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Wrestling Preview: No. 1 Penn State vs Binghampton

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The Lions hit the road for the first time this year!

NCAA Wrestling: Division I Wrestling Championship Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State is 2-0 on the short season, with two dominating wins under their white belts (no surprise, those). Up next for Cael’s crew is a road trip to New York, the return half of last year’s Binghamton dual in Rec Hall. Last year, the Nittany Lions won resoundingly; this year, it should be much of the same.

The Bearcats haven’t wrestled a dual so far this year, with none of their grapplers taking the mat yet. What a first trial for them to go through. They do have one ranked wrestler in their midst, but unfortunately for Binghamton, he’s up against one of Penn State’s murderer’s row. The entire lineup is chock full of experience, which means they will be mentally tough for the Lions; but mental toughness can only get you so far against a squad of this talent, with coaching this good.

I can’t stop with the effusive praise of Penn State wrestling, so I’m not going to. Onto the matchup!

How To Watch

What: #1 Penn State at Binghamton

Where: Events Center, Vestal, NY

When: Friday, 11/17, 7 pm ET

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

Video: ESPN3

Lineup

No. 1 Penn State WT Binghamton
No. 1 Penn State WT Binghamton
Devin Schnupp (Fr., Lititz, PA) 125 Steven Bulzomi (Jr., Oakdale, NY)
#15 Corey Keener (Sr., Schuylkill Haven, PA) 133 Jacob Nicholson (Sr., Waterloo, NY)
Jered Cortez (Jr., Carol Stream, IL) 141 Joe Russ (Jr., Smithtown, NY)
#1 - Zain Retherford (Sr., Benton, PA) 149 Frankie Garcia (So., Norwich, NY)
#1 - Jason Nolf (Jr., Yatesboro, PA) 157 Tristan Rifanburg (So., Norwich, NY)
#1 - Vincenzo Joseph (So., Pittsburgh, PA) 165 Vincent DePrez (Jr., Hilton, NY)
#2 - Mark Hall (So., Apple Valley, MN) 174 Anthony Lombardo (Jr., Bethlehem, PA)
#1 - Bo Nickal (Jr., Allen, TX) 184 #14 - Steven Schneider (Sr., Levittown, PA)
#4 - Matt McCutcheon (Sr., Apollo, PA) OR Anthony Cassar (So., Rocky Hill, NJ) 197 Mark Tracy (Jr., Holtsville, NY)
#3 - Nick Nevills (Jr., Clovis, CA) 285 Connor Calkins (Jr., Almond, NY

125 LBS

It’s now official that it’s all Schnupp right now at 125. The freshman went without a win in the first two duals of the season, though he showed flashes of promise. Can he pick it up this weekend? I’m not so sure, as his size still has me concerned. I picked him twice last weekend; let’s see if the Gulibon curse holds true.

Prediction: Bulzomi by Decision

Score: PSU 0, Binghamton 3

133 LBS

I’m waiting for the chips to fall in front of Keener, in order for him to move up in the rankings. Fifteen is not bad by any stretch; it’s slightly below where he finished last season. But an increase of pace and activity in the Penn State wrestling room is sure to up his game, and this weekend will prove that.

Prediction: Keener by Major

Score: PSU 4, Binghamton 3

141 LBS

I have a feeling that this is the week that Jered puts it all back together. This is, of course, based on little more than gut; his performance in the Keystone Classic on Sunday will be more of a barometer. But I think he impresses Friday.

Prediction: Cortez by Major Decision

Score: PSU 8, Binghamton 3

149 LBS

I have nothing to say here. Zain does what Zain does, and it’s beautiful to watch if not comfortable for his opponent.

Prediction: Zain by Pin

Score: PSU 14, Binghamton 3

157 LBS

Jason Nolf pinned Rifanburg in the second period last year. Will the now-sophomore have learned? He’s undoubtedly better, but arguably so is Nolf.

Prediction: Nolf by Pin

Score: PSU 20, Binghamton 3

165 LBS

When Penn State wrestled Binghamton last year, it was still early enough in the season that Cenzo Joseph was a relatively unknown commodity. He was winning, of course, but not quite at the dominating clip he would start to embody later on; against DePrez he was dominant but not high-scoring, posting a 10-5 major decision. As the season went on Cenzo got more confidence and it showed in his wrestling, and he’s buoyed that into this season. He’ll handle the redshirt junior (one half of a pair of twins on the Bearcat squad) with ease.

Prediction: Cenzo by Major Decision

Score: PSU 24, Binghamton 3

174 LBS

Before Mark Hall had his redshirt pulled last year, 174 was all Geno Morelli. Geno was solid if not as exciting as his replacement; he won a fair amount, but wasn’t a bonus point machine. And he majored Lombardo. Hall rolls, fairly easily.

Prediction: Hall by Pin

Score: PSU 30, Binghamton 3

184 LBS

Bo’s up against the sole ranked Bearcat wrestler, a two-time NCAA qualifier whom he majored early in the season last year. Schneider is a solid wrestler - but Bo’s on another level. Schneider should stay off his back, which will undoubtedly make Bo angry - and after back points, the match should be over sooner.

Prediction: Bo by Tech Fall

Score: PSU 35, Binghamton 3

197 LBS

There’s still an OR in the lineup, and it’s still here - though Shakur Rasheed is now not listed. Mouse has been on the mat as a captain for pre-dual handshakes in both outings so far this year; Cassar is 1-1 on the year, after having some timeclock difficulties against Bucknell. Whoever goes, it should be pretty one-sided; Mouse majored Tracy last year, when the Bearcat could only muster one point in the entire match.

Prediction: Mouse/Cassar by Major Decision

Score: PSU 39, Binghamton 3

285 LBS

Nick Nevills pinned Calkins last year. And though I’d like to think the now-junior has learned from his stint on his back in Rec Hall, Nick’s upped his game. I think he sticks him again - provided Binghamton’s come to wrestle.

Prediction: Nevills by Pin

Score: PSU 45, Binghamton 3