Wrestling Wreport: Penn State Closes Out Big Ten Duals

Frank Molinaro leads Penn State to their final two Big Ten duals (Photo: BSD/Galen)

Penn State will travel to Nebraska tonight at 8 p.m. and then return home to Rec Hall to welcome the Michigan Wolverines Sunday at 2 p.m. Both teams are ranked - NU is 7th and UM is 12th - so it will be a tough test for the Lions. It’s a big weekend for PSU because these are the last two duals with Big Ten teams and, this season, the Big Ten is officially recognizing the regular season dual meet champion(s), in trophy form. If Penn State wins both duals they will be guaranteed at least a share of that sweet, sweet trophy. This post will also serve as the open thread for the match tonight; I’ll be posting updates throughout the Nebraska dual.

Match-ups

Wt. PSU vs Nebraska Michigan
125 # 9 Nico Megaludis Shawn Nagel Grant Pizzo
133 Frank Martellotti #18 Ridge Kelly #16 Zac Stevens
141 Bryan Pearsall #5 Jake Sueflohn #1 Kellen Russell
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Brandon Wilbourn #7 Eric Grajales
157 #6 Dylan Alton #7 James Green Brandon Zeerip
165 #1 David Taylor #6 Robert Kokesh #14 Dan Yates
174 #2 Ed Ruth Tyler Koehn #8 Justin Zeerip
184 #2 Quentin Wright #7 Josh Ihnen Hunter Collins
197 #12 Morgan McIntosh James Nakashima #15 Max Huntley
285 #6 Cameron Wade #9 Tucker Lane #10 Ben Apland


History

Penn State welcomes Nebraska to the Big Ten tonight but it’s by no means their first meeting. NU is winning the all-time series 8-4-1. The Cornhuskers have won 2 straight with Penn State’s last victory coming way back in 1998. The two teams have not met since the 2009 National Duals, a match won by NU 20-16. A match like this could be very interesting because this will be the first time most of the wrestlers have seen each other. That can be an advantage in some cases and a disadvantage in others.

Michigan and Penn State are no strangers, they have met 50 times with Penn State holding a slim 26-24 edge thanks to two wins in a row for the Lions. These two teams are used to each other, there won’t be too many surprises.

Predictions

Nico Megaludis can start both duals off with a bang. He gets two sophomores with a combined record of 10-23. Not only should Nico be looking for bonus points, he should be looking for a pin. Frank Martellotti and Bryan Pearsall find themselves with two ranked opponents again this weekend. Martellotti is coming off two losses by pin against ranked wrestlers but this week he gets two guys in the lower rankings. Frank has a chance to bounce back and at least give them a competitive match. Bryan gets the top-ranked guy in Kellen Russell, but can stay with him. Russell’s style is not conducive to points and pins, Bryan can minimize damage. I have very little knowledge of true freshman Jake Sueflohn of NU, no telling what will happen in that match.

Quentin Wright saw Hunter Collins two times last season winning by fall and major, look for bonus points there. Cameron Wade saw Ben Apland four times last season winning all of them. He had two regular decisions early in the year and then turned it on at the end for a fall and a major in the Big Ten’s. Cam has been more aggressive as of late and I think he’ll continue his roll and get Penn State bonus. This is one I won’t be worried about if it comes down to Heavyweight.

David Taylor gets two ranked guys but he seems completely healed from the slight injury he suffered a little while ago, expect bonus especially the Michigan dual. Frank Molinaro needs bonus against redshirt freshman Brandon Wilbourn of Nebraska, it could make a difference. Dylan Alton has a big match against #7 James Green of Nebraska but I think they Alton has been wrestling lately, he pulls a close one out. Lastly, there’s Ed Ruth; what more can he prove? He’ll get bonus against Tyler Koehn, probably a pin, and Justin Zeerip is good but Ruth beat him twice last season including a major. Ed is rolling, I don’t expect much of a match.

Penn State 31 – Nebraska 10

Penn State 33 – Michigan 7

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