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Wrestling Preview: No. 4 Penn State vs. No. 12 Stanford

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After a win over Army West Point on Friday, the Nittany Lions come back home to take on the Cardinal.

2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships

Last year, Penn State swung through California and logged a win over then-number 18 Stanford in Palo Alto. This year, the Cardinal return the favor and fly east to wrestle at one of the toughest venues in the country in only the second dual meet between PSU and Stanford in the programs’ history.

This is the Cardinal’s second dual of the season; last week, they got a win over Cal-Poly in a rare outdoor dual meet. The kicker in that dual? There wasn’t a single bonus point victory all dual meet. This week’s dual for them will be much different.

How To Watch

What: #4 Penn State vs. #12 Stanford

Where: Rec Hall, University Park, PA

When: Sunday, 11/13, 2 pm ET

Audio: Free, Jeff "Ironhead" Byers, via GoPSUSports

Video: $$, through BTNPlus

No. 4 Penn State WT No. 12 Stanford

#12 - Nick Suriano (Fr., Paramus, NJ)

125

#4 Connor Schram (Sr., Canonsburg, PA)

#9 - Jered Cortez (So., Carol Stream, IL)

133

UR - Mason Pengilly (Jr., Porterville, CA)

OR UR - Eric Cramer (Sr., Palo Alto, CA)

#12 - Jimmy Gulibon (Sr., Latrobe, PA)

141

#2 - Joey McKenna (So., Towaco, NJ)

#1 - Zain Retherford (Jr., Benton, PA)

149

UR - Tommy Pawelski (Jr., Park Ridge, IL)

#1 - Jason Nolf (So., Yatesboro, PA)

157

UR - Paul Fox (So., Gilroy, CA)

#8 - Vincenzo Joseph (Fr., Pittsburgh, PA)

165

UR - Keaton Subjeck (Jr., El Dorado Hills, CA)

UR - Geno Morelli (Sr., DuBois, PA)

174

#13 - Jim Wilson (Sr., Lodi, CA)

#3 - Bo Nickal (So., Allen, TX)

184

UR - Austin Flores (Fr., Clovis, CA)

#16 - Matt McCutcheon (Jr., Apollo, PA)

OR UR Anthony Cassar (Fr., Rocky Hill, NJ)

197

UR - Josh Marchok (Sr., Schaumburg, IL)

#14 - Nick Nevills (So., Clovis, CA)

285

#10 - Nathan Butler (Jr., Leavenworth, KS)

125 LBS - Match of the Meet #1

This is a really good early season test for the true freshman, who hasn’t lost a match since before high school. Schram is in his second year down to 125 (having gone at 133 in 2014-2015) and he’s a multiple-time NCAA qualifier. Last year, when Schram was ranked 16th, then-#4 Nico Megaludis barely missed a major over him. This year, we have Nick Suriano, who may not be as technical as Nico while on top but has offense for days. I expect a really close match, high scoring, but I’m picking the fans to put the young gun over the top. And it’ll make his ranking skyrocket.

Prediction: Nick by Decision

Score: PSU 3, Stanford 0

133 LBS

When Schram went down, Pengilly went up. And while this has elevated Schram’s record, it hasn’t gone as well for this Cardinal, who was majored by Jordan Conaway last year. Jered Cortez is better than Jordan Conaway.

Prediction: Jered by Major

Score: PSU 7, Stanford 0

141 LBS - Match of the Meet #2

Jimmy kicked some major ass on Friday night when he took down Army’s #17 Logan Everett with ease. He was very offensive-minded, aggressive, and never looked back - the type of Jimmy Gulibon match we have been waiting to see for years. Can he keep it up against likely the toughest wrestler he’ll face all season? How he fares against McKenna, last year’s 3rd place finisher at the NCAAs, should tell us what Jimmy we’re going to see this year. When they met last year, McKenna came out on top 7-2. This year should be pretty similar.

Prediction: McKenna by decision

Score: PSU 7, Stanford 3

149 LBS

Zain disappointed me Friday - he only got a tech, not a pin. And Nolf and Nickal were arguably more dominant! This shall not stand for the super-competitive Retherford. The result?

I feel bad for Pawelski.

Prediction: Zain by fall.

Score: PSU 13, Stanford 3

157 LBS

Dang, look here. Jason didn’t catch and release on Friday - he just got angry when his Army opponent notched a takedown, and wanted to inflict as much pain as possible, where it counted - the scoreboard. This week he gets Fox, a straight-A student in high school. It won’t help him.

Prediction: Nolf by Tech Fall

Score: PSU 18, Stanford 3

HALFTIME

We got a halftime against the Black Knights, so we probably won’t against the Cardinal - but if so, refill your drinks, hit the head, and crank it back up - because we’ve got more firepower coming up.

165 LBS

Vincenzo Joseph performed beyond most expectations on Friday night, notching 8 takedowns in a 3rd period tech fall. Sunday’s competition is a little tougher; Subjeck is an NCAA qualifier who led the Stanford squad in pins last year, though he was wrestling up at 174 (he lost to Bo by major). Down at 165 might be the kicker here, and what gets Joseph his bonus.

Prediction: Cenzo by Major

Score: PSU 22, Stanford 3

174 LBS - Match of the Meet #3

Geno ground out a tough win on Friday night, fighting off a late surge by his opponent to get himself the victory. Sunday’s opponent is a tougher nut to crack—Wilson only lost two matches in duals last season when he was at 165, and higher ranked. Wilson is a former All-American (in 2015) and beat Shakur Rasheed last year in the Penn State dual; Geno will need to grind it out again for the victory.

Prediction: Wilson by Decision

Score: PSU 22, Stanford 6

184 LBS

Bo pinned his opponent on Friday faster than Byers could call it. That’s the kind of Bo that can get far at this weight this year.

Prediction: Bo by Pin

Score: PSU 28, Stanford 6

197 LBS

Mouse took care of business as a light 197-lber on Friday, though Caywood, who was ranked, almost took it to overtime in the end. This matchup should be more favorable for the one-time-184 pound wrestler, as Marchok doesn’t have a lot of offense. I expect a healthy Mouse to open it up a little bit.

Prediction: Mouse by Major

Score: PSU 32, Stanford 6

285 LBS

Nevills tore up the mat against Army, scoring points that you don’t normally see from a heavyweight outside of Kyle Snyder. His opponent on Sunday is much tougher; Butler is a two-time NCAA qualifier who’s actually ranked higher than Nick. This is the sophomore’s chance to start to make noise in a really tough weight.

I should have picked Nevills by bonus on Friday. I won’t make the mistake of doubting him again.

Prediction: Nevills by Dec

Score: PSU 35, Stanford 6