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Wrestling: Penn State at Illinois

After a night in Iowa City, Penn State heads to Illinois for another showdown between top-10 teams.


With the Iowa dual in the books, the Penn State squad takes I-74 East (and, you know, a little south) to wild and wonderful Champaigne, IL - home of the world's fattest raccoon*. Illinois is a top-10 if not top-5 squad, though they've dropped two recent duals (in very close fashion) to Nebraska and Minnesota. And while Penn State was losing a close one at Carver-Hawkeye - Galen will have the coverage on Monday - the Illini were getting stomped by Ohio State, 9-25. Let's take a preview of the matchups.

*Unconfirmed, but a pretty good bet

125 LBS - Match of the Meet

#2 Nico Megaludis vs. #3 Jesse Delgado - Why not? You get #1 McDonough on his home mat Friday evening. Why not take the #3 guy at his mat on Sunday afternoon? This will be another slugfest. Nico won the pair's only meeting in the NWCA All-Star dual meet pre-season - which doesn't count in the record books - on a late (and according to some, controversial) takedown. Delgado presents a completely different challenge than McDonough. Delgado doesn't tie up like McDonough. Delgado is awfully quick, awfully slick, and will 'funk' you to death more than go ear-to-ear for 9 minutes. Delgado smoked #12 Nikko Triggas 8-1.

Line: Nico minus 1

133 LBS

UR Jordan Conaway vs. #7 (SR) Daryl Thomas - This should be an easier match for Conaway, but not by much. Unlike Ramos, Thomas was able to major Minnesota's Chris Dardanes in the Illini's recent dual with Minnesota. Unlike Ramos, Thomas also got to wrestle #1 Logan Stieber - and was 2:04.

Line: Conaway plus 5.5

141 LBS

UR Bryan Pearsall vs. #3 (SR) BJ Futrell or UR Logan Arliss or UR Steven Rodriguez - Futrell missed the Minnesota dual, and the Ohio State dual. Futrell is a 2x All-American, though both of those came down a weight at 133. His neutral offense could pose some real problems for Bryan - but it's not looking like Pearsall will wreslte Futrell.

Line: NONE

149 LBS

#8 Andrew Alton vs. UR Caleb Ervin - Ervin is un-ranked by Intermat, but he pulled off a major decision over #3 Dylan Ness 10 days ago, though he got worked by #3 Hunter Stieber Friday night, 1-6. This one won't be a pushover. Alton went up 12-2 against Brody Grothus in the first period - and then hung on for the major.

Line: Alton minus 5.5

157 LBS

#5 Dylan Alton vs. UR Matt Nora - Nora dropped a 2-7 decision to the Gopher's Danny Zilverberg. Alton should cruise.

Line: Alton minus 10.5


Stretch, relax, have fun. Eat some chips and dip. Put a sheet over the treadmill. The Super Bowl is on later.

165 LBS

#2 David Taylor vs. #7 Conrad Polz - Did Polz All-American last year? I think he did. Not that it matters. I'm just saying that's a great achievement.

Line: Taylor minus 15

174 LBS

#6 Matt Brown vs. #8 Jordan Blanton - Blanton began the season ranked #2. He lost to #2 Storley in a close bout, and on Friday night he lost to #7 Nick Heflin. Blanton's style matches well for Brown.

Line: Brown minus 4

184 LBS

#1 Ed Ruth vs. #16 Tony Dallago - It's the PA District III matchup. Dallago from Central Dauphin against Ruth from Susquehanna Township. Dallago lost to Kevin Steinhouse, but beat Cody Mangrum 2-1 last week.

Line: Ruth minus 15

197 LBS

#3 Quentin Wright vs. #10 Mario Gonzalez - Gonzalez is last year's Big Ten Champion at this weight. It's not looking good for a repeat though. Gonzalez lost to #13 Schiller of Minnesota, and on Friday lost again to Central Dauphin's lil' Kenny Courts, 9-13.

Line: Wright minus 5.5

285 LBS

#17 Jon Gingrich vs. UR Chris Lopez - Nine of the 12 Big Ten heavies are ranked in the top 20. Chris Lopez is one of the 3 who isn't. This should be a good opportunity for Gingrich to get back on that horse.

Line: Gingrich minus 2.5


Illinois is ranked 8th best tournament team by Intermat. But this one looks more like the 35 - 3 beat down variety. Time to take some frustration out on others.

Line: Penn State minus 30

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