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Wrestling Preview: No. 1 Penn State vs No. 12 Nebraska

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PSU is back in Rec Hall to take on a sneaky good Husker squad.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

After an eventful Friday night in the BJC, with multiple backups taking the mat in the biggest event on campus, the Nittany Lions head back to their normal home in Rec Hall to take on Nebraska. The Huskers come to town after a close loss in Lincoln to Michigan on Friday.

Even though both Brady Berge and Carter Starocci were out for PSU, Ohio State also sent our backups at 157, 165, and 184, and though some bouts were close—all the matches that went to sudden victory were won by the home wrestler.

On Sunday, There will likely be more backups taking the mat, at least for Penn State. But ultimately, that shouldn’t put the dual’s final outcome in question. The Lions are wrestling in top form, and it’s a joy to watch

How To Watch

What: #1 Penn State vs #12 Nebraska*

Where: Rec Hall, University Park, PA

When: Sunday, February 7, 12 pm

Audio: Free, via GoPSUSports

Video: Big Ten Network

Lineup

#1 Penn State WT #12 Nebraska
#1 Penn State WT #12 Nebraska
#6 - Drew Hildebrandt (Sr., Granger, IN) 125 Jeremiah Reno (Fr., Kansas City, MO)
#1 - Roman Bravo-Young (Sr., Tucson, AZ) 133 Dominick Serrano (Fr., Windsor, CO) OR Alex Thomson (So., Neola, IA)
#1 - Nick Lee (Sr., Evansville, IN) 141 #8 - Chad Red (Sr., Indianapolis, IN)
#18 - Beau Bartlett (So., Tempe, AZ) 149 #8 - Ridge Lovett (So., Post Falls, ID)
Terrell Barraclough (So., Kaysville, UT) OR Tony Negron (Jr., North Babylon, NY) 157 #5 - Peyton Robb (So., Owatonna, MN)
#11 - Brady Berge (Sr., Mantorville, MN) OR Creighton Edsall (Jr., Wyalusing, PA) 165 Bubba Wilson (Fr., Manhattan, KS)
#1 - Carter Starocci (So., Erie, PA) 174 #5 - Mikey Labriola (Jr., Easton, PA)
#1 - Aaron Brooks (Jr., Hagerstown, MD) 184 #9 - Taylor Venz (Sr., Farmington, MN)
#2 - Max Dean (Jr., Lowell, MI) 197 #3 - Eric Schultz (Sr., Tinley Park, IL)
#5 - Greg Kerkvliet (So., Grove Heights, MN) 285 #12 - Christina Lance (Sr., Nixa, MO)

125 LBS

Friday saw Heinselman take down against Drew Hildebrandt, the first of a few such decisions b the Buckeyes that were later determined to be questionable. The third period ride out was the difference maker, as after an initial close burst, Drew took control and wasn’t letting the OSUer up come hell or high water. Sunday won’t be as close and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is more than one bonus.

Prediction: Hildebrandt by major decision

Score: PSU 4, Nebraska 0

133 LBS

RBY started off Friday night with a bang, locking up the assassin and getting the pin. I honk he’ll play more with his food in the second dual of the weekend.

Prediction: RBY by tech fall

Score: PSU 9, Nebraska 0

141 LBS

Lee’s dominance in his super senior season continues, and he’ll be workmanlike (as per usual). Red was a high school rival of Lee, and is solid—but Lee’s had his number for a while now.

Prediction: N. Lee by major decision

Score: PSU 13, Nebraska 0

149 LBS

The internet’s favorite wrestler, Ridge Lovett, picked up a big major Friday against Michigan’s backup to their backup. Bartlett, on the other hand, had a late tie against #2 Sammy Sasso broken by the Buckeye after a strong showing (including a BJC-deafening reversal). This is an equally tough outing for Beau. He’ll break thru on these, one of these days.

Prediction: Lovett by decision

Score: PSU 13, Nebraska 3

157 LBS

Bear claw had one of the aforementioned sudden victory decisions on Friday, looking energized and excited after securing the two. He’s been so close on many of these bouts that here’s hoping he can build on it. That’ll be tough on Sunday, though, as Robb is a legit likely AA.

Prediction: Robb by major decision

Score: PSU 13, Nebraska 7

165 LBS

If Berge takes the mat, this should be a win. But I’m not expecting that, and with Wilson coming off a big win over Michigan’s Cam Amine, this probably won’t be as close.

Prediction: Wilson by decision

Score: PSU 13, Nebraska 10

174 LBS

Mason Manville took the mat in folk style for PSU Friday for the first time in about three years, and who’s focus on Greco shows. He’ll never give up on the mat, but Labriola is another strong opponent so it’ll be tough.

Prediction: Labriola by major decision

Score: PSU 13, Nebraska 14

184 LBS

Brooks looked very good on Friday against a backup. On Sunday, he’ll likely dominate Venz from the beginning but end up just shy of the major.

Prediction: AB by decision

Score: PSU 17, Nebraska 14

197 LBS

Max Dean has had one of the toughest roads to date of anyone, with this field basically wide open and stacked after returning champ Ferrari. Schultz is another one, and this’ll once again come down to the wire.

Prediction: Dean by decision

Score: PSU 20, Nebraska 14

285 LBS

Kerk dominated Orndorff from the jump on Friday, and this should be similar. Stick around for the heavyweights, it’s worth it!

Prediction: Kerk by major decision

Score: PSU 24, Nebraska 14

Overall score prediction: PSU 24, Nebraska 14


*The Penn State athletic department, in its official capacity, uses Intermat Tournament Rankings in all its match literature; I’m using Intermat’s Dual Meet rankings because this happens to be a dual. Nebraska is #12 in the dual meet rankings, and #7 in the tournament team rankings; Penn State is #1 in both.