Last Friday night’s dual meet between No. 1 Penn State and No. 2 Iowa was as big as it gets in college wrestling.
This Friday’s dual meet between No. 1 Penn State and No. 4 Ohio State won’t be quite as big.
But make no mistake, it’s still a showdown.
It’s still a chance for Penn State (11-0, 4-0 Big Ten) to get a win against a top five Big Ten opponent and stay unbeaten in dual meets this season.
Beating Ohio State (11-1, 5-0 Big Ten) won’t be easy, especially on the road after consecutive duel meets against top five teams. The week before beating Iowa, Penn State beat No. 3 Michigan at the Bryce Jordan Center. Ohio State is 11-1 in dual meets this year and ranks behind only Penn State, Iowa and Iowa State nationally. Ohio State’s lone loss of the season came against Northern Iowa Dec. 19 at the Collegiate Duals in New Orleans.
Ohio State is 5-0 in Big Ten dual meets with wins over Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State and, most significantly, Michigan, which it beat in Ann Arbor 23-15 the same night Penn State beat Iowa. There are several compelling matchups to watch, but one of which is in the 133-pound class.
Ohio State’s Jesse Mendez is ranked ninth and will likely go against Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young.
RBY is a two-time national champion and has won 46 straight matches, the most recent being a pin over former Penn State teammate Brody Teske last Friday. Young’s winning streak is the second-longest in the country behind Iowa’s 125-pound beast Spencer Lee, who has won 49 straight and got No. 49 over Penn State’s Marco Vespa last Friday.
It’s another winter Friday night of Big Ten wrestling. Here are the projected matchups, with rankings courtesy of InterMat.
125: Gary Steen (PSU) vs. No. 10 Malik Heinselman (OSU)
133: No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) vs. No. 9 Jesse Mendez (OSU)
141: No. 5 Beau Bartlett (PSU) vs. No. 19 Dylan D’Emilio (OSU)
149: No. 13 Shane Van Ness (PSU) vs. No. 3 Sammy Sasso (OSU)
157: No. 9 Levi Haines (PSU) vs. No. 25 Paddy Gallagher (OSU)
165: No. 8 Alex Facundo (PSU) vs. No. 12 Carter Kharchla (OSU)
174: No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) vs. No. 7 Ethan Smith (OSU)
184: No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) vs. No. 5 Caleb Romero (OSU)
197: No. 4 Max Dean (PSU) vs. No. 17 Gavin Hoffman (OSU)
285: No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) vs. No. 18 Tate Orndorff (OSU)