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Wrestling Opens Up Big Ten Schedule

Penn State is heading full steam into the Big Ten portion of the schedule after dismantling Lock Haven 48 0 on Sunday. With Lock Haven missing two of it's better wrestlers what originally looked like a bad match up turned into an ugly one. Penn State picked up big wins from it's usual cast including a great effort from Ed Ruth who made the move up a weight class and still picked up a fall. 

Things will get decidedly tougher this week against rival Ohio State who comes in ranked 22nd in the country. Penn State gets a bit of a break as Ohio State will be without several key wrestlers including stud freshman 125 pounder Logan Steiber who would have provided a really good test for Frank Martellotti. 

Penn State 48 Lock Haven 0

125: Frank Martelotti wins by major dec 15 6
Frank continues to impress, Hyatt was a solid but not great opponent and Frank handled him with ease. I think it's a little soon to start talking about Frank beating out Pataky at this point but he's certainly been impressive so far. It will be nice to eventually see him against some ranked opponents to get a better gauge of where he's at nationally. It's easy to forget that Pataky was poised to finally reach all american status this year, after having a really horrendous draw at Nationals last season. 

133: Bryan Pearsall wins by fall
It's sounds more and more like Pearsall's time in the starting lineup is going to be brief, with Long coming on board and Pataky soon to return, but he's making the most of what time he has left. One positive you can say about the kid he's definitely a pinner. When faced with lesser competition he's great at scoring bonus points for the team. 

141: Andrew Alton wins by major decision 13 4
I don't know if I've ever called a major decision disappointing but this might be one such instance. I think there has to be some serious concern about Andrew's wrestling late in matches. Granted in this match he was wrestling against a guy clearly out there not to get pinned and not trying to win. But after a building a big lead in the first Alton seemed to coast to the finish. I know I may take some heat for writing this but let's just hope it was the competition and not a serious conditioning issue. It was nice to see him pick up the late takedown to secure the major. In the Big Ten duals those extra team points picked up late in the match could be huge. 

149: Frank Molinaro wins by tech fall 17 - 1
Frank certainly responded well as expected after his first loss. There's really not much to say about this one. Clearly the competition wasn't the best but Frank did what was expected and got the big win. 

157: David Taylor wins by tech fall 19 4
Another one where there's really not much to say Taylor did what was expected against a limited opponent. It is nice to see these guys go out hard every match no matter who there wrestling. That's a huge plus especially for a young wrestler. 

165: James Vollrath wins by forfeit
Jake Kemerer was held out due to illness.

174: Nick Fischer wins 7 5
These matches are always fun to see. Fischer moved up from 165 to cover for the loss of Quentin Wright at 184, and secured a last second takedown to win the bout. Granted he wasn't wrestling the cream of the crop but it's always nice to see a kid who doesn't get much time to shine get a standing ovation from the rec hall crowd. And it was also nice as a fan to have one match be at least somewhat competitive. 

184: Ed Ruth wins by fall
Ruth moved up from 174 to finish the shuffling to fill void left by Wright, and did about as expected. Again as I said for Taylor it's good to see a guy who doesn't mess around and really takes it to an over matched opponent. 

197 Nick Ruggear wins 8 6
Ruggear has been a small improvement over Justin Ortega but clearly could use some work. He's very aggressive offensively which is a welcome change over Ortega but this we'll clearly be a weak spot when the opposition gets tougher. Also like Alton it's never good to see a guy give up some points late in the match. But a win is a win. 

Hwt Cameron Wade wins by fall
Wade has continued his offensive surge with another pin. Again a case of a guy doing simply what he was supposed to do. But he got it done so cheers for that. 

If you haven't noticed from the weight by weight breakdowns there's not much you can learn from a win like this. Lock Haven clearly is a rebuilding team that is in pretty bad shape right now. When you take out their two best wrestlers there's not much left. On the plus side for Penn State it gave them a chance to get a new face into the lineup in Fischer and gave a few guys a chance to bounce back from tough losses the week before. And most importantly there were no major injuries to report so the team can slowly get healthier as we head to 2011. 

