Penn State will now get it's second test in as many weeks. This one will be slightly different as the team tries to bounce back from it's first lost of the year. The young guys on this team just got punched in mouth and knocked to the canvas now it's time to see if they get back up and fight or stay down. They'll try to regroup with a two match swing through Michigan.
Friday night they will take on a Michigan State team, that is weak on paper but coming off a big win against 14th ranked Illinois. Penn State should be heavily favored, as they will be overwhelming favorites in just about every bout contested, but will need to wrestle like it to pull out the win in East Lansing. It should provide a good chance to lick their wounds, and move on from the Iowa dual.
Sunday will see a rematch of the Virginia Duals final a match Penn State won 24 to 12. There's reason to believe things could be much tighter this time around. Penn State will likely be without Brad Pataky who picked up a key win at 125. Brad has been mentioned as being questionable but I have my doubts we'll see him till right before the Big Tens to get him as healthy as possible.
There's also the question of Quentin Wright was extremely ineffective on Sunday. Whether it's the shoulder or something else he clearly was no where near 100% on Sunday. Really I'm not sure why the coaches sent him out there, and I really don't think he should wrestle this weekend if he's in the same shape. I understand no one is completely healthy at this point in the year, but there is no point sending him out there to get beat on and risk his injured shoulder.
Friday vs Michigan State
125: #11 Brad Pataky / Nate Morgan vs Eric Olanowski
Morgan will likely get his second start for the Nittany Lions now that he's burned his redshirt, he'll take on Olanowski who comes in with a decent ammount of experience althought he hasn't really had the results in his first few seasons. He should handle Morgan though, who just doesn't look quite psychically ready for this level of wrestling yet.
Olanowski by decision
133: #9 Andrew Long vs Chris Lyon
This match should provide Long a good chance to get back on track after a tough loss against Iowa. He should storm through Lyon without many problems.
Long by tech fall
141: #7 Andrew Alton vs Joel Trombly
Trombly is a senior who has been around for awhile, but like Olanowski he's wrestled poorly in the limited time he's seen he's seen action. I wouldn't be surprised to see an Alton fall here. But opponents have likely scouted that head lock out pretty well now so it will need to come from something else. I think Alton gets a chance to work on his conditioning here with a solid major decision win.
Alton by major decision
149: #5 Frank Molinaro vs Dan Osterman
Osterman comes in off a big upset win against Terrasaz of Illinois which helped to fuel the teams upset win, he'll be a tough opponent for Frank but this is one Frank should win easily. This is another match where Frank could dominate on top and pick up 3+ minutes of riding time but I'd like to see him actually get some extra work in from neutral and really push the pace in this bout for a lopsided major decision.
Molinaro by major decision
157: #3 David Taylor vs Sean McMurray
Taylor should cruise through most of the remaining Big Ten slate, and this match will be no exception, the only question is how long McMurray will last..
Taylor by tech fall
165: Jake Kemerer vs Bobby Nash
This is a match Kemerer must win, every match from here out for him will be important for seeding the Big Ten tournament. Which the way he is wrestling now could be critical for advancing to the NCAAs. Nash had a decent high school career before coming to Michigan State but has been average at the college level. He lost a major decision to Polz from Illinois who is about even skill wise with Kemerer. If you want something to watch in this match it would be to see if Jake can go away from that left side high crotch and mix up his offense from neutral.
Kemerer by decision
174: #2 Ed Ruth vs Curran Jacobs
Ruth like Taylor also should cruise through most of the remaining Big Ten schedule, Jacobs will be the first of a few big wins in a row for Ed.
Ruth by fall
184: #14 Quentin Wright vs Ian Hinton
The program has been pretty mum on Wright since Sunday, but I have to assume he'll continue to wrestle. Hinton is a tough opponent and will be another good test for that shoulder and for Quentin to try and right the ship before Nationals. This won't be an easy win and Hinton is coming off an upset win over then 18th ranked Dallago of Illinois. But a healthy Wright should win this match with ease, so this bout could be telling.
Wright by decision
197: Nick Ruggear/Justin Ortega vs Tyler Dickinson
Ortega actually came out somewhat aggressive against Iowa. He gave up some easy sloppy points but I would love to see that aggression more regularly instead of watching him stall his way to 4 2 losses all the time. Dickinson should be a winnable match for either Penn State wrestler, but as has been the case all year it's tough to have too much confidence, as you don't know what you're going to get from these two. Dickinson beat Dave Crowell 6 5 in last years dual meet at rec hall. I can see a similar result in this one.
Dickinson by decision
Hwt: #5 Cameron Wade vs Joe Rizqallah
First I would hate to be the announcer who has to pronounce Rizqallah on a regular basis. This should be an easy win for Wade who seemed to take a step back a bit against Iowa. He needs to stay on the attack and aggressive. The coaches have been pushing him on it the past two years and he seemed to be making strides but last week he did basically nothing en route to a 1 0 win. This will be a good opportunity for him to get his offense going, as I can't see Rizqallah putting up too much of a fight.
