2024 Penn State vs Iowa Wrestling

2024 Iowa vs Penn State Wrestling Dual Preview & Predictions

2024 Iowa vs Penn State Wrestling Dual Preview & Predictions

A full preview with predictions for the wrestling dual meet between Iowa and Penn State on Friday, February 9 at 9:00 pm (ET).

Feb 8, 2024 by JD Rader
998. Iowa - Penn State Preview

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The top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions will travel to Iowa City on Friday, February 9th to take on rivals #3 Iowa. The dual is set to begin at 9:00 pm (ET) Big Ten Network. FloWrestling will also have a live blog with real-time updates. Before this premier dual goes down, check out a full preview with predictions for every match in the below article. 

Probable Lineups

125: #2 Braeden Davis, Penn State vs #6 Drake Ayala, Iowa

133: #5 Aaron Nagao, Penn State vs #25 Cullan Schriever/Brody Teske, Iowa

141: #1 Beau Bartlett, Penn State vs #2 Real Woods, Iowa

149: #12 Tyler Kasak/David Evans, Penn State vs #15 Caleb Rathjen/Victor Voinovich, Iowa

157: #1 Levi Haines, Penn State vs #5 Jared Franek, Iowa

165: #7 Mitchell Mesenbrink, Penn State vs #8 Michael Caliendo, Iowa

174: #1 Carter Starocci, Penn State vs #5 Patrick Kennedy/Gabe Arnold, Iowa

184: #7 Bernie Truax, Penn State vs Aiden Riggins/Gabe Arnold, Iowa

197: #1 Aaron Brooks, Penn State vs #12 Zach Glazier, Iowa

285: #1 Greg Kerkvliet, Penn State vs #28 Ben Kueter/Bradley Hill, Iowa


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While I've got Penn State winning this dual handily, there are a handful of interesting toss-up matches that will make things fun. This is Iowa - Penn State, so something crazy is bound to happen that we will talk about for a long time. Let's dive in!


125: #2 Braeden Davis vs #6 Drake Ayala

We’re going to get a real treat right out of the gate. Undefeated true freshman Braeden Davis vs formerly #1 Drake Ayala. Ayala has the experience advantage over Davis, but with a record of 14-0 with two high ranking common opponent wins over Ayala (#10 DeAugustino and #11 Kaylor), Davis is a slight favorite at least as far as rankings go. 

This will be a close match. Davis has passed every test so far in his college career, but this will be Davis’s biggest test yet. Can he pass? If Ayala can get to and finish his single leg, the answer is probably no. If Davis can score his strong double leg, the answer is probably yes.

Prediction: Ayala by decision

Dual Score Prediction: Iowa 3, Penn State 0


133: #5 Aaron Nagao vs #25 Cullan Schriever/Brody Teske

Iowa has gone with Cullan Schriever the past couple of duals, so my guess is they use him again on Friday. Either way, Aaron Nagao will be the favorite to win this match. Nagao will be looking to rebound after an upset loss to Nic Bouzakis of Ohio State last week. The Minnesota transfer is scrambly from neutral and tough on top with legs. If Schriever/Teske can avoid getting turned, they should at least keep it to a decision if not put themselves in position where a win is on the table.

Prediction: Nagao by decision

Dual Score: Iowa 3, Penn State 3


141: #1 Beau Bartlett vs #2 Real Woods

Potentially the match of the night. Real Woods won this match last year by a score of 4-1. He came out and got a single leg and ride out in the first period. Despite this, Beau Bartlett comes in ranked #1 as he is undefeated but Woods is coming off of the worst loss of his career to freshman Sergio Lemley, a wrestler Bartlett defeated 7-5 a couple of weeks ago. If Woods wrestles like he did last week, Bartlett will win. If he gets back to the dominant Woods of last season, he can win again. 

Listen to CP talk about the keys to victory in Woods vs Bartlett


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Prediction: Bartlett by decision

Dual Score: Penn State 6, Iowa 3


149: #12 Tyler Kasak/David Evans vs #15 Caleb Rathjen/Victor Voinovich, Iowa

If Tyler Kasak wrestles, he’s the favorite no matter who Iowa sends out. However, if Penn State decides to put out David Evans, like they in several duals, Caleb Rathjen becomes the favorite. I think we see Kasak vs Rathjen, though. This is a win for us fans as it is sure to be an exciting match. Kasak was a more highly touted recruit for a reason, but Rathjen has come a long way since Ankeny High School days, and I’m not counting him out. Rathjen should try and use the Carver-Hawkeye home crowd to his advantage against the true freshman.

