Penn State Wrestling Weekend Preview: Northwestern and Wisconsin
Penn State has a busy weekend ahead, as it faces its first two Big Ten Opponents this season. Penn State (4-0, 0-0) will travel to No. 11 Northwestern (2-4, 0-1) on Friday, January 11. That match will be followed by hosting No. 18 Wisconsin (6-1, 1-1) in Rec Hall on Sunday, January 13. Penn State will face a total of nine Big Ten schools in the second half of its 10 matches.
Northwestern brings Sebastian Rivera to the mat, hot off his Southern Scuffle victory against Iowa’s Spencer Lee to claim the number one spot at 125 pounds. Rivera will square off against Penn State’s Devin Schnupp as this will be their first ever matchup. Along with Rivera, Ryan Deakin, ranked No. 3 in the 157 pound weight class is a strong competitor for Northwestern. Deakin will face arguably the toughest wrestler in the country as Jason Nolf will be his opponent this Friday. Deakin is coming off a 6-3 loss to the second-ranked wrestler in the 157 pound weight class in Nebraska's Tyler Berger. Deakin will be looking to turn the collegiate wrestling world on its head as he looks to upset Nolf. Nolf notched his 54th pin of his Penn State career during the Southern Scuffle to secure the all-time pin record. Nolf will look to add Ryan Deakin’s name to his list. Other ranked matchups include top ranked Mark Hall going up against 14th-ranked Johnny Sebastian at 174 pounds and fourth-ranked Anthony Cassar matched up against 18th ranked Conan Jennings.
Match Prediction: Penn State over Northwestern 40-5
The Wisconsin Badgers will roll into Rec Hall as one of the nine Big Ten teams in FloWrestling’s Top 25. Sadly they are going to war with possibly the deepest Penn State lineup in several years. They bring 15th-ranked Connor Brown at 125, third ranked Evan Wick at 165, tenth-ranked Ryan Christensen at 174 and ninth ranked Trent Hillger in the heavyweight division. The Badgers sole loss on the season was to second-ranked Ohio State by a close score of 23-13, while they narrowly escaped defeat by prevailing over the Nebraska Cornhuskers by a score of 22-21. The only two wrestlers who have a history competing are Mark Hall and Ryan Christensen as Hall holds a record of 2-0. One of those victories was a pin in a mere 47 seconds during their matchup last March.
Match Prediction: Penn State over Wisconsin 41-4
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics and minoring in sociology. To contact him, email email@example.com