February 5, 2010

Wrestling Wreport: PSU welcomes two Big Ten foes

After taking on four teams ranked in the top 25 in a row, Penn State gets a little break taking on Northwestern and Michigan, both unranked. In fact each team has only one ranked wrestler a piece. These are the types of duals that PSU should be winning big.


Amazingly Penn State split duals against Michigan last season beating the Wolverines 21-18 in the National Duals and losing 31-6 in Ann Arbor. It's been two years since a then #8 ranked Penn State snuck by a #10 ranked Northwestern.

Key Matchups

With only two ranked wrestlers between the two schools there really aren't that many key matchups, but there is one that will be interesting.

149: #4 Frank Molinaro vs. #13 Andrew Nadhir

Two seasons ago Nadhir was up a weight at 157, probably because All-American Ryan Lang was firmly entrenched at 149. Nadhir will be a test for Molinaro but nothing like last weekend were Frank took on the 1st and 2nd ranked wrestlers. While it should be a good match I would expect Frank to control things and win comfortably.

Other Matchups

125: #13 Brad Pataky (20-6) vs. Levi Mele (8-6) (NU) and Sean Boyle (19-14) (Mich)

Both of these matches should not only be wins for Pataky but they should be of the major variety. We'll probably see Pataky's patented cement mixer he tries just about every match. If he hits it he'll probably get the pin.

133: Bryan Pearsall (3-17) vs. Eric Metzler (9-7) (NU) and Zac Stevens (18-12) (Mich)

Metzler is a senior so he's been around the block a few times so I don't see Pearsall pulling one out there. Stevens, however is a sophomore hovering around the .500 mark. If Pearsall is going to improve and pull out a Big Ten dual win Stevens will probably be his best shot. Having said that, it's hard for me to pick a guy that has only 3 wins.

141: Adam Lynch (8-9) vs. Bobby Joyce (1-12)(NU) and Marc Weber (13-20) (Mich)

After Lynch's phenomenal weekend last week that saw him beat two ranked wrestlers it's hard to go against him. I think we'll see the continued steady improvement that we've seen from Adam this weekend. I think bonus points are very real possibility against Joyce. Hard to believe I'm writing that after the atrocious start Lynch had this season.

#4 Frank Molinaro (23-3) vs. Mark Boyer (3-10) (Mich)

This is simply a mismatch that goes in Penn State's favor. This will be nothing more than a workout for Molinaro after the wrestlers he's had to deal with lately. Molinaro wins big in this one.

157: #7 Cyler Sanderson (22-3) vs. Kevin Bialka (9-11) (NU) and Dave Johnson (16-14) (Mich)

Sanderson has been inconsistent lately and this weekend will be just what the doctor ordered. There's no way Cyler loses to a near .500 wrestler. It will be an opportunity for Sanderson to work out any kinks in his technique especially the problems he has getting out from bottom.

165: #7 Dan Vallimont (19-6) vs. Robert Kellogg (8-12) (NU) and Aaron Hynes (14-12) (Mich)

Vallimont is another wrestler trying to get back on the winning track after dropping both of his matches last weekend, albeit both to top-5 wrestlers. Just like Sanderson, Vallimont get's an easy draw and should control both matches. Look for Dan to work for bonus points.

174: Justin Ortega (6-14) vs. Brian Roddy (7-5) (NU) and Justin Zeerip (22-15) (Mich)

Ortega hasn't been wrestling well as of late and of all the guys to get a decent wrestler this weekend it had to be Justin. Ortega could notch a 'W' against Roddy but Zeerip will be a different story. It'll be a good thing for the Nittany Lions if Ortega goes 1-1.

#11 David Erwin (22-6) vs. Aaron Jones (8-12) (NU) and Hunter Collins (15-10(Mich)

Erwin had a great road trip last weekend going 2-0 against two ranked wrestlers. This should be a cakewalk for him.

197: Clay Steadman (8-9) or David Crowell (17-11) vs. John Schoen (11-9) (NU) and #9 Anthony Biondo (26-3) (Mich)

The dreaded "or" weight doesn't get any easier for Penn State. The coaches still haven't settled on who will get the starting nod so expect to see both this weekend. It really doesn't matter who gets thrown out against Biondo it's going to be high scoring loss.

285 #11 Cameron Wade (15-6) vs. 285 Marcus Shrewsbury (4-9) (NU) and Eddie Phillips (7-6) (Mich)

On paper this weekend looks like an easy 2-0 for Wade but he was beaten by Phillips in the dual meet last year. Wade will probably roll Shrewsbury but I expect another close win with not much offense against Phillips.


Let's not mince words here, this is going to be two lopsided wins for Penn State. Looking up and down these lineups I just don't see too many opportunities for either team against the Nittany Lions. This will be a good weekend for a lot of the PSU grapplers to work on their offense and go for bonus points.

Northwestern Final: 27-10 PSU
Michigan Final: 22-12 PSU

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