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Wrestling Wreport: PSU takes on Northwestern and Wisconsin

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David Taylor showed signs of a lingering injury last weekend.  Will the coaches hold him out for Iowa?
David Taylor showed signs of a lingering injury last weekend. Will the coaches hold him out for Iowa?

The good guys in Blue & White are on the road this weekend to take on two B1G foes. Penn State travels to #17 Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 B1G) tonight at 8:00 pm and they make the trip up to Wisconsin (5-3, 0-2 B1G) Sunday at 2:00 pm. Penn State is coming off of a 36-6 victory at Michigan State, a match they didn’t wrestle real crisply and the huge sold-out home match with Iowa looms over the horizon (January 22nd). Hopefully Cael has the team focused on the two duals now and not looking ahead to the Hawkeyes.

Match-ups

Wt. PSU vs Northwestern Wisconsin
125 # 10 Nico Megaludis #7 Levi Mele Austin Hietpas
133 Frank Martellotti Jameson Oster Shane McQuade
141 Bryan Pearsall Colin Shober Tommy Glenn
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Kaleb Friedle #9 Cole Schmitt
157 #9 Dylan Alton #3 Jason Welch Shawn Perry
165 #1 David Taylor Pierce Harger #14 Ben Jordan
174 #2 Ed Ruth #9 Lee Munster Frank Cousins
184 #3 Quentin Wright Marcus Shrewsbury Timmy McCall
197 #13 Morgan McIntosh John Schoen Jackson Hein
285 #6 Cameron Wade #9 Lee Munster Cole Tobin

Past Results

Penn State leads the series with Northwestern 11-1 with 9 straight and a much slimmer 11-8 edge over Wisconsin, but they’ve won the last two. The Nittany Lions beat the Wildcats 37-10 two years ago and the Badgers 30-12 last season both in Rec Hall.

Tough Match-ups

Both opponents are relatively young; Penn State wrestlers will be taking on 10 freshmen by weekend’s end. Northwestern does have 4 individually ranked wrestlers but unfortunately for them, two of them take on Ed Ruth (#9 Lee Munster) and Cameron Wade (#9 Lee Munster). I don’t see either of them upsetting the good guys.

Without a doubt though, # 10 Megaludis vs. #7 Mele and #9 Alton vs. #3 Welch are the door busters of the weekend. Both wrestlers are getting better with every dual and it will be a huge weekend for both. Nico can serve notice by beating a top-ten ranked wrestler after getting disqualified with an illegal throw against Michigan State. Alton has his hands full taking on an undefeated wrestler with much more experience as a junior. Dylan looked good in the Scuffle losing to the top-ranked wrester in the country by a slim 3-0 score, but the field at 157 was a bit light. Alton will get a gauge of where he’s at right now in comparison to the elite wrestlers in his weight class.

Absolute Locks

Wisconsin has two ranked wrestlers in #9 Cole Schmitt and #14 Ben Jordan. Too bad they take on Frank the tank and David Taylor, respectively. Taylor was having trouble with his ribs against Michigan State and the coaches might want to rest him because neither of these duals will be in jeopardy. Martellotti and Pearsall take on 4 wrestlers with only one having a winning record. There should be bonus points from the start. Wright gets two wrestlers with a combined record of 10-13, expect big points from him.

Predictions

Like I said, neither of these matches will be close and if Taylor does wrestle Wisconsin will be lucky to score a point. Nico and Dylan have a big night tonight but get an easy rode home through Wisconsin. After last weekend’s sleepwalk through Battle Creek against Michigan State, I look for the team to come out focused and ready to go to work. Lots of bonus points this weekend, they both may be short matches.

Penn State 34 – Northwestern 6
Penn State 45 – Wisconsin 0

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