By now, you all have likely read bscaff's conversations (part one on BSD, part two on LGHL) with Dan of Land Grant Holy Land on the wrestling squad's first big test--Sunday's dual in Columbus.There's so many quality match ups that I'm not so sure I can pick any matches of the meet; I've waffled on who I think will win, and as of the writing of this opening paragraph, I'm still not sure who I think will ultimately prevail. Like last year's surprising dual in Rec Hall, the home crowd may have a factor--but probably not in the same weight class (Logan Steiber should still thank Zain for that wake-up call).
For some godforsaken reason, the powers that be on BTN decided not to broadcast this epic matchup on air (much like last week's Iowa-OSU dual); instead it's on BTN Plus at 2pm. Now, for the preview--and be warned, I'm going all in with no pick 'ems today.
#8 Jordan Conaway vs. FR #7 Nathan Tomasello (Parma, OH)
This is probably the weight in which I'm most undecided. I was 100% convinced that Joey Dance would come out and dominate Jordan Conaway--and that definitely didn't happen, with Conaway beating him. But since then, Conaway's fallen slightly, with an underwhelming Scuffle and Tomasello's looked better since his loss to the Hokie. He's on a losing streak, though--and though both Ben and Dan picked Tomasello my gut is saying Jordan. Holy hell, I'm going homer.
Line: Jordan by Dec
#10 Jimmy Gulibon vs. JR #4 Johnni DeJulius (Aurora, OH)
Jimmy's turned a corner this year--but he's up against a juggernaut in DeJulius, who's fresh off a major win over Corey Clark of Iowa. This should be a really, really good bout--but I don't think our guy comes out on top, as much as I'd like to see it.
Line: DeJulius by Dec
Kade Moss OR Michael Waters vs. #1 SR Logan Steiber (Monroesville, OH)
Before Moss pinned his Indiana opponent last night, I'd have picked Steiber to get a tech or regular fall here. Now, based on that result and Kade's post-match comments, I'm digging his #attitude and his fire heading into what can only be seen as the most uphill of climbs. Make no mistake, Kade will not win this match. But based on what he's learned so far this year, I think he can keep it to only four points for the Buckeyes.
Line: Steiber by MD
#17 Zack Beitz OR Luke Frey vs. JR #6 Hunter Steiber
Steiber the younger's ranking is based purely on projection, and where everyone expects he can be when he's healthy. The problem? No one's sure if he's really truly healthy, especially since he's only wrestled twice and lost both matches. If Beitz can pull this off, which he should be able to based on Friday's shooting, this bodes well for the rest of the match for the Nittany Lions.
Line: Zack by Dec
#8 Dylan Alton OR Cody Law vs. SR #5 Josh Demas (Columbus, OH)
Earlier this week, Cael said that Dylan and Cody would likely split the duals this weekend. Alton had an underwhelming win on Friday (though he did ride his Hoosier hard), so I'm not sure if that will stick. If Law goes, my prediction changes. As it is...I'm going with Ben's and Dan's expertise here.
Line: Dylan by Dec
Garett Hammond vs. #6 FR Bo Jordan (St Paris, OH)
Garett looked really good on Friday against Indiana's Taylor Walsh, despite the loss. If he can keep that up, he should be able to keep this close--though Jordan's very, very good and a shade ahead of him.
Line: Bo by Dec
#4 Matt Brown vs. #13 JR Mark Martin (Strongsville, OH)
We saw good Matt on Friday night, when he pinned his ranked Hoosier opponent. Let's hope that continues on Sunday. These two have one common opponent--VT's Epperly--who pinned Martin, and whom Brown really should have beat at the end of regulation. For those reasons, plus his leadership, I'm picking a Matt win.
Line: Hulk Hands by MD
#16 Matt McCutcheon vs. #11 JR Kenny Courts (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin)
Courts, like so many before him, completely turtled under Ed Ruth's dominance last year. That image is forever ingrained in my brain, and because of that I will never be able to pick him to beat a Penn State wrestler. No matter what.
Line: Mouse by Dec
#4 Morgan McIntosh vs. #7 FR Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, MD)
Morg's been getting it done, sometimes big, sometimes small. He can't overcome Cox, but his mentality is there. Snyder's good, but he's no Morgan McIntosh.
Line: McIntosh by Dec
#6 Jimmy Lawson OR Jon Gingrich vs. #10 SO Nick Tavanello (Wadsworth, OH)
If Jimmy's good to go from his injury against Virginia Tech (which I'm assuming he will be), I expect he'll get the nod here today. And he and Tavanello both have one common opponent--that same VT heavyweight, Walz, whom Jimmy beat (should've been in regulation, ended up in sudden victory) and Tavanello lost to. Walz is good, and so is Tavanello. Jimmy can take him.
Line: Jimmy by Dec
Overall vs Ohio State
I don't expect this line to be true, like, at all. And I've changed this so often before publishing with the gamut of outcomes, from OSU winning big to us narrowly victorious, and back again...but here goes nothing. Penn State 22, Ohio State 10.