after a few weeks off, the Nittany Lions are back in team action this week, on the road in College Park, taking on former PSU national champ Kerry McCoy and the Terrapins. This is actually Maryland's third B1G dual so far in this relatively short wrestling season, and they're already 0 for 2 (against Nebraska and Wisconsin--not exactly the cream of the B1G wrestling crop). Look for it to be 0 for 3 after tonight is done.
Penn State and Maryland haven't wrestled a dual meet against one another since 1991, though they have competed 42 times, and similar to football, it hasn't even been close--PSU leads 38-2-2, having won the last 23 straight.
The dual is airing on the Big Ten Network tonight, and you can catch my man Jeff Byers through the Penn State radio network.
#10 Jordan Conaway vs. JR Josh Polacek (Johnstown, PA/Westmont Hilltop) OR FR Michael Beck (Ellicott City, MD)
Jordan just keeps slowly moving up in the rankings this year, with a solid 6-0 on the season. I don't care who Maryland puts up at this weight; Jordan's got it covered. I sort of hope it's Beck again, who Jordan just tech falled at the NLO 16 seconds into the third period. Not looking for that great of a result again, but Conaway will bonus whomever it is.
Line: Jordan by MD
133 LBS - Match of the Meet
#5 Jimmy Gulibon vs. #11 JR Geoffrey Alexander (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side)
Jimmy's impressed me so far on the season. Alexander redshirted last year, and has done well this year--but he hasn't faced anyone of Jimmy's caliber. And Jimmy did beat the then-#2 wrestler of the year to kick off the dual season, after all.
Line: Jimmy by D
Kade Moss OR Michael Waters vs. SO Shyheim Brown (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin)
Brown's 2013-14 season was a rollercoaster for the PA product, seeing him climb as high as #8 before having to get an at-large big to go to the NCAA tournament; he was #13 earlier in this season as well, before being dropped. Moss has been underwhelming, and both he and Waters did okay at the NLO but, for some reason, I'm just not confident in this weight class tonight. I think Brown gets it done for the Terps, and lets them back in it.
Line: Brown by D
#13 Zack Beitz OR Luke Frey vs. SR Ben Dorsay (Virginia Beach, VA)
Beitz is moving up in the rankings, but got pulled near the end of the Nittany Lion open for injury. The Nittany Lions likely don't need him this week against the Terrapins, so he'll probably sit in favor of Frey--better to rest up for when the Hokies come calling next week. Frey has been quietly picking up the wins unattached this season, 5-1 on the year, and since he has to go up against Beitz in the weight room. Dorsay also lost handily to Pitt's Racciato earlier this season, which makes me confident in Frey's ability to get this one done.
Line: Luke by D
Cody Law vs. JR Lou Mascola (East Hanover, NJ)
Dylan Alton is still listed at this weight on the pre-match notes, but he's likely still being held out. Law had a really good showing at the NLO, including a first period pin over Mascola's teammate Toby Hague, before losing to fellow Lion Jason Nolf. I like his odds here, going into College Park with confidence.
Line: Law by D
Garett Hammond vs. SO Tyler Manion (McDonald, PA/Pittsburgh Central Catholic)
I still heart you, Hammond, even though you didn't do so well in the NLO. Both of these wrestlers seem evenly matched; if we go by the transitive property, which we know always works, they both lost to Pitt's Cody Wiercioch by regular decision. So they're practically twinsies.
I don't know why I'm such a Garett fan. I'm still waiting for him to break out. My head is ruling my heart today, though, which is why I can't pick him outright.
Line: Pick 'em
#2 Matt Brown vs. JR Josh Snook (Bear, DE) OR JR TJ Guidice (Hillsborough, NJ)
Hulk Hands has dominated so far this season, with bonus points that would make former teammates Ed Ruth and David Taylor proud. It doesn't matter who you send out there, Kerry. They'll lose, and lose big.
Line: Brown by TF
#19 Matt McCutcheon vs. SR Tony Gardner (Reisterstown, MD)
We've been so spoiled at this weight recently, but McCutcheon really isn't that bad; he had a real shot to beat a very good Thomusseit, who absolutely demolished Gardner (TF in less than two periods) in the Pitt-Maryland dual. He'll build on his easy NLO victory with another easy win here.
Line: McCutcheon by MD
#4 Morgan McIntosh vs. SR Rob Fitzgerald (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown East)
I'd been underwhelmed by Morg in the first dual...then the second, double header happened. Now he's 7-0, with some impressive, bonus-point wins under his belt. This is the Morgan we've been waiting to see. He forfeited the NLO final, but he's not listed with an OR by his name in the pre-match notes--so he's going tonight, and it will be glorious.
Line: McIntosh by TF
#8 Jon Gingrich OR Jimmy Lawson vs. FR Sean Twigg (Glenelg, MD)
Lawson back, y'all. Jon forfeited from the NLO for medical reasons, and Jimmy won it as a result (though he and Bo didn't wrestle the final). Look for him to get the nod here, and to break Maryland's wrestler like a twig (badumbum). No, seriously, it's probably going to be low-scoring, because this is the heavyweight bout, afterall.
Line: Jimmy by D
Overall vs Maryland
What's this? I'm not picking a shutout versus the team I probably dislike more than any other? Call it the Kerry McCoy effect, if you will.
PSU 30, MD 6
side note: if you don't get BTN, I'll be at the dual meet and live tweeting it. Follow along with me @NotCarlotta.