After an exciting showing at the BJC against then-#15 Wisconsin, Penn State once again takes their show on the road, this time much closer than their last trip--to lovely Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Historically, PSU is 5-0 against the Broncos; last year, they ended the dual season with Rider coming to Happy Valley, and the Nittany Lions posted an impressive 30-3 victory on senior day--and this was a supposed down year for Penn State.
Should be a win for the good guys, though Rider does have a win over a Big Ten team on the year--that was against Northwestern earlier this season.
How To Watch
What: #1 Penn State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) vs Rider (3-3, 0-1 EWL)
Where: Alumni Gym, Lawrence Township, NJ
When: Saturday, 12/19, 4 pm ET
Audio: Free Jeff "Ironhead" Byers, via GoPSUSports
Video: The Comcast Network (TCN)
|No.1 Penn State||WT||Rider|
|#4 - Nico Megaludis (Sr., Murraysville, PA)||125||UR - Brenden Calas (Jr., Clark, NJ)|
|#6 - Jordan Conaway (Sr., Abbottstown, PA)||133||
UR - Zach Valcarce (So., Vallas, NJ)
OR UR - Rob Deutsch (Sr., Cherry Hill, NJ)
|#6 - Jimmy Gulibon (Jr., Derry, PA)||141||
UR - Paul Kirchner (Jr., Somerville, NJ)
|#1 - Zain Retherford (So., Benton, PA)||149||#14 - BJ Clagon (So., Toms River, NJ)|
|#3 - Jason Nolf (Fr., Kitanning, PA)||157||#20 - Chad Walsh (So., Cherry Hill, NJ)|
#19 - Geno Morelli (Jr., DuBois, PA)
OR Shakur Rasheed (Fr., Coram, NY)
|165||#15 - Conor Brennan (Sr., Brick, NJ)|
|#5 - Bo Nickal (Fr., Allen, TX)||174||UR - Wayne Stinson (So., Wrightstown, NJ)|
|#13 - Matt McCutcheon (So., Kiski Area, PA)||184||UR - Steve Nelson (Jr., Haddonfield, NJ)|
|#1 - Morgan McIntosh (Sr., Santa Ana, CA)||197||UR - Ryan Wolfe (Jr., New Castle, DE)|
UR - Jan Johnson (Fr., Mohnton, PA)
OR UR - Devon Van Cura (Fr., Washington, NC)
|285||UR - Mauro Correnti (So., Delran, NJ)|
Calas is a transfer from NC State, where he did well as a sophomore, going 11-5--but he seems to have taken a step back at Rider this year (2-5) . Rider has forfeited the last two duals at this weight(Lehigh and Northwestern) so if they do go, expect Nico to finally break through--if he gets a chance to actually wrestle and not face a guy stalling his way through.
Prediction: Nico by Tech Fall
Score: PSU 5, Rider 0
Two of Valcarce's three losses on the year came against ranked wrestlers in their two duals two weeks ago against Lehigh and Northwestern--and he was pinned in the first period by the Wildcats' Malone in the second. Jordan is ranked higher than both of those guys. If he's the one that goes for the Broncs, this could get bad; I see Conaway getting the major, but only barely missing the tech. Deutsch is much more experienced, one of two seniors in Rider's lineup, and is a more admirable 4-4 on the year--and he's the returning EWL winner at this class, giving Jimmy Gulibon all he could handle last season. He'll give Conaway much more of the same if he's a go.
Prediction: Jordan by Major
Score: PSU 9, Rider 0
Jimmy was held out of the Wisconsin dual after a sprained ankle at the Nittany Lion Open, and Kade Moss admirably stepped up in his place. Hopefully he'll be back this week, and we'll see him back into more prime Jimmy form; he's up against an experienced wrestler in Kirchner who split his matches a few weeks ago, losing to Lehigh's Cruz (who is #11 at this weight) before beating Northwestern's Osler. If it's Kade, he'll win; if it's Jimmy and he's anywhere near where he can be, he'll do it with ease.
Prediction: Gulibon by Major
Score: PSU 13, Rider 0
You know what goes here.
Zain's victim this week is ranked, the same wrestler Beitz beat last year (when Clagon was unranked). That probably won't mean much, other than maybe he'll last into the second or third period?
Prediction: ZPain by Fall
Score: PSU 19, Rider 0
Walsh is #20 and a returning NCAA qualifier who lost to Luke Frey last year. Nolf is chasing David Taylor's Penn State scoring record. One of these things is not like the other.
Prediction: Nolf by Tech Fall
Score: PSU 24, Rider 0
Since it's on broadcast tv, it's almost assured this week.
165 LBS - Match of the Meet
Conor Brennan is a better wrestler this year than he was last, when Garret Hammond majored him late in the season; he's actually the higher ranked wrestler coming into the meet. But after last week's performance, and his demolishing of the field at the NLO, I'm in on Geno Morelli (sorry Rasheed) and my money's on him this week.
Prediction: Geno by Decision
Score: PSU 27, Rider 0
I just dig this Bo Nickal kid. I like how he hung his arms down last week in an effort to show the refs how his opponent was simply not wrestling; I like his wrestling style (for some reason, very Q-like to me). I do not like how he seems to be disrespected by the ranking services, and still placed behind Zach Epperly, whom he physically manhandled. I have a feeling that Stinson, who only saw limited time last year for the Broncs, will not like Bo very much after this week's dual.
Prediction: Bo by Tech Fall
Score: PSU 32, Rider 0
It was awesome to see that McCutcheon's injury default of the NLO didn't slow him down at all. This week should be more of the same. His opponent is a recent transfer from Clarion, where he didn't crack the starting lineup; he was pinned in the first period by Lehigh's Nate Brown two weeks ago. Mouse should be able to handle him fairly easily, and the score should be closer than this one feels.
Prediction: Mouse by Major
Score: PSU 36, Rider 0
Morgan's opponent was an NCAA qualifier last year--at 174 pounds. But don't let that deceive you; he's actually 8-3 so far on the year, with some good wins (including Lehigh's John Bolich and Pitt's Nick Bonaccorsi) which is why I think he keeps it pretty close with McIntosh.
Prediction: Morg by Decision
Score: PSU 39, Rider 0
Devon very nearly died last week*, being outweighed by 80 pounds or so. It takes a brave man to go on the mat and face that kind of test--and he will forever have my respect for that. I expect much the same, as I'm not anticipating Johnson to be back in the lineup until the Southern Scuffle. I wouldn't be surprised if Penn State doesn't forfeit this weight again, unless they're really trying to get Van Cura additional dual time.
Prediction: Correnti by Dec
Score: PSU 39, Rider 3