Piscataway for a Friday night dual on the banks to close out the Big Ten portion of the schedule. Maryland, generally in the basement of the Big Ten with regards to wrestling since they joined, has turned over a new leaf under Head Coach Alex Clemsen. This iteration of the Terp’s lineup includes six ranked wrestlers, headlined by No. 8 Jaxon Smith at 197lbs who was a win away from earning All American honors last season.
2/21/2024 – Bloomsburg (Home)
To close out the dual season, the Scarlet Knights welcome the Huskies of Bloomsburg in a rematch from last year that saw Rutgers pitch a 45-0 shut out. I would expect more of the same this season but with the dual being two weeks before the Big Ten Tournament in early March, I imagine some guys will rest in this spot to get ready for the postseason.
For information on how to purchase season tickets, click here. Single match tickets go on sale at a later date.
Side Note: Coach Scott Goodale indicated he will send several attached wrestlers to the annual Midlands Championships at the end of December, but it isn’t an official team event.
There you have it! Of course, as the season progresses we’ll dig deeper into individual matchups in our dual preview articles but this should give you plenty to get excited about for the upcoming season. Plenty of season tickets are still available for what is considered one of the best atmospheres in college wrestling.
Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at firstname.lastname@example.org