The Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town Sunday for a noon dual. It's a huge early season test for the Wrestling team as a whole and a litmus test for some of Penn State's young wrestlers. Why the Big Ten scheduled such a big match up of wrestling powerhouses so early in the season is beyond me but whatever the reason the scheduling quirk turns out to be a real treat for fans as this should be a barn burner. Penn State has 8 of their wrestlers ranked including 3 that are No. 1 and Minnesota has all 10 of their wrestlers ranked in the top 10.
|125||#18 Nico Megaludis||#2 Zach Sanders|
|133||Derek Reber||#7 David Thorn|
|141||Sam Sherlock||#10 Nick Dardanes|
|149||#1 Frank Molinaro||#5 Dylan Ness|
|157||#11 Dylan Alton||#9 Jake Deitchler|
|165||#1 David Taylor||#8 Cody Yohn|
|174||#2 Ed Ruth||#9 Logan Storley|
|184||#1 Quentin Wright||#6 Kevin Steinhaus|
|197||#10 Morgan McIntosh||#2 Sonny Yohn|
|285||#4 Cameron Wade||#3 Tony Nelson|
Last Season's results
Last season Penn State and Minnesota battled to an 18-18 tie in Minneapolis. David Taylor and Andrew Long got bonus points to keep Penn State's chances alive. Cody Yohn and Kevin Steinhaus were the guys for Minnesota getting major decisions and yes, if you look at my chart above you'll notice that Steinhaus is at Quentin Wright's weight and yes Q was at that weight last year. So putting two and two together (you get four by the way) Q was majored by Steinhaus. In the all-time series Minnesota leads 12-6-1.
It goes without saying that EVERY weight will be a tough one. Reber and Sherlock will be key for Penn State, they need to stay away from giving up bonus points. I'm not saying that either are a lock to lose but if they do they need to keep it close. Minnesota matches up really well against the Lions if they had a lower ranked wrestler at one of the weights where we have a pinner (Taylor, Ruth, or Wright) I would feel good about our chances. Expecting a pin at any weight is crazy, Penn State will need majors from their big guns (Molinaro, Taylor and Wright) but expecting that may be a stretch. I won't say Quentin is looking for revenge because he already got it twice: once in the Big Ten championship finals (4-3) and again in the Nationals (8-4). I will say, however, that Quentin looks like a man possessed and this is a chance to make a statement.
Minnesota takes on #5 Cornell tonight so we'll have a good idea of just how good the Gophers are. This match could go either way. This will be one of those duals that one match could mean the difference. Every match should be hotly contested. Penn State has the clear advantage at 149, 165, 174, and 184. Minnesota has the clear advantage at 133, 141, and 125 (sorry I know some of you believe in Megaludis' super-human ability but he's going up against a seasoned veteran). The other bouts will be toss-ups. It will be interesting to see if Cam keeps up the offense he showed against Bloomsburg. If Alton can get out from bottom I like his chances but that's a big 'if'. The 'X factor" will be the Rec Hall crowd. If Penn State fans 'pack the track' they could be a driving force. It should be a great one.