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Wrestling Preview: No. 3 Penn State at No. 5 Nebraska

In their second dual in this western road trip, the Nittany Lions take on the Huskers

Nebraska v Penn State

In the first of three really tough road top-five dual meets, PSU heads to Lincoln after demolishing a better-than-their-ranking Minnesota squad on Friday. The Huskers come into the dual having placed second at the Midlands tournament (to Iowa) and have seven ranked wrestlers.

Nebraska is undefeated in dual meets on the season, including a pretty dominant win at NC State. PSU has won the last three duals against the Cornhuskers, but the two squads haven’t met since Nebraska’s first season in the Big Ten.

How To Watch

What: #3 Penn State vs. #7 Nebraska

Where: Devaney Center, Lincoln, NE

When: Sunday, 1/8, 3 pm ET

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

Video: BTN+

No. 3 Penn State WT No. 5 Nebraska

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


#5 - Tim Lambert (Sr., Forest Hills, MI)

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

ORUR - George Carpenter (So., Chapel Hill, NC)


#3 – Eric Montoya (Sr., Albuquerque, NM)

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

OR UR - Kade Moss (Jr., South Jordan, UT)


#13 - Colton McCrystal (Jr., Sergeant Bluff, IA)

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


UR – Collin Purinton (Fr., Banks, OR)

ORUR - Jordan Shearer(Fr., Fargo, ND)

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


#3 – Tyler Berger (So., Prineville, OR)

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


UR – Justin Arthur (Jr., Huntington, WV)

OR UR - Dustin Williams (So., Gardner, KS)

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

OR #14 – Shakur Rasheed (So., Coram, NY)


UR– Micah Barnes (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, MN)

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


#3 – TJ Dudley (Sr., Irmo, SC)

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


#7 – Aaron Studebaker (Sr., Raymond, NE)

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


#15 – Collin Jensen (Sr., Mobridge, SD)

125 LBS

Suriano gave up his first collegiate takedown on Friday night to Minnesota’s Ethan Lizak. With Lizak riding tough and a couple of questionable stall calls, the final score of that bout was closer than the matchup felt - and I wouldn’t be surprised if Suriano versus Lambert, who traded victories against Lizak earlier in the year, follows a similar path. Lambert lost in the Midlands championship to Iowa’s Thomas Gilman, who’s ranked #1—by bonus. Nick should wake up a little from Friday and handle Lambert.

Prediction: Nick by Decision

Score: PSU 3, Nebraska 0

133 LBS

I highly doubt that Cortez will go on Sunday, but after his strong performance against Minnesota’s Mitch McKee, I have more faith in George Carpenter to keep it close. Montoya is very good (he just beat Illinois’ Richards) but he’s not a bonus point machine by any stretch. This one will be a regular decision but won’t feel as close as the score.

Prediction: Montoya by Decision

Score: PSU 3, Nebraska 3

141 LBS

Gulibon wrestled smart and well on Friday, and Thorn is a better wrestler and McCrystal (Jimmy’s actually the higher ranked grappler in this matchup), despite a victory earlier this year over last year’s surprise finalist Bryce Meredith of Wyoming. It’s too early to say whether Jimmy’s got it figured out for good, but he’s on his way.

Prediction: Jimmy by Decision

Score: PSU 6, Nebraska 3

149 LBS

Another dual, another unranked freshman for Zain to dominate.

Prediction: Zain by Fall

Score: PSU 12, Nebraska 3

157 LBS

On Friday, I predicted Nolf would major Jake Short. He pinned him in the second period instead. Short is a legit all american contender—and Jason Nolf played with him. Berger is a step above, with only one loss on the year (to Iowa’s Kemerer, in the Midlands final) but he’s about to make it two. I still am not convinced it’ll be a pin, though.

Prediction: Nolf by Major

Score: PSU 16, Nebraska 3

165 LBS

Cenzo was another PSUer with a big victory on Friday, over a very solid Nick Wanzek of Minnesota (and the outcome wasn’t as close as the final score, with Joseph in on a number of shots he was unable to finish). His opponent in Lincoln will be likely unknown until soon before they take the mat (I’m expecting Dustin Williams), but he once again should dominate - and this time, to bonus points.

Prediction: Cenzo by Major

Score: PSU 20, Nebraska 3

174 LBS

Geno wrestled a very solid Pfarr brother on Friday, and was more aggressive than I remember seeing him—he shot a lot, but couldn’t finish. His opponent in Devaney is an NCAA qualifier that lost to Bo Nickal in Madison Square Garden last year, but not by bonus. Geno’s an improved wrestler—is Barnes? My money’s on the Nittany Lion.

Prediction: Morelli by Decision

Score: PSU 23, Nebraska 3


I could have named a couple other “matches of the meet”, as I do with most previews, but none of the other matchups are as exciting or highly anticipated as this one. This is Bo’s first real test at his new weight this year, and it should be a doozy; Dudley is a two-time All American and was the runner up to Gabe Dean last season. Can Bo handle it? I think so, his head is in the game since his loss to Myles Martin in the 174 finals last season. This one should be fun.

Prediction: Bo by Decision

Score: PSU 26, Nebraska 3

197 LBS

Studebaker won the Midlands tournament, and fell out of the regular NCAA tournament bracket last year at the hands of one Morgan McIntosh. Matt McCutcheon was surprisingly nimble and was thisclose to defeating Brett Pfarr on Friday - he scrambled well, but wasn’t able to finish all his shots. Mouse is close, and up there with all of the competition - and after that showing I’m tempted to change my prediction. But as I learned on Friday, you should go with your gut - though this may be the second tossiest up match of the night (after 184).

Prediction: Studebaker by Decision

Score: PSU 26, Nebraska 6

285 LBS

According to Casey Cunningham in his post-dual interview Friday night, Nick Nevills was disappointed in his victory over #8 Kroells—and he was right in his assertion that the 4-0 win wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Nevills can dominate, and Jensen just isn’t on his level this year. Nevills has podium aspirations, and this weekend helps get him there.

Prediction: Nevills by Decision

Score: PSU 29, Nebraska 6