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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling: 5 Matchups to Watch in Michigan Dual Meet

Penn State wrestling is looking to win another national championship
Photo by Penn State Athletics: Cael Sanderson

Penn State wrestling has its toughest task to date of this season. The No. 1 team in the land is an Ann Arbor to take on No. 11 Michigan. Here are five bouts to watch.

125: NO. 14 BRAEDEN DAVIS (PENN STATE WRESTLING) VS. NO. 3 MICHAEL DEAUGUSTINO (MICHIGAN)

Davis has been a breath of fresh air for Penn State at 125, the only weight class where PSU failed to send a wrestler to the national championships last season. The true freshman’s won all 10 college matches he’s been in, and now is facing what’s by far his biggest test to this point. DeAugustino, a Northwestern graduate, finished fourth at the 2022 NCAA championships and is a four-time qualifier.

There’d be no shame in Davis losing to a savvy veteran who’s a national title contender but he’s make a big statement by getting a win.

133: NO. 4 AARON NAGAO (PENN STATE) VS. NO. 6 DYLAN RAGUSIN

This one is a tossup. Nagao is unquestionably one of the top 133 pounders in the country but this is a big one for him. Nagao lost his first dual meet bout of the season to Lehigh’s Ryan Crookham, who’s No. 1 at 133. Ragusin is ranked below Nagao but will be a tough out. He’s a three-time NCAA qualifier. If DeAugustino beats Davis, which is a strong possibility— and if that match is the first of the night— it will be up to Nagao to make sure Penn State doesn’t fall further behind. Michigan is the best team Penn State’s faced thus far this season and will be performing in front of a fired up crowd, and a Nagao win would go a long way toward silencing that crowd.

149: NO. 12 TYLER KASAK (PENN STATE) VS. NO. 6 AUSTIN GOMEZ (MICHIGAN)

This is similar to the tale of 125. A promising Penn State freshman will take on a more established opponent who had success at another Big Ten school before transferring to Michigan. Gomez placed fourth at the 2022 NCAA Championships at 149, much like now-teammate DeAugustino did at 125 for Northwestern. But Kasak is on a roll. This past Sunday, he wrestled Indiana’s Graham Rooks, who qualified for nationals last season and came into Rec Hall ranked No. 14. Not only did Kasak hold his own with Rooks, he beat him. Not only did he beat him, he dominated, getting a 15-0 technical fall.

A win over a top-10 wrestler would further boost Kasak’s confidence, and there’s no reason to think he can’t get it done.

165: NO. 9 MITCHELL MESENBRINK (PENN STATE) VS. NO. 7 CAMERON AMINE (MICHIGAN)

It was a tough call picking this matchup as one to watch instead of No. 1 Levi Haines (Penn State) vs. No. 9 Will Lewan (Michigan). But I see that matchup as one that Haines should win handily.

This matchup should be more even. Mesenbrink has been awesome in his first season at Penn State but we still haven’t seen too much of him. Getting a win over a three-time All-American in Amine would be a big notch in Mesenbrink’s belt.

174: NO. 1 CARTER STAROCCI (PENN STATE) VS. NO. 4 SHANE GRIFFITH (MICHIGAN)

This is the most interesting bout of the night by far. Why? It’s all right here.

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