Penn State closes out their dual meet season tonight with a trip to #5 Minnesota. For the first time in awhile Penn State will be an underdog in a dual. This dual should feature some great bouts between ranked wrestlers. It will be interesting to see how much Penn State has improved in recent weeks and how much of their success was due to weak opposition.
This dual will air on tape delay on the Big Ten Network at 10:30 AM on Sunday, it's also available for 3 dollars on the Big Ten Network website.
125 #13 Brad Pataky vs #6 Zach Sanders
This should be a great match, Sanders pinned Pataky at the National Duals last year, but Pataky came back and beat him twice once in the dual meet at rec hall and again at the Big Ten tournament. Sanders has looked like the better wrestler this year, although he's just returning from injury this will be I believe only his second match back which could be an advantage to Pataky. Pataky doesn't have many big wins on the year because his opposition has been light and it's been awhile since he's been tested, which could be an advantage to Sanders. Last year Pataky was able to control Sanders from the top position so if he's able to come out and get a quick takedown he might have a great shot at it. This is truly a toss up so I'll give a slight edge to the guy at home.
Sanders by dec
133 #1 Jayson Ness vs Bryan Pearsall
Not really much to say Ness picks up a big win on senior day, and Pearsall finishes the Big Ten season without a win.
Ness by fall
141 #20 Adam Lynch vs #8 Mike Thorn
A month ago this match would have been a huge mismatch and many would have thought it would be huge bonus points for Minnesota. But Lynch has been surging of late and has won five straight. I think he'll have some serious problems with Thorn however who has given Penn State guys trouble in the past. I think Lynch will stay competitive in this bout however, and if he hits a few of his shrugs look out.
Thorn by dec
149 #4 Frank Molinaro vs #16 Mario Mason
On paper this looks like a good matchup but after watching Mason several times this year I'm really not all that impressed. I think Molinaro will take him down at will in this bout even though Mason is a little bit taller and lankier which could give him some problems initially. I think Frank will bounce back from a sloppy match last weekend and come through with a big win here for Penn State.
Molinaro by maj dec
157 #6 Cyler Sanderson vs #2 Dustin Schlatter
This is probably the best matchup in the dual and it should be a good one. Sanderson has been on an absolute tear in recent weeks and Schlatter hasn't lost since dropping to 157. There's no question the guys Sanderson has been wrestling in recent weeks have been terrible but the same is true of Schlatter. I think overall Schlatter is the better wrestler and has to be given an edge at home on senior night, but this should be a great match.
Schlatter by dec
165 #7 Dan Vallimont vs Cody Yohn
Now that Dan has win #100 out of the way he can relax and go back to wrestling his style of wrestling. He needs to come through with bonus points in this one for Penn State, this is one of the few bouts where they will be heavily favored. I expect a typical workmanlike 4 or 5 takedown performance from Dan in this one.
Vallimont by maj dec
174 Justin Ortega vs #8 Scott Glasser
Glasser is a huge favorite and will likely win big here. Ortega finishes the Big Ten season without a single win.
Glasser by maj dec
184 #10 David Erwin vs Kaleb Young
This is the match where Penn State is probably favored the most, they need to take advantage. Erwin has looked a little sluggish in recent matches and hasn't been putting up many points. Hopefully he didn't peak too soon. I think he'll have no problems with Young. The real question here is if he scores enough points to get Penn State bonus points.
Erwin by maj dec
197 Dave Crowell vs #13 Sonny Yohn
Crowell gets the final dual meet start for Penn State as Steadman is still out with an injury. This will be the third weight class where Penn State goes winless in the Big Ten. Yohn should have no trouble with Crowell, Crowell wrestled tough his past few bouts it would be nice to see him keep this to just a decision.
Yohn by dec
Hwt #12 Cameron Wade vs Ben Berhow
Wade and Berhow didn't meet up at all last year, Berhow beat Stefan Tighe in the dual meet at rec hall last season. These are two wrestlers headed in opposite directions, Berhow is going through a terribly disappointing season while Wade slowly seems to be putting it all together. Wade has done well this year of beating the guys he's supposed to beat which is a big change from a year ago. I think that continues with a convincing win over Berhow.
Wade by dec
Final Score Penn State 15 Minnesota 22
Collegian Prediction Penn State 18 Minnesota 15
This match is definitely a winnable one for Penn State but it will be a tall order at Minnesota. If Penn State can pull an upset at either 125 or 157 they'll have a good shot at it. As always the three winless starters for Penn State need to find a way to limit the damage. Penn State really has no room for error though in the bouts they are favored a single upset against them and they are likely finished.