Penn State fell just short of a really great weekend beating Illinois on friday before tying Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. Penn State wrestled pretty tough this weekend for the most part. There were a few weights where Penn State really struggled, which is getting concerning this late in the year. But in most cases the fight was there that was missing against Iowa and in some of the previous wins.
There were also several missed opportunities for key team points that would have won the dual against Minnesota. The result was a little disappointing but outside of two matches 149 and 184 pretty much everything in this match was expected. And even in those two matches the outcomes were a possibility I just expected much more from two of Penn State's veterans. Which would have been a big win for the team.
Overall some solid wrestling by most of the team this weekend. But there is plenty of areas that could use some improvement. There's just one dual meet left in the season against Wisconsin this Friday. Once again a few of Penn State guys will be really challenged in this match, and it should be a good measuring stick to see where Penn State is heading to the post season. Follow after the break for the weight by weight break down.
Friday Penn State 23 Illinois 13
125: Nate Morgan wins 6 5
With Brad Pataky due to return time was running out for Nate Morgan to get some valuable experience, but he made the most of his final opportunity. Morgan as has been mentioned several times is a scrappy kid who wrestles hard and gives his all every match. It was great to see him finally break through and pick up a win, granted Arliss wasn't a big name, but credit Morgan for picking up the win. I really think he could develop into a key wrestler down the road for Penn State he definitely will benefit from some time in the weight room. This was extremely valuable experience for him. I was extremely happy to see him get a win, and he should hold his held high for how he wrestled for the team this year.
133: Andrew Long wins 9 6
This was a crazy match but a huge win for Long knocking off BJ Futrell. Long hit a huge five point move late in the 3rd period to win the match. But it was tight throughout, with both wrestlers getting off some tremendous shots. Futrell actually looked much better than I expected. Neither guy really wore down which is impressive for the pace this match was wrestled at. Good to see Long have enough left in the tank for the big win.
141: Jimmy Kennedy beats Andrew Alton 5 3
Alton wrestled another tough match against a top opponent but again fell short of picking up a big win. Alton went for his big headlock again but Kennedy had it scouted out and was able counter, as you would expect from a savvy veteran. Alton essentially lost this match on riding time, mat wrestling once again being his downfall. Alton was really pushing the pace at the end of the match which was good to see since Alton has had some stamina issue in some matches. That being said Alton really needs to start throwing in some leg attacks.
149: Frank Molinaro wins 5 0
Frank picked up a solid 5 point win against a fairly tough opponent. Some may have expected this match to be a little more lopsided but Terrazas is a tough wrestler. Frank really controlled this match from start to finish.
157: David Taylor wins by tech fall
This was probably the worst Taylor has wrestled all year, and yet he won by tech fall. Taylor looked unusually sloppy in the early going and gave up a few quick takedowns, give some credit to Morse who had a nice shot and went right after Taylor. After a rough start though Taylor did his usual thing and worked a few tilts and then got a few takedowns for the tech fall. At this point were just biding time until we get to see Taylor against the rest of the top 4 at nationals.
165: Conrad Polz beats Nick Fischer 10 5
This was certainly a disappointing match for Penn State. I really though Penn State should be able to hang with Polz but he basically dominated Fischer who was never in this match. Kemerer got the start on Sunday and was just as bad so I guess this weight is still up in the air.
174: Ed Ruth wins by fall
Ruth was wrestling a controlled laid back match that looked headed for a decision win, until he slapped on a far side cradle and brought things to a sudden end. Friedl is a decent wrestler so this is a really good win for Ruth. The cradle was a thing of beauty.
184: Tony Dallago beats Quentin Wright 8 7
This was a terribly sloppy match for Wright who has looked extremely bad of late. Wright did get some decent takedowns in this match but he was out of control on the mat, especially when giving up a late reversal. Some questioned the call but quite honestly it was a solid reversal, the only real problem with the call was that the ref waited to make the call until the last second instead of 5 seconds earlier when Dallago actually had the reversal. It was really poor wrestling by Quentin who knowing the situation should have known that he had to give up just an escape instead of the reversal in that situation.
197: Joe Barczak beats Nick Ruggear 15 6
This was another slightly disappointing result for Penn State. Obviously this weight is what it is for Penn State at this point, but it would have been nice to keep this one to a decision. As I've said before this weight is essentially just a loss for the season.
Hwt: Cameron Wade wins 5 0
Wade started off the dual and picked up a big win for Penn State to get things going. Wade wrestled well, especially since Walker basically just refused to wrestle for a large portion of the match. That being said it would have been nice to see Wade push the pace a little more earlier in the match.
Sunday Penn State 18 Minnesota 18
125: Zach Sanders beats Brad Pataky 10 8
Pataky may have lost this match but every fan should be really encouraged by what they saw. He was right there with the fifth ranked wrestler after not wrestling in a month. That really says something, about how hard Pataky has been working in the room. Brad showed a lot of hesitancy in the scrambles the two got into which may have cost him the match but that's somewhat understandable as he tests out that bum knee. You have to give Brad credit for wrestling with a ton of heart if nothing else. Brad was really pushing the pace at the end of the match and I think as long as that knee holds up he could make some noise in the post season the way he is wrestling right now.
