February 11, 2011

Wrestling Wreport: PSU takes on two ranked teams

Penn State host No. 20 Illinois tonight at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall and then travels to Minneapolis to take on No. 5 Minnesota Sunday at 3 p.m. The Lions will then host No. 12 Wisconsin on Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall which will be the final dual of the season and senior night. But before that let's take a look at the potential match-ups after the jump.


WeightPenn Statevs.Illinois (record)
125Nathan MorganLogan Arliss (9-15)
133#5 Andrew Long#7 B.J. Futrell (21-4 )
141#5 Andrew Alton#4 Jimmy Kennedy (11-1)
149#5 Frank MolinaroEric Terrazas (19-6)
157#3 David TaylorJackson Morse (19-8)
165Jake Kemerer OR Nick FischerConrad Polz (9-8)
174#2 Ed RuthBen Friedl (9-5)OR Dan Stelter(3-7)
184#6 Quentin WrightTony Dallago(13-12)
197Nick RuggearJoe Barczak (11-5)
285#6 Cameron WadePat Walker (9-10)

WeightPenn Statevs.Minnesota (record)
125Nathan Morgan #5 Zach Sanders (23-2)
133#5 Andrew LongDavid Thorn (11-7)
141#5 Andrew Alton#2 Mike Thorn (31-1)
149#5 Frank MolinaroDanny Zilverberg (15-9)
157#3 David TaylorMatt Mincey (10-5)
165Jake Kemerer OR Nick Fischer#11 Cody Yohn (22-9)
174#2 Ed Ruth#12 Scott Glasser (25-7)
184#6 Quentin Wright#9 Kevin Steinhaus (25-8)
197Nick RuggearJoe Nord (8-10)
285#6 Cameron Wade#8 Tony Nelson (25-3)

The first thing that jumps out at you is the tough weekend Andrew Alton has taking on two wrestlers ranked ahead of him and in the top 5. Both losses for Alton's opponents came at the hands of #1 Kellen Russell of Michigan who you may remember beat Alton three times by a combined 4 points. Russell pinned Kennedy and beat Thorn 6-2. Alton ran out of gas against Mason in the Iowa dual it will be interesting to see if his stamina is better going up against two top 5 wrestlers back to back in two day's time.

If ever there was a weekend that Penn State needs bonus points from David Taylor it's this weekend especially against Minnesota. Both wrestlers have winning records but both are unranked and neither are in DT's ballpark. Having said that I don't expect any less from Taylor. While were speaking of bonus points ditto can be said for Frank Molinaro who is facing two unranked wrestlers as well.


I made some assumptions as far as Penn State's lineup is concerned. The official site lists Morgan or Pataky at 125 and Ruggear or Ortega at 197. I'm assuming Pataky is still nursing his knee injury and I've seen nothing on the Interwebs to make me think different. I'm about 70% sure Ruggear will wrestle simply because he's more aggressive than Ortega and the team will need their best chance at a win at 197. Ortega is simply a defensive wrestler and gives you very little chance of victory, at least Ruggear will take his shots. Nord of Illinois doesn't even have a .500 record so a victory there will go a long way for Penn State. I did include the dreaded "OR" for Kemerer and Fischer at 165 because I have no idea where the coaches are going as those two wrestlers appear to be starter 1A and 1B


I think Penn State will beat Illinois handily. Long seems to be back on track after the Iowa match and this will be a chance for him to show he's a top 5 wrestler facing the 7th ranked grappler at 133. The rest of the Penn State lineup is a nightmare for the Fighting [inoffensive fluffy mascots]. Molinaro, Taylor, Ruth, Wright, and Wade should all get bonus points with 2 or 3 pins a possibility. Heck, whoever wrestles at 165 has a good chance at victory.

The Minnesota match is a different beast altogether. The Gophers have beat Penn State 9 straight times! The last Penn State victory was in 1998 in the Bryce Jordan Center (which I was there for... just sayin'). 125, 165, and 197 are crucial to a Penn State win. Morgan and whoever wrestles for Penn State at 165 will need to only give up decisions and stay away from bonus points. That might mean that Kemerer is the guy at 165 because he is more of a defensive wrestler and Fisher is really a 157 pounder wrestling 165. Kemerer is the bigger of the two. At 197, Minnesota's Joe Nord is (8-10) so Ruggear will have a very good opportunity to get 3 points for Penn State at a weak weight, he has to come through. Long, Molinaro and Taylor are all getting unranked wrestlers and need to come up with bonus points. Ed Ruth get's 12th ranked Scott Glasser but should have no problem with him. Quentin Wright gets 12th ranked Kevin Steinhaus and should win but I'm not as optimistic as the Ruth match.

Final Score
-Penn State 29 Illinois 6
-Penn State 21 Minnesota 15

On Air

Hat tip to LB-U reader wvlion who tells us that the Illinois match can be viewed live on internet webcast through the Big Ten Network but it will cost you $7.95/month, but it's well worth it if you ask me.

The Minnesota dual will air on the Big Ten Network on a same day tape delay at 9:30 p.m. and again on 2/15 at 7 p.m.

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