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Wrestling Preview: No. 1 PSU Travels to CSU Bakersfield

The short trek down to Blacksburg was nothing compared to the cross-country trip this week.

This is not Tanning Bed U.
This is not Tanning Bed U.
Galen for BSD

After taking down then-#6 Virginia Tech, the Nittany Lions head west on Friday evening to face the mighty Roadrunners of CSU-Bakersfield, which wrestles in the Pac 12. Why California, you may ask? Well, one Mr. Morgan McIntosh hails from that great state, and Cael likes to have his wrestlers perform in front of their home fans at least once in their collegiate career.

With no further ado, here's the stuff.

How To Watch

What: #1 Penn State (-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at  CSU-Bakersfield (3-1, 0-0 Pac 12)

Where: Icardo Center, Bakersfield, CA

When: Friday, 11/20, 10 pm ET (7 pm local time)

Audio: Free Jeff "Ironhead" Byers, via GoPSUSports

Video: It looks like it's also Free, via the Roadrunner Sports Network.

Projected Lineups

No.1 Penn State WT No.6 Virginia Tech
#4 - Nico Megaludis (Sr., Murraysville, PA) 125 UR - Sergio Mendez (Jr., Arleta, CA)
#8 - Jordan Conaway (Sr., Abbottstown, PA) 133 UR - Carlos Herrera (Fr., Bakersfield, CA)
#5 - Jimmy Gulibon (Jr., Derry, PA) 141 UR - Ian Nickell (Sr., Bakersfield, CA)
#2 - Zain Retherford (So., Benton, PA) 149 UR - Coleman Hammond (So., Bakersfield, CA)
#2 - Jason Nolf (Fr., Kitanning, PA) 157 UR - AJ Fierro (So., Bakersfield, CA)
UR - Shakur Rasheed (Fr., Coram, NY) 165 UR - Adam Fierro (Sr., Bakersfield, CA)
#8 - Bo Nickal (Fr., Allen, TX) 174 #16 Bryce Hammond (Sr., Bakersfield, CA)
#14 - Matt McCutcheon (So., Kiski Area, PA) 184 UR - Dylan Bollinger (Fr., Pinon Hills, CA)
#1 - Morgan McIntosh (Sr., Santa Ana, CA) 197 UR - Reuben Franklin (Sr., Murrieta, CA)
UR - Jan Johnson (TrFr., Mohnton, PA) 285 UR - Matt Wiliams (So., Apple Valley, CA)

125 LBS

Mendez got four pins last season but finished the year under .500. He's undefeated to start the 2015 season...but Nico's pissed after an unexpected loss last week. He can't be outdone by his roommate for too much longer.

Prediction: Nico by Tech Fall

Score: PSU 5, CSU-Bakersfield 0

133 LBS 

I'm all in on Jordan this year. I was pleased by his performance at 125 last year, and I'm excited to see what he brings to the mat this year. I think he'll make AA at this weight, and knock of some contenders in the process. To kickstart this second week, he's facing a true freshman that wrestled at 120 pounds in high school just one year ago...and has just one win so far on the year. I expect Jordan to come out looking impressive.

Prediction: Conaway by Major

Score: PSU 9, CSU-Bakersfield 0

141 LBS

I've been a Gulibon fan, despite his ups and downs, and from what we've seen no one is harder on him when he doesn't get a takedown (or a call for one, like last week) than Jimmy himself. The rumors are he's turned a corner mentally, and how he comes out this week after Sunday's tough loss, and his dip in the rankings, will be an indicator of that. His opponent, Ian Nickell, is a veteran redshirt senior NCAA qualifier last year--no slouch, and Jimmy can't sleep on him.

Prediction: Gulibon by decision

Score: PSU 12, CSU-Bakersfield 0

149 LBS

Does it really matter who Zain wrestles? He's going to bring it. His victim this meet is a redshirt sophomore and one of many pairs of siblings on this team. It's a pity for him he can't bring his brother, the Roadrunners' only ranked wrestler on the squad, on the mat with him. Maybe then he'd have a chance.

Prediction: Zain by pinfall

Score: PSU 18, CSU-Bakersfield 0

157 LBS 

How awesome was Jason Nolf last week at Tech? He took on the #3 ranked guy and not only beat him, he beat him at a style very few of us expected. It was a thing of beauty, and it was a portent of things to come for the next three seasons. His opponent, AJ Fierro, is listed as normally wrestling at 149--and luckily for him he doesn't have to face ZPain. But unluckily for him, Nolf just likes to play with his food before he eats it.

Prediction: Nolf by Major

Score: PSU 22, CSU-Bakersfield 0


If there is a halftime. Grab a beer--if you're still awake, because boy, this is sure late.

165 LBS

Rasheed ran out of gas on Sunday after having the match well in hand, and Cael and Co will work with him on that to make sure it won't happen again. His opponent tonight is a little bit breezier, though not less veteran--Adam Fierro is a RS Senior and NCAA qualifier last year. Still, I'm thinking the coaching works its wonders and Shakur bounces back--but it's a close one.

Prediction: Rasheed by Dec

Score: PSU 25, CSU-Bakersfield 0

174 LBS - Match of the Meet 

This gets the match of the meet distinction by virtue of being the only matchup of two ranked opponents--since I'm not banking much on the two match ups of the unranked guys. Sorry, Roadrunners. And in this case, Nickal will just overpower Hammond--Hammond's a good wrestler that is still recovering from a season cut short last year due to a shoulder injury, and Nickal's riding high over a dominant win over VT's Epperly.

Prediction: Bo by decision

Score: PSU 28, CSU-Bakersfield 0

184 LBS

How did McCutcheon not improve his ranking last week? I mean, yeah, logic--he was only wrestling a pair of unranked wrestlers, but he looked so damned impressive doing it--so far this year he seems to have turned a corner. Count me as a true believer.

Prediction: Mouse by Tech Fall

Score: PSU 32, CSU-Bakersfield 0

197 LBS

Morgan's opponent redshirted last year but is off to a decent start in the 2015 season at 4-0. He's no match for Morgan, wrestling in his home state, in his last year in a Penn State singlet. Morgan bonused Haught last week, and he'll do it again today.

Prediction: Morg by major

Score: PSU 36, CSU-Bakersfield 0

285 LBS

I get that Johnson won his first match of the year, but he benefited from being at home. I'm still not convinced his conditioning is up to par--and I'm sure I'm with all of the BSD wrestling community when I say I was very glad to see Cael sit him against Walz. It appears that CSU-Bakersfield is also wrestling an undersized shaved bear--Williams is listed on their site at 197--but color me still in the unoptimistic camp. It will be close, but the long distance travel will wear on Jan.

Prediction: Williams by Dec

Score: PSU 36, CSU-Bakersfield 3