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Wrestling Preview: No. 1 Penn State at No. 17 Rutgers

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The Lions finish up their two-bout weekend with a trip to New Jersey.

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

How To Watch

What: #1 Penn State vs #17 Rutgers

Where: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ

When: Sunday, January 28, 2 pm

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

Video: BTN


No. 1 Penn State WT No. 17 Rutgers
No. 1 Penn State WT No. 17 Rutgers
Devin Schnupp (Fr., Lititz, PA) 125 #1 - Nick Suriano (So., Paramus, NJ)
Corey Keener (Sr., Schuylkill Haven, PA) 133 #19 - Scott Delvecchio (Sr., South Plainfield, NJ)
#7 - Nick Lee (Fr., Evansville, IN) OR Jered Cortez (Jr., Carol Stream, IL) 141 Michael Van Brill (Fr., Mullica Hill, NJ)
#1 - Zain Retherford (Sr., Benton, PA) 149 #13 - Eleazar DeLuca (Sr., Talent, OR)
#1 - Jason Nolf (Jr., Yatesboro, PA) 157 #17 - John Van Brill (Jr., Mullica Hill, NJ)
#1 - Vincenzo Joseph (So., Pittsburgh, PA) 165 #11 - Richie Lewis (Sr., Toms River, NJ)
#2 - Mark Hall (So., Apple Valley, MN) 174 Jordan Pagano (Jr., South Brunswick, NJ) OR Joe Grello (Fr., Newtown, NJ)
#1 - Bo Nickal (Jr., Allen, TX) 184 #12 Nicholas Gravina (Sr., Allendale, NJ)
Anthony Cassar (So., Rocky Hill, NJ) OR #10 - Shakur Rasheed (Jr., Coram, NY) OR Matt McCutcheon (Sr., Apollo, PA) 197 Kevin Mulligan (Fr., Blauvelt, NY)
#6 - Nick Nevills (Jr., Clovis, CA) 285 Razohnn Gross (Sr., Franklin Park, NJ)

*RECORD SCRATCH* “Oh mah gawd, that’s Sauertieg’s music!”

It turns out, Cari and I (it me, Clay) had to switch things up this weekend due to scheduling conflicts, though she had already given me her match-by-match predictions. So what we’re going to do here is try to lay out what Cari’s thought process would be for said predictions.

125 LBS

After ending their contentious relationship with one another in the summer, Penn State and Nick Suriano have gone their separate ways. It has, unfortunately, worked out better for Suriano than it has Penn State to this point. I can’t imagine any scenario where Nick, pride and all, walks off that mat without getting six points on Sunday.

Prediction: Suriano by Pin

Score: PSU 0, Rutgers 6

133 LBS

Keener looked pretty bad until he didn’t on Friday night, falling behind 11-0 before cutting the deficit to just seven points after the third period and avoiding conceding bonus points. If Keener can show up all match the way he did in the third on Friday against McKee, he can pull the upset over the scrappy Delvecchio.

Prediction: Keener by Decision

Score: PSU 3, Rutgers 6

141 LBS

With Anthony Ashnault out of the lineup presumably for the season with an injury, the little Van Brill bro steps in at 141 for Rutgers. Unfortunately for him, Nick appears dead set on running roughshod over the Big Ten, particularly after a dominant 14-3 win over Tommy Thorn on Friday. Expect more bonus at the RAC on Sunday.

Prediction: Lee by Major Decision

Score: PSU 7, Rutgers 6

149 LBS

Y’all know how this thing works already.

Prediction: Zain by Pin

Score: PSU 13, Rutgers 6

157 LBS

Jake Short was able to stall his way to just conceding a major decision on Friday night for the Goofers. I don’t envision Nolf, who is in the middle of a race for the Hodge Trophy, will take too kindly to that result and he will likely take it out on the older Van Brill bro.

Prediction: Nolf by Tech Fall

Score: PSU 18, Rutgers 6

165 LBS

Richie Lewis is a junior world champ, and I’m still not exactly sure how having watched him wrestle the last two years. Wanzek of Minnesota was able to slow the pace enough to keep Cenzo to a 3-1 decision on Friday. I think Lewis avoids bonus, but the margin of victory is widened by the most unheralded of Penn State’s returning champs.

Prediction: Cenzo by Decision

Score: PSU 21, Rutgers 6

174 LBS

It’s been too long since we’ve seen Mark hit his mixer or his gator roll or even his inside trip. Expect the sophomore to get a little crafty on his way to a fall on Sunday.

Prediction: Hall by Pin

Score: PSU 27, Rutgers 6

184 LBS

Bo left Gravina staring at the lights and wondering what happened to him last season in Rec Hall. The Scarlet Knights 184-pounder was a round of 12 guy at NCAAs last season and you can expect him to put up a little tougher fight this time around, though Bo should win comfortably.

Prediction: Bo by Decision

Score: PSU 30, Rutgers 6

197 LBS

Anthony Cassar and Shakur Rasheed are likely to continue their platoon duties at 197 with the New Jersey native getting the nod in his home state. If Cassar wants to stay within shouting distance of Rasheed, who is cradling everything in sight of late, he’ll need to earn bonus points on Sunday.

Prediction: Cassar by Major Decision

Score: PSU 34, Rutgers 6

285 LBS

Gross is the perfect opponent for Nick to get going on his feet. While the Rutgers big man is solid on top, he’s not the most fleet of foot and has been known to gas in the past. Expect Nevills to wear down Gross in the first and second periods and really start to open it up in the third.

(Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing Nevills take top if he’s able to get choice in the second period or if he rides out the second.)

Prediction: Nick by Major Decision

Score: PSU 38, Rutgers 6

And because you’re all so very curious and because I’m extremely competitive, the following is how I (Clay) have predicted the dual.

Suriano by fall, 0-6.

Delvecchio by decision, 0-9.

Lee by tech. fall, 5-9.

Zain by fall, 11-9.

Nolf by fall, 17-9.

Cenzo by decision, 20-9.

Hall by major decision, 24-9.

Bo by major decision, 28-9.

Cassar by major decision, 32-9.

Nevills by major decision, 35-9.

*The Penn State athletic department, in its official capacity, uses Intermat Tournament Rankings in all its match literature; in those rankings, Penn State is #2, and Rutgers is #13 . It’s either that or Flo’s rankings (BTN has an exclusive contract), but I must be internet illiterate because I can’t find a link to updated Flo rankings. I’m using Intermat’s Dual Meet rankings because, a) this happens to be a dual meet, and b) it’s a better ranking for the Nittany Lions (but not Rutgers).