Pulling an ear off - GALEN
Penn State stays on the road for another weekend, travelling to Pitt on Friday night, and to Ohio State on Sunday.
Penn State wrestling travels to Pittsburgh, taking on the #16 Panthers on Friday night at 8pm. On Sunday, the Lions show up in Columbus to wrestle #6 Ohio State. Let's take a look at the matchups.
at #16 Pitt
#2 Nico vs. UR (FR) Godwin Nyama - Godwin is a former PIAA Champ from Brashear. He's a true freshman, and off to a rough start while Pitt's 2012 All-American Anthony Zanetta redshirts. Godwin's last match was a 3-8 loss to West Virginia's (and former PIAA Champ) Shane Young. Sorry Nico - you don't get that NLO rematch with Zanetta.
Line: Nico minus 15
UR Jordan Conaway vs. #17 (JR) Shelton Mack (Meadville) - Mack lost in the blood round last year, one win shy of All-American. This will be a tough test for Jordan, but one he could win.
Line: Conaway plus 2.5
UR Bryan Pearsall vs. UR (SO) Travis Shaffer (Derry) - Jimmy Guilbon's former teammate is a true sophomore. I think Shaffer is a lot better than his 7-9 record suggests. We'll see. Last year he was working towards a major decision over Pearsall, but got caught and pinned at the 6:57 mark. More recently, Shaffer had a tech fall over Okie State's Feikert, and a 4-5 loss to #12 Pennesi.
Line: Pearsall plus 5.5
#8 Andrew Alton vs. UR (FR) Ronnie Garbinsky (Tyrone) - Ronnie's 11-5 in his first year of attached competition, but already has a pinfall loss this year to Andrew.
Line: Alton minus 8.5
#5 Dylan Alton vs. UR (JR) Donnie Tasser (Belle Vernon) - Two years ago Tasser opened eyes with a top-5 finish at Midlands. This season Tasser sits at 16-10....26 matches already? Wow. One of those 10 losses was a 2-3 decision versus Dylan. I think Dylan opens it up a little bit more this time around.
Line: Alton minus 4.5
#2 David Taylor vs. #17 (SO) Tyler Wilps (Chartiers Valley) - Does Taylor take it easy on Tyler, so his older brother is less amped for his match with Quentin? No. The machine absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead. Or, you know. the whistle blows. The machine obeys whistles. So that's nice.
Line: Taylor minus 15
#6 Matt Brown vs. UR (FR) Nick Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park) - This is what...the sixth WPIAL guy out of seven? Nick went undefeated his senior year in high school...until the state final. I'd probably still be in prison if that happened to me. Nick might trade prison for another match with Matt Brown's meat hooks.
Line: Brown minus 9.5
ALL HAIL THE KING vs. #13 (SO) Max Thomusseit (St. Paris Graham) - David Taylor's HS team mate takes on the freakish Edward Ruth. This should be fun.
Line: Ruth minus 9.5
197 LBS - Match of the Meet
#3 Quentin Wright vs. #2 (SR) Matt Wilps (Chartiers Valley) - Did these guys wrestle in high school? I'm thinking they were at least in the same bracket one year. In any event, Wilps got the better of Wright at the pre-season NWCA All-Star Classic. It was Quentin's first match up at 197. Let's see how this one comes out.
Line: Wright minus 1.5
#16 Jon Gingrich or #16 Jimmy Lawson vs. #8 Zac Thomusseit (St. Paris Graham) - Four brothers out of 10 weights. Proof that wrestling is a family activity. So who gets the nod for the Lions? Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Maybe there's a match quota - if you don't take three serious shots, then the other guy goes in the next dual. Keep that up until one or the other just starts swinging off the whistle?
Line: PSU plus 2.5
OVERALL vs. #16 Pitt
This is why I love wrestling PA schools. You don't have to do half the research on the opponents, because you remember these guys from PIAAs. Just makes the whole process easier for everyone. And that's what blogging is all about - half-assed effort.
Line: Penn State minus 27
at #6 Ohio State
#2 Nico vs. #12 (SR) Nikko Triggas - Triggas has already dropped not-so-close bouts to McDonough, and last Friday to #3 Delgado. But Triggas is no slouch. This won't be a walk in the park for Nico.
Line: Nico minus 6.5
UR Jordan Conaway vs. #1 (SO) Logan Stieber - Stieber is your returning National Champion. He is pretty certifiable. He gets takedowns. He rides. He gets out from bottom. He's a freaking hammer.
Line: Conaway plus 12.5
UR Bryan Pearsall vs. #2 (SO) Hunter Stieber - Yes, the younger brother of Logan. Yes, also pretty good from all positions. Hammer? Logan's a sledge. Hunter's more of a roofing hammer. That's still pretty darn good.
Line: Pearsall plus 10.5
149 LBS - Match of the Meet #1
#8 Andrew Alton vs. #19 (SO) Cam Tessari - Let's hope Andrew's gas tank has refilled to at least six minutes or so in this one, because he'll likely need all of it. Tessari finished 5th as a true frosh at the Big Tens last year - and then placed 4th at Nationals. He can wrestle.
Line: Alton plus 1.5
#5 Dylan Alton vs. #18 (SO) Josh Demas - Demas hasn't made the podium like the three teammates in front of him, but he has talent. His claim to fame is beating Iowa's St. John at the dual meet last year. Beating Dylan Alton is not one of Demas' claims.
Line: Alton minus 3.5
#2 David Taylor vs. UR (FR) Mark Martin - Martin is from St. Edward, and is a true freshman. He dropped an 0-2 decision to Illinois' Polz last Friday.
Line: Taylor minus 15
174 LBS - Match of the Meet #2
#5 Matt Brown vs. #7 Nick Heflin - The Big Ten has four of the top 5, and eight of the top 10 at this weight. And not much separates them, frankly. Heflin's style is another good fit for Brown though, in my opinion.
Line: Brown minus 2.5
#1 Ed Ruth vs. #16 Kenny Courts or UR (SR) CJ Magrum - Courts wrestled at this weight against Iowa, but bumped up to 197 last Friday versus Illinois. I don't think it matters very much who faces Ed Ruth. He just pinned Courts' HS teammate #18 Dallago in 47 seconds.
Line: Ruth by Fall
#3 Quentin Wright vs. #13 (SO) Andrew Campolattano or Courts - I don't think the Buckeyes have anyone on the roster with enough offensive to get a win against Q.
Line: Wright minus 4.5
#16's Gingrich or Lawson vs. #12 Peter Capone - Capone doesn't have much offense himself. But this is Heavyweight, so let's cut him a break for that. I think either of our guys, despite a lower ranking, can take down Capone.
Line: PSU wrestler minus 2.5
OVERALL vs. #6 Ohio State
This is not going to be Penn State's fourth Big Ten shutout. But it's not going to be Penn State's second dual loss, either. The Stieber's can't score 33 team points by themselves.
Line: Penn State minus 22.5
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