133: Andrew Long wins 14 4
This match was certainly filled with plenty of drama as Thorn hit Long with a cheap shot after the 2nd period, which oddly the announcers seem to excuse as being aggressive wrestling, really dumb in this close of a match. The announcers also claimed Long looked flush and tired they must have been watching a different match than I saw. Long looked great in this match which was really competitive early despite the score. There was a lot of great action and Long eventually took control and really dominated the last two periods of the match.
141: Mike Thorn beats Andrew Alton 4 1
Alton once again fell short against one of the top guys in the weight class. Once again there just weren't enough leg attacks from Alton in this match. I would rather seem him lose worse at this point and go out and wrestle like he has nothing to lose which is basically the case. Alton reminds me a bit of Wright from his freshman year, Wright was very dependent on his over under ties and body locks. At the Big Tens he stunned Jay Borschel with a solid double leg that he rarely used all year. I'm hopeful that maybe we'll see something similar from Alton, because he does have some solid shots even if we rarely see them.
149: Frank Molinaro wins 6 5
Boy was this one ugly, this match was hopefully an anomaly for Frank, but it certainly put up a big red flag. I've mentioned several times in recent weeks I didn't think Frank looked a 100 percent but he was far from that this match. He seemed to take a timeout solely to gather himself, which drew the ire of J Robinson, but it paid off as he was luckily able to hold off Zilverberg. And boy was it lucky Zilverberg caught Frank flat footed with a misdirection single several times early in the match but then oddly went away from that late in the match. Like I said hopefully this was just one bad match for Frank because he'll need to be far better than this on Friday and in the post season. Click here for J Robinson's take on Molinaro's injury time out. It's about the fifth one down. He also has an extremely classy take on Pataky wrestling. What a jerk.
157: David Taylor wins by tech fall
This match had some truly horrid officiating. Mincey grabbed the mat to pull himself out of bounds, the ref looked right at it and said no no. When questioned about the call by Sanderson the ref flat out lied and said he didn't see it. In the end it didn't matter as Taylor went on to just absolutely pound Mincey. Taylor then clearly had a fall at the end of the match but the ref just refused to make the call.
165: Cody Yohn beats Jake Kemerer 8 0
This was expected but somewhat of a disappointment, I really though Kemerer could maybe keep this to a decision. And it would have been nice if he could have scored at least 1 point. I honestly don't think Fischer would have fared much better in this match, but one of those two really needs to step up.
174: Ed Ruth wins 12 5
Ah yes another 7 point decision win, and boy has this match caused a lot of anger from the fan base. I think it's a tad crazy to blame Ruth for the tie considering some of the other awful major decisions given up namely the two guys who bookended this performance. A lot of the message board chatter has been railing on Ruth's lackadaisical style costing him the major and the team. And quite frankly I'm getting sick of it, this kid almost as good as Taylor if not just as good. He has his style and should be allowed to wrestle it. What cost him the major was a combo of not smart wrestling and really poor coaching. Ruth was taking down Glasser with ease in this match and the coaches and Ruth decided to try and ride him with almost a minute left and with a stall call against him. Terrible terrible decision, I have no idea what they were thinking. Ruth should have gotten at least 1 more takedown for insurance. The odds of a rideout and not giving up a stall were slim and in the end it didn't happen and it cost Penn State the dual. But what's sad is in all that talk what was lost is that Ruth just completely dominated the kid ranked 12th in country. Pretty impressive.
184: Kevin Steinhaus hammers Quentin Wright 10 1
Boy was this a disappointing, Wright looked absolutely awful. I don't really think it's the shoulder at all anymore. Quite honestly I haven't for awhile, he's looked off all season but he seems to be getting progressively worse. Cody Sanderson had some interesting comments after the match which are included in the link above. Certainly sounds like Wright is going through some problems off the mat of some kind. Reminds me a lot of Vallimont's junior season when he just couldn't seem to get his head and heart into wrestling. It happens sometimes and it's a shame to see it happen to a talent like Quentin. Compounding the issue is that Penn State's title hopes could very well be riding on his shoulders at this point. He'll have a tough match on Friday but who knows maybe if he gets the big win it could the spark he needs.
197: Sonny Yohn beats Nick Ruggear 10 2
The back to back majors really hurt Penn State, but once it was announced that Yohn would wrestle for Minnesota this one was basically a foregone conclusion. Ruggear I guess was able to keep Penn State in by only getting majored if you're looking for positives.
Hwt: Cameron Wade wins 2 0
With the match on the line Wade came through with a big win in a wild bout. It wasn't the best bout ever and Wade again did nothing from neutral but he got the job done. The Minnesota fans may not have appreciated Wade's riding technique, but I didn't appreciate Nelson's ridiculous entrance so I'd say were even. Wade was able to ride Nelson the entire 3rd period which end up being the difference in the match and he showed some veteran savvy getting it done. That being said, Wade felt the need to pot shot Nelson in the back of the head at the end of the match. I don't know what that was all about but it was incredibly stupid. Being after the final buzzer it would have been well with in the right of the official to take a team point away from Penn State. Which seeing as how he seemed destined to cause them to lose I'm surprised he didn't. Also I should point out the announcers for this match were good but need to get off their high horse. When Long got hit in the mouth they chalked up to Long deserved because he was the instigator, which after watching several times I can say is not the case. They then turned and railed on Wade after the match which while it was uncalled for, call the action both ways. This is a big win for Wade he'll have another key match this weekend against Bugenhagen from Wisconsin. It's clear none of these heavyweights are too pretty but Wade just has to find a way to win ugly, and he's been doing that.