The first truly heavyweight bout of the season will take place just one week past opening day. How incredible is it to see a dual this early when #1 ranked the University of Pitt-Johnstown will be taking on #3 ranked St. Cloud State University. The site for this early season test for both teams will be the 2019 Journeyman Northeast Duals on Saturday, November 9th. The returning national champion St. Cloud State Huskies will be making the trip to Troy, New York, to open their season. Pitt-Johnstown wrestled three duals last Saturday at the raucous home of Rutgers, The RAC, after visiting East Stroudsburg the night before. The Mountain Cats have won three of their first four tests and were all square with Rutgers after six matches before stumbling to finish the dual.
These teams feature 13 wrestlers ranked in the TOM top 16, including four number one ranked athletes. It will also be a battle between two well-balanced teams from an experience standpoint, the Mountain Cats have seven upperclassmen while the Huskies have five. Both sides will be starting true freshmen at one weight, as well. It will be the third meeting between the two teams since 2016, and, thus far, it has been lopsided in favor of St. Cloud State. The meetings have taken place at the NWCA National Dual tournament and the Huskies have outscored Pitt-Johnstown 67-13. There is no scenario where I see this dual continuing the trend of St. Cloud blowouts, but who knows what could happen if a team seizes momentum early and the dominos start to fall. A small storyline in this dual is Pitt-Johnstown coach Pat Pecora’s pursuit of the NCAA all-time dual wins record, I know he would love to add St. Cloud State to that win total.
Follow along as I look at each matchup, give you Wrestlestat’s prediction, and predict the match myself.