Penn State wrestling, a history of dominance
The reigning national champion Nittany Lion wrestling team enters the 2019-20 season riding a 59 consecutive dual win streak. If Penn State wants to catch the likes of Iowa’s 69 straight wins from Jan. 12, 2008 to Jan. 16, 2011, it’ll have some work to do.
Penn State’s 2019-20 schedule, released Tuesday, features eight home duals — including a Bryce Jordan Center clash with Ohio State — and a difficult road schedule that includes trips to Arizona State, Lehigh, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Nittany Lions will kick of their quest for a fifth consecutive NCAA title by hosting the United States Naval Academy at Rec Hall on Nov. 10.
This will be the first time Penn State has wrestled Navy since 2005. The Nittany Lions own a 48-30-7 lead in the all-time series, including the 1972 dual that saw 8,100 fans pack into Rec Hall to watch Nittany Lion stars like Andy Matter and Dave Joyner take on the Midshipmen. At the time, the crowd was the largest ever to attend a wrestling dual in the east, according to the Penn State Wrestling Club’s “A Century of Penn State Wrestling.”
Keeping with the military theme, coach Cael Sanderson’s squad will take part for the first time in the Army West Point Invite on Nov. 17. Not on the schedule this year is the Keystone Classic, which Penn State has wrestled in at Philadelphia’s famed Palestra for the past three years.
However, Penn State will still get to compete with the University of Pennsylvania, as it hosts the Quakers on Dec. 8. The first in a home-and-home dual series announced by Penn on Sept. 4.
But before that, the Nittany Lions will travel to Tempe, Arizona, to finish up that home-and-home series with the Sun Devils. Penn State will also wrestle at Lehigh (for their 108th meeting) on Dec. 6, before kicking off its Big Ten schedule with home duals against Illinois and Northwestern Jan. 10-12.
Noticeably missing from this year’s schedule is the Southern Scuffle, which Penn State has participated in eight times in the past nine years at the beginning of the new year.
Penn State will host Rutgers on Jan. 19, but the Scarlet Knights might be without former Nittany Lion Nick Suriano, who NJ Advance Media reported has unenrolled for the fall semester to take an Olympic redshirt to prepare for the 2020 Olympic trials, held in April at the Bryce Jordan Center. However, the article states he could still re-enroll for the spring.
The Nittany Lions will then go on the road for back-to-back weekends of challenging duals against Nebraska and Iowa, before hosting Maryland and new coach Alex Clemsen at home. Penn State will have two more tough roads trips to Wisconsin and Minnesota, before returning home to host Ohio State at the BJC. Penn State has won the past four meetings with the Buckeyes, including 2018’s thriller at Rec Hall where then-backup Anthony Cassar’s upset over Kollin Moore at 197 pounds gave the Nittany Lions the narrow victory.
Penn State fans will bid farewell to the seniors on Feb. 23 against American University.
The Big Ten tournament will be held March 7-8 at Rutgers, and NCAAs at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis March 19-21, when wrestling fans will see if they can sell out an NFL venue.
|Nov. 10||2 p.m.||vs. Navy|
|Nov. 17||10 a.m.||at Army-West Pointe Invite|
|Nov. 22||TBA||at Arizona State|
|Dec. 6||TBA||at Lehigh|
|Dec. 8||2 p.m.||vs. Penn|
|Jan. 10||TBA||vs. Illinois|
|Jan. 12||TBA||vs. Northwestern|
|Jan. 19||TBA||vs. Rutgers|
|Jan. 24||TBA||at Nebraska|
|Jan. 31||TBA||at Iowa|
|Feb. 2||TBA||vs. Maryland|
|Feb. 7||TBA||at Wisconsin|
|Feb. 9||TBA||at Minnesota|
|Feb. 15||TBA||vs. Ohio State (BJC)|
|Feb. 23||2 p.m.||vs. American|
|March 7-8||at Big Ten Championships|
|March 19-21||at NCAA Championships|