Will Penn State Wrestling Win Their Fifth Straight NCAA Title Without Ruth and Taylor?
The Penn State Nittany Lions enter this season under head coach Cael Sanderson in search of their fifth straight national championship. This season will be the first time in four years they will enter a season without two wrestlers that cannot be replaced. Two-time NCAA Champion David Taylor and Three-time NCAA Champion Ed Ruth have graduated leaving the team with holes to fill.
Coach Sanderson and the Lions shouldn’t be too worried with the return of Senior Matt Brown at 174, Senior Nico Megaludis returning at 125-pounds, Junior Morgan McIntosh at 197-pounds, and true sophomore sensation Zain Retherford securing 141-pound weight class. Hard on the recruiting trail, Sanderson has 12 true freshmen on the roster from seven different states. Red-shirt freshmen Kade Moss, a four-time Utah high school state champion plans to contribute this season filling in the 141/149-pound weight class. The three other red-shirt freshmen will help fill the holes in the 141, 149, 157, 165, 184, and 197-pound weight classes. These red-shirt freshmen will be fighting for a starting spot in the lineup, and deliver cushion for Sanderson in case of injuries and allow the possibilities to move wrestlers around within the lineup.
The four-time defending national champions jump right into their dual-meet season on November 9, against Lehigh. The Lions first conference dual-meet takes place on the road against one of the Big Ten’s newest additions Maryland on December 11. Penn State’s schedule shows little favor towards them as they will head to Columbus, East Brunswick, Ann Arbor and East Lansing for conference duals.
The Iowa Hawkeyes will visit the Nittany Lions on February 8, to seek revenge from last year’s 24-12 defeat. Penn State will host the Hoosiers, Boilermakers and Golden Gophers before the Hawkeyes face the Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center.
After sharing the Big Ten dual-meet title with the Minnesota Golden Gophers after suffering their only loss of 16 duals, and cleaning up at the Big Ten championships, Coach Sanderson and his staff have high expectations this season to be selfish and not share any part of a title with one of their foes.
Will the Penn State Nittany Lions be able to deliver a fifth straight NCAA national championship to State College? A tough regular season ahead sets up great matchups and a story line finish. Be sure to follow the nation’s best wrestling conference, the Big Ten.
The full 2014-15 Penn State Wrestling Schedule is as follows:
Sun. 9 — LEHIGH — 2 p.m.
Fri. 21 — at Pittsburgh — 7 p.m.
Sat. 22 — at Clarion — 7 p.m.
Sun. 7 — NITTANY LION OPEN — 8:30 a.m.
Thur. 11 — at Maryland* — 7 p.m.
Fri. 19 — VIRGINIA TECH — 7 p.m.
Thu.-Fri. 1-2 — Southern Scuffle, Chattanooga, Tenn. — All Day
Fri. 9 — INDIANA* — 7 p.m.
Sun. 11 — at Ohio State* — 2 p.m.
Fri. 16 — at Rutgers* — 7 p.m.
Sun. 18 — PURDUE* — 1 p.m.
Sun. 25 — MINNESOTA* — 2 p.m.
Fri. 30 — at Michigan* — 7 p.m.
Sun. 1 — at Michigan State* — 2 p.m.
Sun. 8 — IOWA* (BJC) — 2 p.m.
Sun. 15 — at Oklahoma State — 3 p.m.
Sun. 22 — RIDER — 2 p.m.
Sat.-Sun. 7-8 — Big Ten Championships, Columbus, Ohio — Times TBA
Sat. 7 — Session 1 — Opening Round — Session 2 — Semifinals
Sun. 8 — Session 3 — Consolation, 7th place bouts — Session 4 — Championship Finals, 3rd and 5th
Thur.-Sat. 19-21 — NCAA Championships, St. Louis, Mo. — Times TBA
Thur. 19 — Session 1 — 1st Round Thur. 19 — Session 2 — 2nd Round/Consolations Fri. 20 — Session 3 — Quarterfinals/Consolations
Fri. 20 — Session 4 — Semifinals/All-America Round Sat. 21 — Session 5 — Medal Rounds
Sat. 21 — Session 6 — Championship Finals
* Big Ten Dual All Dates and Times Subject to Change — All Times EASTERN