Prediction: Kasak by decision

Dual Score: Penn State 9, Iowa 3


157: #1 Levi Haines vs #5 Jared Franek

While I expect a good amount of points on the board at 149, I think 157 is a one or two takedown match. Levi Haines is ranked #1 for a reason. A returning NCAA finalist, he’s undefeated on the season. He hasn’t gone without a couple of scares, however. He had a 10-8 match with Isaiah Crosby, a 7-6 tiebreaker match with Will Lewan, and maybe the wildest match of the year with a 7-6 tiebreaker win over Chase Saldate. While those were all close matches, Haines found a way to win. 

Prediction: Haines by decision

Dual Score: Penn State 12, Iowa 3


165: #7 Mitchell Mesenbrink vs #8 Michael Caliendo

Mitchell Mesenbrink is already a fan favorite in his first season for the Nittany Lions. He was kept to a decision for the first time against Ohio State last week outside of an 8-5 victory over teammate Terrell Barraclough and his first match of the season. Can Michael Caliendo withstand the pressure and offensive onslaught Mesenbrink brings to every match? Can he ride him from top? Caliendo is tough and tricky, but I’m not so sure.

Prediction: Mesenbrink by decision

Dual Score: Penn State 15, Iowa 3


174: #1 Carter Starocci vs #5 Patrick Kennedy/Gabe Arnold

I think Iowa puts out Patrick Kennedy at 174. He’s earned the starting position and shown to a solid option. That being said, Carter Starocci is the pound-for-pound #1 ranked wrestler in the country for a reason. He’s bigger, faster, stronger, and has a much better resume than Kennedy. True freshman Rocco Welsh kept it close against the 3X NCAA champion last week, but I’m not sure if Kennedy can stay in the hand fight and avoid taking shots/giving up go behinds.

Prediction: Starocci by major decision

Dual Score: Penn State 19, Iowa 3


184: #7 Bernie Truax vs Aiden Riggins/Gabe Arnold

Do we see Iowa’s true freshman Gabe Arnold? CP alluded to the fact that he might not be 100% healthy on FRL, but that could just be scuttlebutt rumors. If Arnold is close to healthy, I think Iowa should use him. Aiden Riggins is a tough homegrown Iowa kid, but just 7-8 and on the year. Arnold defeated #6 Will Feldkamp in the Iowa State dual. 

3X All-American Bernie Truax will be looking to get redemption after getting pinned against Ohio State last week. I’m taking that result with a slight grain of salt, however, as he was winning and looking good before getting thrown to his back. 

Even if Arnold wrestles, I’m still leaning Truax, but just by decision. If Riggins wrestles, this will likely be bonus for the Nittany Lions.

Prediction: Truax by decision

Dual Score: Penn State 22, Iowa 3


197: #1 Aaron Brooks vs #12 Zach Glazier

Who would have thought coming into the season that Zach Glazier would be undefeated at this point? Hand up, not me. It’s a testament to Glazier and the Iowa staff. He’s developed into a good division I wrestler. However, Aaron Brooks is an all-timer. A 3X NCAA champion he’s 10-0 with a 100% bonus rate this season. I don’t see that bonus rate dropping Friday night.

Prediction: Brooks by major

Dual Score: Penn State 26, Iowa 3


285: #1 Greg Kerkvliet vs #28 Ben Kueter/Bradley Hill

CP seems to think we see Ben Kueter in Carver on Friday.

Do I want to see it? Of course, but I’m not so sure. Kueter has only wrestled two matches this season. A 5-3 win over #31 Bennett Tabor and a pin over Jack Jessen. Greg Kerkvliet has looked AMAZING this season. The only people who have been able to keep it to a decision against Kerkvliet have been ranked #13, #7, and #6. And those haven’t been close bouts either. If Kueter goes out and wrestles well, he could be capable of keeping it to a decision, but winning? I doubt it at this point in his career. If Bradley Hill, who is 6-3 in duals this season, goes out, Kerkvliet’s likely capping off this dual with bonus points.

Prediction: Kerkvliet by major

Dual Score: Penn State 30, Iowa: 3