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Penn State Wrestling vs. Ohio State: 5 Things to Know Before Showdown

Photo by Penn State Athletics

Penn State wrestling has its biggest dual meet to date tonight at Rec Hall.

No. 7 Ohio State comes to town.

Here are five things to know.

PENN STATE WRESTLING: WHY NOT THE BJC?

Penn State and Ohio State are wrestling in Rec Hall, which wouldn’t usually seem odd. But before the schedule dates came out, most probably anticipated a meet of this magnitude taking place at the much bigger Bryce Jordan Center. Instead, this years “BJC Dual” will be against Rutgers Monday, Feb. 12. Penn State coach Cael Sanderson told media before the season that Penn State couldn’t find the right weekend to have the BJC Dual due to conflicts.

“What happened is by the time the schedule came out, some of those larger duals just weren’t available,” Sanderson said. “Nebraska was THON, the other one had a career fair scheduled for the Jordan Center.”

PENN STATE WRESTLING: MATCH OF THE NIGHT?

The most anticipated individual matchup, without question, is at 149. That will pit Penn State’s Beau Bartlett, ranked No. 2 in the country, against Ohio State’s Jesse Mendez, ranked third. This is undoubtedly Bartlett’s biggest match of the season to this point. But he told reporters earlier this week he’s going to stick to his normal routine.

“We were from the same U20 world team a couple years ago, so I know him a little bit,” Bartlett said. “We were in Russia together. That’s pretty cool, and it’s really cool to see guys that come up from the age level world teams move on and continue to find success. That’s really cool, but it doesn’t really change anything. I’m going to get in my routine and do everything the way I want to do it, make sure I’m dialed in, and I’m going to go compete the way I want to compete.”

WHAT ABOUT 149?

Penn State has a dilemma at 149. On the one hand, Tyler Kasak has been awesome. The true freshman has fought his way to a No. 12 ranking. On the other, Sanderson and co. still might want to redshirt Kasak and won’t be able to do that if Kasak wrestlers against Ohio State. He will have reached the maximum five dual meets. Kasak missed Penn State’s dual meets at Michigan and Michigan State last month due to illness, and Dylan Evans went 2-0 in his place.

This past Sunday, Penn State wrestling beat Maryland in College Park but Sanderson chose to have Kasak and Evans wrestle at Lock Haven’s Mat Town Open II, where Kasak won 4-2.

In his weekly media availability this past Tuesday, Sanderson said the staff has yet to reach a decision.

“I think this Sunday was an important part of the process,” he said. “But just saying, now that they both were able to pick up some more matches, we have a little bit more flexibility and time. It’s not something we have to decide by Friday night. We could let it play out a week or two.”

BUCKEYE BREAKDOWN

Ohio State comes in ranked No. 7. Nine of its 10 projected starters are in the top 25 of their weight classes, seven are in the top 15 and three are in the top 10 per FloWrestling. Along with the aforementioned Bartlett-Mendez bout, the first match of the night could be a good one. If the night starts at 125, Penn State’s Braeden Davis, a freshman sensation ranked No. 2, is projected to take on Ohio State’s Brendan McCrone, ranked No. 12. Will Davis’ fantastic season continue?

HOW TO WATCH

Penn State and Ohio State are scheduled to begin at 6:30. For those who won’t be in Rec Hall, here’s more information on how to watch and listen.

TV: Big Ten Network

Streaming: FuboTV

Radio: LionVision

Radio announcer: Jeff Byres

FM radio: WOWY RADIO on 103.1 FM State College, 103.5 FM & 1150 AM Huntingdon, 97.7 FM Mount Union, 103.9 FM Bellwood, 99.7 FM & 1430 AM Altoona, 101.7 FM Central City, 104.5 FM & 1490 AM Johnstown |

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