#5 Penn State vs #22 Ohio State

Talk about a match up of two teams headed in opposite directions. Last year's Ohio State team was many fans dark horse for National Champions, this year they are in full rebuilding mode. They have a lot of inexperienced less talented guys replacing some top notch wrestlers from a year ago. It should also be noted that Ohio State has been hit really hard in terms of injuries this year. There should still be a few quality individual matches and this will likely be Penn State's toughest test since Lehigh at the beginning of the year. 

125: #17  Frank Martellotti vs Bo Touris
Bo is filling in for injured stud freshman Logan Steiber, and he's quite a step down. I think Logan likely would have beaten Frank in a close matchup. Against Bo however, I think Frank wins this one fairly easily. It's a shame we won't get to see the anticipated match between the two talented freshman. 
Frank by dec

133: Bryan Pearsall vs #10 Ian Paddock
Paddock has a good chance reaching the podium this year in philly, he's a solid wrestler who should handle Pearsall. Paddock beat Pearsall 13 2 in last years dual. I see a similar result this year. As always Pearsall's ability on top gives him the chance for the fall if he gets there. But I think Paddock is talented enough to stay out of trouble. 
Paddock by maj dec

141: #10 Andrew Alton vs Randy Languis
Another freshman opponent for Alton who has had plenty of them to start his Penn State career. This one will likely end the like most of the rest. I think the only thing that keeps Alton from bonus points in this one is if Languis just simply runs from him the entire match. 
Alton by fall

149: #6 Frank Molinaro vs Sean Nemec
Gone is Lance Palmer who handled Frank fairly easily last season, in comes Nemec and the tables should be turned. Nemec is a solid but not great wrestler for the buckeyes this should be a good match up for Frank as he works back from his early season injury. 
Molinaro by maj dec

157: #3 David Taylor vs #13 Colt Sponseller 
This should be the feature bout of the afternoon along with 174. Sponseller has really fallen off after a tremendous start to his freshman campaign, as he has yet to reach all american honors for Ohio State. He returns to 157 this season after competing at 165 last year. He'll still provide a big big test for Taylor in this match. However I would still say Dong is probably a tougher wrestler and Taylor was able to handle him somewhat easily. I think Taylor wins it in convincing fashion. 
Taylor by maj dec

165: Jake Kemerer vs Jared Kusar
I assume Kemerer will be back from the illness that held him out last week. He should have no problems beating Kusar, however like I said last week it be really nice to see him start to turn up the offense a bit. Instead we'll probably have to settle for a decision win that is closer than it should be. 
Kemerer wins by dec

174: #11 Ed Ruth vs #13 Nick Hefflin
This should be a great match between two extremely talented freshmen. Hefflin has wrestled some really good wrestlers already this year but he has lost to most of them. This should be a really close match though as Hefflin is probably the best wrestler Ruth has wrestled outside of Letts who he lost to at the Nittany Lion Open two weeks ago. I think Ruth is slightly better and he'll have an edge wrestling at home, but this should be a really competitive match. 
Ruth by dec

184: Andrew Church vs Peter Capone
I'm still not sure if we'll see Church here this week or not I can't see Cael bumping Ruth up again as that match at 174 could be a big one for him as far as seeding goes. I think if Church does wrestle you have to give the upper hand to Capone while he doesn't come in with much of a record he does come in with varsity matches under his belt that Church doesn't  have. There's also a chance we'll see Ortega back down here depending on the NCAA weight loss rules. But I think Capone also can beat Ortega. 
Capone by dec

197: Nick Ruggear vs CJ Magrum
Ruggear comes in with a  much better record than Magrum. But Magrum comes in with much more experience after seeing time in the starting lineup for Ohio State last year. In last year's dual Magrum beat Dave Crowell 10 6. He's clearly no world beater but I think he's good enough to squeak out a close win against Ruggear. 
Magrum by dec

Hwt: #6 Cameron Wade vs Johnny Hiles
Wade has been on absolute tear the past few weeks against weak opposition luckily for Penn State fans Hiles is weak opposition. Wade wins this one easily the only real question is how many bonus points he'll pick up. 
Wade by fall

Final Score Penn State 29 Ohio State 10
Should be another comfortable win for Penn State to close out the 2010 portion of the dual meet schedule.