I’m on record saying that I don’t like that wrestling orders their matches by weight rather than the professional style of having the highest ranked or most anticipated matches go last at any event. I think that there is tons of up side to my proposal. Take pressure off the big guys. Lots of studies over the last century show that tall men experience all sorts of extra social pressure due to their tall genetics and that they don’t handle pressure well. The US Army reviewed all their mistaken promotions and height was the clear number one cause. A strong chin was the 2nd highest reason for ineffective promotions. Putting unranked heavies at the end of a match is akin to putting undercard fighters in the main event slot. The structure of a match should encourage the energy of a dual to build. Not build and slump before the end. I’ll get off that horse.
The big question in this match is how much can Penn State bonus at Carver.
125lbs: Nick Suriano (PSU) over Thomas Gilman (Iowa). In the shock of the night Suriano knocks off Gilman. I think that Suriano is about as strong as Gilman. I think that he’s a better scrambler than Gilman and I think that they both have a great gas tank. I think Suriano frustrates Gilman into a bad position and wins on a TD in sudden victory. Send your hate mail.
133lbs: Corey Clark (Iowa) over George Carpenter (PSU). Clark hasn’t looked himself since returning to the Hawkeye lineup but I think that it’s enough for bonus points. I think that Clark will easily get to Carpenter’s legs and at some point catch a turk. To me the question is tech or fall for Clark?
141lbs: Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) over Topher Carton (Iowa). I’ve given up on Gulibon being an AA but he’s still an experienced quality wrestler that was in the match with Ashnault till the end. If Gulibon comes out with a good mindset and can finish he wins. Big ifs.
149lbs: Zain Retherford (PSU) over Brandon Sorenson (Iowa). Every time I see fans attribute machine like professional ability to college wrestlers I see turbulence. Zain is a driven young man. Can Sorenson get in on Retherford at all? I’d expect Sorenson to be saving something new for Zain come nationals. I think that Sorenson will wrestle tight and defensive, looking to keep the match very close. I haven’t seen Sorenson wrestle in person this year. Retherford looks quicker in pinning combinations to me. Is he recognizing the angle sooner? Not sure and he didn’t provide me any insight.
157lbs: Jason Nolf (PSU) over Michael Kemerer (Iowa). There is lots of hullabaloo over these two former club mates going at it. I like Kemerer and wish that he was wrestling closer to home. I think that this match is really about who has grown more in their room. I don’t want to say that Nolf’s attacks look totally different than last year but they have changed significantly. An even bigger difference I’ve seen this year is his change of approach to getting people on their back. He doesn’t use many normal angles. His modified arm bar is hard to prepare for especially if you let your elbows come out. Kemerer usually keeps good position but his elbows can get wide later in close matches. Nolf gets at least a major.
165lbs: Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) over Joey Gunter (Iowa). Complex match I think that Joseph could dominate from neutral. Will VJ’s heavily wrapped knee slow him down? If Joseph had better top game I’d say this match is a bonus point lock for PSU. Joseph has nice technical attacks from 3 different angles and he’s got a power attack double to mix the pace up. If he gets on a roll of take ‘em down and let him up early he might get to bonus but I wouldn’t bet on it. No one is peaking for this time of year.
174lbs:lbs Alex Meyer (Iowa) over Geno Morelli (PSU). Meyer hasn’t lost at home in more than a year. I think that he’ll have an edge at C.H. arena. Morelli has more offense this season but not enough with top level guys. I just don’t think that he can score enough points to win this match. Regular decision Meyer.
184lbs: Bo Nickal (PSU) over Sammy Brooks (Iowa) These guys have both lost to Nate Jackson of Indiana. Brooks has lost to TJ Dudley. I think that Nickal is better than Brooks but will Brooks wrestle open? If yes I think that Nickal gets to bonus and Brooks goes to his back at least once during the match. That said Iowa hasn’t wrestled open against Penn State in a couple of years. Leading me to think Nickal via regular decision.
197lbs: Matt McCutcheon (PSU) over Cash Wilke (Iowa). Don’t know much about Wilke. McCutcheon has moved up to 197 without much of a misstep. I think that his match strategy will be superior. Regular decision McCutcheon.
285lbs: Nick Nevills (PSU) over Sam Stoll (Iowa). Nevills can attack at and below the knee. Sometimes he can get out of balance, head to far forward and torso twisted, becoming counterable. I think that Nevills rate of attack will make up for any technical mistakes. Stoll doesn’t seem to have the offense to keep pace. Nevills regular decision.
PSU wins, it won’t be close.