Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Penn State Vs Ohio State Preview (Friday 2-3-22)


A great BIG 10 dual to take place on Friday night between the #1 Penn State Nittany Lions & the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes. 

125 lbs
U.R. Gary Steen Vs #10 Malik Heinselman 

This is the only match on the card where I can see the Buckeyes possibly picking up some bonus points. I wouldn't guarantee it, but the experience of a senior who is currently 18-2 Vs a redshirt freshman who is 5-9, does propose itself as a match that could end in a major decision.  If Ohio State is going to put 4 points up at any point during this dual, this is the match where it'll happen. 

133 lbs
#1 Roman Bravo Young Vs #9 Jesse Mendez 

True freshman Jesse Mendez is having himself one Hell of a rookie season. Currently 11-1, he thus far has victories over Lucas Byrd of Illinois, Dylan Ragusin of Michigan & RayVon Foley of Michigan State. The buck...or should I say the Buckeye stops here though I'm afraid.  RBY is in a class of his own and while I do believe Mendez will hold it to a decision, RBY will show him exactly why he's the #1 ranked wrestler in the nation. 

141 lbs
#5 Beau Bartlett vs #19 Dylan D'Emilio 

Penn State goes into this one favored, but I wouldn't being chalking it up as a win quite yet. Dylan D'Emilio is a scrapper & he'll fight the entire seven minutes he's out on the mat. Bartlett's strategies and techniques should be enough to pull out the W, but I'd go into this one realizing that it could very well be a war. 

149 lbs
#13 Shayne Van Ness Vs #3 Sammy Sasso 

I'd give SVN a slight, small probability of pulling off an upset in this one. I wouldn't bet on it, but at the same time you have to acknowledge that the possibility is there. Sasso has shown to be vulnerable as susceptible in the past & furthermore SVN is the type of wrestler who could pull it off. On the same hand though, Sasso has been wrestling very well as of late. Losses to Caleb Henson of Virginia Tech & Colin Realbuto of Northern Iowa are what give SVN hope going into this match. You get Sasso at his best, he'll be difficult if not impossible to take out of his element. You get him on an off day however, then SVN is in this match. 

157 lbs
#9 Levi Haines Vs #25 Paddy Gallagher 

The last times these two youngsters met, Haines took a comfortable 8-3 decision. I think we'll see a similar outcome this time around too. 

165 lbs
#8 Alex Facundo Vs #12 Carson Kharchla 

This will be a good match.  Advantage to Penn State, I would still call this one a tossup. Kharchla is a bit of an up and down wrestler, but for a dual of this magnitude, as it will be his sole focus for the day, I say that he'll be up for it. An All American last season, he's been looking for that huge win to get himself back in the realms in which he has slipped out of. A victory over Facundo would do just that. With that said, tall order. Facundo wants to climb the ladder, not go down on it. 

174 lbs
#1 Carter Starocci Vs #7 Ethan Smith 

I don't see many points being put up in this confrontation. Matter of fact I think it'll be a very close, 1 or 2 point match. I'd be shocked if there is anything more than a 3 point separation between the two. Smith will keep it close with Starocci, but I do not see him upsetting the Nittany Lion. There are few as comfortable & as confident as Starocci when it comes to 1 or 2 point leads. Yet win by 1 point or win by 15 points, the operative word here is win.  Collecting W's is what Starocci does. By 1, by 2 or by 3, he'll most likely add another to his vast collection. 

184 lbs
#1 Aaron Brooks Vs #5 Kaleb Romero 

Here's an area where the Nittany Lions can pick up some bonus points. The last time Brooks & Romero met it was damn near a technical fall for Brooks as he won a 13-2 major decision. Do I think he'll manhandle the Buckeye like that again? It's a possibility, but I'm going to say no. Romero has gotten stronger & he's gotten better since the last time the two met. Do I think Brooks could still get the major? Yes, I do, but I think it'll be more so a takedown game, than it'll be a taking Romero to his back game. Romero could very well keep this at a decision too. 

197 lbs
#4 Max Dean Vs #17 Gavin Hoffman 

We have a slight, low probability opportunity of seeing an upset in favor of Penn State at 149 & here we have a slight, low probability opportunity of seeing an upset in favor of Ohio State.  I'm not saying it is likely, but I am saying it is possible.  I mean think about it.  Dean has already proven himself to be susceptible to upset two other times this season.  The dual is at Ohio State & Hoffman has a history over outwrestling himself in situations where a lot is on the line.  While Dean does own a 9-3 decision over the Buckeye, there other match ended in sudden victory 5-3. 

#2 Greg Kerkvliet Vs #18 Tate Orndorff

Here's where Penn State is most likely going to pick up some bonus points. In their last three meetings Kerkvliet has defeated Orndorff 10-1, 10-2 & 11-3.  This tells me, especially taking into consideration that Kerkvliet has positioned himself as a NCAA title contender that meeting #4, will most likely end in a major decision for the Nittany Lion too. It is in Ohio State territory however & I'd give that the one saving grace that may keep this match to a decision. 

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