Just two days after a beatdown of a solid (#25) Rutgers squad, and a day after the men's basketball team hosts the same school's program, the #7 Penn State Nittany Lions return home to host Purdue, who just notched their first Big Ten dual win on Friday night over Northwestern.
Date/Time: Sunday, 1 pm ET
Audio/Video: Both are available through PSU All-Access, with Byers' radio call available through the normal 20+ radio stations
Last Meeting: Penn State 34, Purdue 3, almost exactly a year ago, with Jimmy Gulibon being the only lion to lose in the dual, and David Taylor getting a pin. Jimmy's loss last year was a surprise, as Quiroga was unranked and Gulibon came in at #9 (all of the Nittany Lions were ranked at this point a year ago--what a difference a year makes).
A similar score was the result the year before, in Rec Hall (35-3), with Taylor and Ruth both logging pins, and James English notching the only PSU loss.
Onto the matchups!
#8 Jordan Conaway vs FR Luke Welch (Newburgh, IN)
Conaway's wrestling a freshman who's at .500 on the year. Welch just notched his first B1G victory on the year Friday against NW's Garrison White. He's kept both Alan Waters and Eddie Klimara to regular decisions, but the home crowd should be a big factor for Conaway here.
Line: Jordan by MD
#8 Jimmy Gulibon vs #20 JR Danny Sabatello (Long Grove, IL)
Sabatello's new to the rankings this week, having made it to the NCAA tourney last year with some quality wins in the season. He scored a major over Northwestern's Malone on Friday after having lost to him earlier in the year, but he was also pinned by Iowa's Corey Clark at the Midlands earlier in the year, and while this is a top-20 matchup, with the way Gulibon's been wrestling (his Scuffle showing notwithstanding) this shouldn't be much of a contest, even if Danny gets an early TD.
Line: Jimmy by MD
Kade Moss vs SR Nick Lawrence (Westlake, OH)
Moss is coming off a close loss on Friday, as is Lawrence. I like Moss's chances here, as he's shown sparks of greatness in his last couple of losses (and didn't turtle even in getting pinned against Logie Bear last weekend).
Line: Kade by Dec
#17 Zack Beitz vs SO Alex Griffin (Lafayette, IN)
Griffin sat against Northwestern in favor of redshirt senior Brandon Nelson, who kept his match against #1 Tsirtsis to a regular decision. If Griffin does go (he hasn't wrestled yet in 2015), it could be a good bout; he's lost a few times to Jake Ryan of OSU (but kept the second one close), and kept Houdashelt of Missouri to a regular decision. Either way, with the way Beitz has been wrestling so tentatively this could be really close...and not in a good way.
Line: Pick 'Em
157 LBS - Match of the Meet #1
#7 Dylan Alton vs #20 JR Doug Welch (Newburgh, IN)
Doug is the second of three Welch brothers starting for the Purdue squad, and this one should be the best matchup of the meet. Welch comes in with a three match win streak, having last lost to Maryland's Mascola at Midlands (Mascola lost to Law in the PSU/MD dual); included in those three are wins over Wisconsin's Liegel, and Nebraska's James Green. Alton, meanwhile, put together his most complete match on Friday, dominating Rutgers' Painton--this after coming up with a big win in Columbus last weekend, in one of that dual's lone bright spots.
Line: Dylan by Dec
Garret Hammond vs SR Pat Robinson (Noblesville, IN)
Robinson got pinned in the first minute by NW's Harger on Friday, and Hammond's been wrestling well. This shouldn't be quite so quick, but with Hammond's proclivity for high scoring, this could be a very exciting matchup if you like points (and who doesn't?)
Line: Garret by MD
#4 Matt Brown vs JR Chad Welch (Newburgh, IN)
The third Welch brother didn't wrestle on Friday, receiving the medical forfeit; Hulk Hands was underwhelming despite the quality of his top-20 opponent, getting only the regular decision after absolutely destroying his Buckeye opponent last week with the pin. Matt should be rebounding nicely on Sunday, coming out with some offensive firepower.
Line: Hulk Hands by Fall
#16 Matt McCutcheon vs SR Patrick Kissel (Sheboygan, WI)
Kissel has put together a solid-if-unspectacular season, but hasn't faced nearly the quality of opponent that Mouse has week in and week out. That should only help McCutcheon this week, as he looks to overpower his opponent for the second dual in a row.
Line: Mouse by Dec
197 LBS - Match of the Meet #2
#6 Morgan McIntosh vs #15 SR Braden Atwood (Delphi, IN)
Atwood's coming into Sunday having upset Northwestern's Polizzi to clinch that dual for the Boilermakers. He's a solid wrestler, having qualified for the NCAA tourney the last three years; the NW win was his best win of the season, so he's riding a wave. Morgan comes in having won on Friday after an underwhelming showing last weekend in Columbus, and will need to get his head in the game to avoid another disappointing result.
Line: Pick 'Em
#6 Jimmy Lawson OR #6 Jon Gingrich vs SO Tyler Kral (Crown Point, IN)
Since Jon got the nod on Friday and it went to SV, Jimmy should probably go in this dual. Kral has been underwhelming this season, and if Jimmy can get his offensive firepower going, this could be one of the offensive juggernauts that we've seen this year from the bears.
Line: Jimmy by MD
Overall versus Purdue:
Purdue is ranked, but so was Rutgers. The difference between the top programs in the Big Ten and even the middle ones can be stark, and this dual will show it. Penn State 34, Purdue 3.