After a tough match against a top-5 opponent in Iowa, Penn State welcomes another top-5 opponent in the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes to Rec Hall Sunday for a 2 p.m. Big Ten dual. Penn State and Ohio State are similar in that they both beat Iowa bad. Ohio State won 21-9 a week ago and Penn State won 22-12 last Sunday. Both teams have moved up, Penn State took Iowa’s No 2 ranking and OSU moves to 5. It will be a familiar opponent for Penn State because Ohio State matches up very similar to the way Iowa did. OSU’s meat & potatoes are in their lighter weights, although they are a little more evenly matched than Iowa was. Penn State could be in for a letdown after the emotional win last weekend, hopefully they are ready, the Buckeyes will be a tough test.
|125||# 8 Nico Megaludis||#15 Johnni Dejulius|
|133||Frank Martellotti||#3 Logan Stieber|
|141||Bryan Pearsall||#6 Hunter Stieber|
|149||#1 Frank Molinaro||#14 Cam Tessari|
|157||#8 Dylan Alton||#20 Josh Demas|
|165||#1 David Taylor||Derek Garcia|
|174||#2 Ed Ruth||#8 Nick Heflin|
|184||#2 Quentin Wright||#10 C.J. Magrum|
|197||#12 Morgan McIntosh||#20 Andrew Campolattano|
|285||#6||#16 Peter Capone|
The good guys lead the all-time series by a 14-11 margin, including a 42-3 win in Rec Hall last season. Ohio State won the year before in Columbus. Like Penn State, Ohio State is a young team. OSU has 9 wrestlers that are a sophomore or younger.
Frank Martellotti and Bryan Pearsall have the same job this week as they did last week: minimize damage. Pearsall did a good job keeping his loss to a regular decision but Martellotti got pinned. Frank needs to take the next step and challenge an elite wrestler at his weight, giving up a fall is unacceptable. Dylan Alton should beat Josh Demas but it could be a close match. Alton seems to be getting more confidence as the season goes on, he just needs to put it all together and dominate a match against a lower ranked opponent. The same could be said for Morgan McIntosh, who wrestled well last week. Then there’s Cameron Wade who looked aggressive in the first period against Iowa. Which Cam will show up this Sunday? Hopefully the match is out of reach by then.
David Taylor failed to get bonus points last week, I doubt you’ll see that happen two weeks in a row. Taylor gets Ohio State’s only unranked wrestler, look for David to shoot for the tech fall at the least. Frank Molinaro, Ed Ruth, and Quentin Wright all get ranked wrestlers but I don’t expect any of those matches to be close. All three wrestlers are on the top of their game right now and I expect three wins with a shot at bonus from one or more of those bouts. Nico Megaludis gets 15th-ranked Johnni Dejulius but Nico is getting better and better as the year goes on. Nico wins comfortably.
Penn State matches up better against OSU than they did against Iowa. Against the Hawkeyes, PSU was expected to lose the first three bouts, I don’t see that happening this week. It’s great that the Buckeyes have 9 ranked wrestlers unfortunately for them, 7 of those 9 come against much higher ranked Lions and 2 of their top-10 ranked wrestlers get Ruth and Wright, the end of Murder’s Row. Ohio State is a year or so away from pushing for the Big Ten title, they are not there yet.