Wade by decision
Final Score Penn State 33 Michigan State 6
As you can see Michigan State fields a lineup without a single ranked wrestlers they do have a few scrappy guys however, and Penn State will need to be ready to wrestle. They do have a ranked heavyweight but he didn't wrestle last week and frankly Rizqallah is more fun to type. The program has really fallen off in recent years however, and without too many top recruits on the horizon and a surging Michigan team to compete with it could be awhile till we see another strong Spartan team. I'll actually be at this match live, as was the case on Sunday, so if they lose again I will take full responsibility as the curse, and will promptly put my NCAA tickets on sale.
Sunday vs #13 Michigan
125: #11 Brad Pataky / Nate Morgan vs Sean Boyle
Penn State could really need Pataky here. Boyle major decisioned Pataky at the southern scuffle, and got handily beat by him at the Virigina Duals. Pataky was on his way to what appeared to be a major decision before dinging his knee and gutting out a decision win. Boyle will get a major decision at least against Morgan, this could be a big swing bout from the previous meeting.
Boyle by major decision
133: #9 Andrew Long vs #19 Zac Stevens
Long picked up an 8 point major decision against Stevens in the Virginia Duals finals. That was Long's first action on the year so it's conceivable he can reproduce that result, but I think Stevens wrestling at home is able to keep it closer this time around.
Long by decision
141: #7 Andrew Alton vs #1 Kellen Russell
This is the third meeting between these two who could potentially meet 5 times this year. So far Alton has wrestled Russell close but hasn't been able to break through. In the first match he got a lead and tried to nurse it instead of staying aggressive much as he did against Marion last week. Andrew will have to mix up his offense this week to beat Kellen maybe a few of the attacks we saw against Nauman especially that sweet duck under. That could be a good move for Andrew as most people expect him to be going for the head looking for a throw. Alton also needs to improve on the mat, at the Viriginia Duals he was unable to ride Russell at all and then at Scuffle Russell dominated him from the top position. I don't Alton breaking through at Michigan, I think Russell will again be too tough.
Russell by decision
149: #5 Frank Molinaro vs Eric Grajales
Frank won a close match between these two the first time around as Grajales wrestled very defensively which gave Frank some problems. Eric's record isn't very impressive at 10 - 9 but he's been improving considerably over the recent weeks and has picked up some solid wins. I think Frank beats him again but I have a feeling this could be a tough close match for him.
Molinaro by decision
157: #3 David Taylor vs #20 Brandon Zeerip
Zeerip was out of the line up the last time the two teams wrestled, but Taylor did tech fall Zeerip at the southern scuffle. That could easily happen again, I think at worst Taylor picks up a very lopsided 13 or so point major decision. It all comes down to Zeerip's ability to fight off Taylor's tilt attempts. I think Taylor will know the team is going to need his bonus points however, and picks up the big win.
Taylor wins by tech fall
165: Jake Kemerer vs #19 Dan Yates
Yates beat James Vollrath 8 2 in the last meeting, I think Kemerer can fare better this time around but I'm not sure if he'll have enough to beat Yates. This is a good chance for a big win for Jake however and I think Yates is definitely a beatable opponent. But in a tough close match I'm going to go with Yates wrestling at home.
Yates by decision
174: #2 Ed Ruth vs Justin Zeerip
Zeerip was out of the lineup for the dual meet but Ruth picked up a major decision against him during his impressive Southern Scuffle run. Zeerip could hold him to a decision this time around, but I think Ruth will be going hard for the major after he fell a point short in the Iowa meet.
Ruth by major decision
184: #14 Quentin Wright vs Hunter Collins
Collins beat Nick Fischer at the Virginia Duals 9 4, Wright even not at 100% should be able to pick up a win here for the Nittany Lions. This will be a good place for the Nittany Lions to make up for the flipped result at 125. I wouldn't rule out a throw for Wright and a pin here either.
Wright by decision
197: Justin Ortega / Nick Ruggear vs #10 Anthony Biondo
Biondo has been a bit of an enigma for the wolverines, he's always been on the verge of breaking through to be one of the top guys but he's never quite crossed over the final hump. This year again he finds himself ranked 10th in country, just on the outside looking in. He had in my view a disappointing performance against Ruggear in the last dual winning a 9 4 decision. He certainly capable of better, and I think at home he may get it against Ortega.
Biondo by major decision
Hwt: #5 Cameron Wade vs #10 Ben Apland
Wade won a crazy ride out bout at the scuffle to help Penn State clinch a tie of the tournament and then won a comfortable 3 0 win against Apland the last time out. I expect more of the same this time. Wade has confidence against Apland and I think that will be key. He's shown he can ride Apland and dominate him from the top position, and Apland has yet to break through put up points from neutral against Wade. This is certainly a key toss up bout though, that could decide the dual.
Wade by decision
Final Score Penn State 21 Michigan 14
So with the flips at 125 and 184 Penn State should be able to hold serve from the previous match up. Even though there are surprisingly a lot of new match ups from the last match. Don't be fooled though one or two upsets and this thing could turn quickly in Michigan's favor. I think they're most dangerous at 184(especially if Wright can't go) and Heavyweight. This is a dangerous match for Penn State, but one they ultimately should win.