The Spartans are 4-8 in dual meets so far this year, and haven't won a conference meet this season (0-5 on the year)--though they were comparatively close to upsetting Ohio State (closer than they were to other Big Ten teams, at least). They don't have any ranked wrestlers competing this year, so it should be interesting to see who enters the lineup for a Penn State squad that defeated a tough Michigan squad on Friday night, and is fighting a few injuries.
Date/Time: Sunday, 2 pm ET
Video: None on tv, but as with the last few duals the meet will be broadcast onlive via BTN2Go/BTN Plus.
Audio: Available through PSU All-Access, with Byers' radio call available through the normal 20+ radio stations
Last Meeting: This is the fourth time in five years PSU has wrestled in East Lansing, because the Big Ten wrestling schedule makes so much sense--and the Nittany Lions have won nine in a row. Last year here, Penn State won 42-3 over Michigan State, with the lone Spartan win coming when heavyweight Mike McClure (then-#7) beat Nittany Lion backup Nick Ruggear. PSU had three pins in last year's dual meet, by three guys who aren't competing this year--NLWC members David Taylor and Ed Ruth, and redshirting wrestler Zain Retherford.
#8 Jordan Conaway vs FR Mitch Rogaliner (Temperance, MI)
Conaway overcame a tough matchup with Conor Youtsey of Michigan on Friday and walked away with a win, however unimpressive it might have been. On Sunday, though, he should be able to get some of his firepower back--and score more than the very few takedowns he's had recently.
Line: Jordan by MD (PSU 4, MSU 0)
#9 Jimmy Gulibon vs SO Hermilo Esquivel (Orland, CA)
On Friday, Jimmy faced a wrestler who was returning from an injury and was higher ranked than him--so, on paper he was technically the underdog. Most of us who were paying attention, though, were completely unsurprised when Gulibon walked off the mat victorious--especially coming in riding a two-match losing streak. He'll build on Friday's relatively easy win over Bruno with a dominating win over an overmatched opponent--and I'm betting he'll be disappointed he didn't get the pin this week.
Line: Jimmy by TF (PSU 9, MSU 0)
Kade Moss vs SO Terry Turner (Davison, MI) OR JR Brandon Fifield (Leslie, MI)
Moss was the 2nd biggest surprise for me on Friday, upsetting Michigan's ranked George Fisher and getting in one of his patented throws. He broke his four match losing streak and should be able to build on that this week, as neither wrestler he faces this week should be up to the caliber he's faced season to date--let alone in the weight room of the NLWC.
Line: Moss by Dec (PSU 12, MSU 0)
#18 Zack Beitz vs JR Nick Trimble (Sparta, MI)
If Kade Moss was the 2nd biggest surprise for me on Friday, Zack was the biggest--especially with how his win came down to the wire. Beitz has been hit or miss throughout the season this year, and even throughout individual matches--and Friday was no exception. His shot attempts seemed somewhat haphazard, but he came up when it counted--and here's hoping he can build on that on Sunday.
Line: Beitz by MD (PSU 16, MSU 0)
#8 Dylan Alton OR Cody Law OR Luke Frey vs SO Travis Curley (Dewitt, MI)
To the surprise of most of us, Cael trotted out Luke Frey at this weight on Friday night (all the pre-match notes still listed Frey alongside Beitz at the next weight down), and he battled a top-15 wrestler for all seven minutes--thisclose to coming up with the upset in his first dual in a PSU singlet, up a weight class to boot. With Dylan all but confirmed to be out, I'm anticipating Frey to get the call here again--and this should be a confidence booster for the guy with the hair, as Curley is definitely no Brian Murphy.
Line: Frey by Dec (PSU 19, MSU 0)
Garret Hammond vs JR Roger Wildmo (Durand, MI)
On Friday, once again Hammond was down quickly to someone who was ranked higher than him, and he wasn't able to turn it around. Wildmo isn't on Taylor Massa's level, so Hammond *should* be able to get to his offense quickly. If Hammond gets the first takedown, he'll likely win big.
Line: Hammond by Dec (PSU 22, MSU 0)
#3 Matt Brown vs SR Nick Proctor (Naperville, IL)
Michigan's Salazar had one job against Hulk Hands on Friday--not getting pinned. He did it admirably, turtling like the best of them and kept Brown to only a major--some points from stall calls. This match should go either one of two ways--the same as Friday, with a major decision and Proctor bellying out, or with Matt finding the cradle quickly and pinning Proctor and getting some bonus for the Lions. I'm hoping for the latter.
Line: Hulk Hands by Fall (PSU 28, MSU 0)
#17 Matt McCutcheon vs SR John Rizqallah (Allegan, MI)
Oh, the disappointment. Mouse got pinned on Friday, letting Michigan back into the dual--and though he was facing a wrestler (in Domenic Abounader) that was ranked higher than him, he hadn't given him any opportunity before then, let his guard down and the Wolverine took advantage. I'm picking the upset here, because I'm just not sure that the redshirt freshman can get his head back in the game fast enough to avoid it--and Rizqallah is probably the best wrestler on this Spartan squad, having previously beaten Abounader himself.
Line: Rizqallah by Dec (PSU 28, MSU 3)
#5 Morgan McIntosh vs SR Nick McDiarmid
Morgan won on Friday, albeit in disappointing fashion--not unusual for him this season. McDiarmid is a step down for Morg's recent competition, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll win in necessarily resounding fashion--this could be another ugly one.
Line: Morgan by MD (PSU 32, MSU 3)
#6 Jimmy Lawson OR #6 Jon Gingrich vs JR Chris Nash (Roseville, MI)
Other than some misguided attempt at giving Jon a shot at redemption for the Southern Scuffle, I don't know why Jon got the nod against Adam Coon on Friday--that decision didn't pay off for the Lions, as Coon dominated Gingrich, forcing stall calls and winning in regulation. Jimmy's not one for lack of offense, at least this year, and I can't help but think that outcome would have been different if Lawson had been in there...but this is a different story, and Nash isn't Coon--and isn't even anywhere near McClure level.
Line: Jimmy (or Jon) by Dec (PSU 35, MSU 3)
Overall versus Michigan State:
Unlike the last few, we PSU fans should be able to breathe easy during this dual versus a clearly overmatched Spartan squad. Penn State 35, Michigan State 3 -- but with a distinct possibility of a shutout.