The Penn State wrestling team returns to action Sunday at 2 p.m. when they travel to take on Michigan State at Kellog Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. Sparty will have its hands full because the Lions are coming off a major victory, winning the Southern Scuffle outright, outpacing 3rd ranked Minnesota 191.5 to 177.5. After losing badly to Minnesota in a dual meet early in the year, Penn State bounced backed and used 4 champs and two other finalists for the Scuffle championship. The main difference was bonus points and Penn State pinned its way to a 14-point victory.
The most notable performance came from David Taylor whose 3 pins, 2 technical falls and one major landed him the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award and Big Ten wrestler of the week award. Taylor pinned No 10 Cody Yohn of Minnesota in the finals. Although impressive, Taylor’s performance was somewhat expected, he got a Tech fall against Yohn earlier this year, but Quentin Wright had a tough draw and still dominated going 5-0 with three pins while beating two ranked wrestlers including No. 4 Steve Bosak of Cornell in the finals by a 10-3 margin. If it was not for Taylor, Quentin would easily be the B1G wrestler of the week.
Frank Molinaro and Ed Ruth were Penn State’s other champions with Ruth beating teammate Matt Brown who had an amazing tournament beating two wrestlers ranked in the top 12. Penn State’s other finalist was Dylan Alton who lost a tough 3-0 decision to top-ranked Kyle Dake of Cornell.
Penn State ended the weekend with a 56-23 record overall among its 15 wrestlers, getting 18 pins, 9 tech falls and 11 majors. 38 of Penn State's 56 wins gave the Lions bonus points.
Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 B1G)
|125||# 10 Nico Megaludis||Eric Olanowski|
|133||Frank Martellotti||Brandon Fifield|
|141||Bryan Pearsall||Brian Gibbs|
|149||#1 Frank Molinaro||#18 Dan Osterman|
|157||#9 Dylan Alton||#14 Anthony Jones|
|165||#1 David Taylor||David Cheza|
|174||#2 Ed Ruth||Curran Jacobs|
|184||#3 Quentin Wright||Ian Hinton|
|197||#13 Morgan McIntosh||#16 Tyler Dickenson|
|285||#6 Cameron Wade||#11 Mike McClure|
Last season, Penn State won 7 of the 10 bouts for a 30-9 lopsided victory in Rec Hall. Penn State leads the series 15-9 including the last six in a row. Sparty’s last victory came in East Lansing in 2005.
By far the marquee matchup is #9 Dylan Alton against #14 Anthony Jones. Alton had a good run at the Scuffle and seems to have a bit more of bounce in his step especially on his feet. The loss to Dake was disappointing for Dylan I’m sure, but losing to the returning national champ by 3 points is nothing to be ashamed of for the redshirt freshman. Alton needs to keep the momentum going.
#13 Morgan McIntosh gets a stiff test in #16 Tyler Dickenson. McIntosh had a late reversal taken away from him in the Scuffle that would have given him the win against #4 Matt Powless of Indiana, and he lost his last three bouts to take 6th. I’m sure he’s not happy and will be looking for more.
Last season Wade had a disappointing bout losing to unranked Joe Rizqallah of MSU and he gets #11 Mike McClure this year, a considerable upgrade in talent. Wade had an up and down Scuffle pinning #5 Jeremy Johnson but then losing to an unattached wrestler in the 3rd place bout which means he probably lost to a backup.
Molinaro only had a regular decision over Dan Osterman last season. I use the term "only" in the sense that it was "only" a 7 point win (12-5). I expect to see more this season, Frank the Tank is cruising right now.
I don’t think I need to mention the fact that David Taylor is mowing through the field like a well-oiled John Deere garden tractor, but for MSU the three weights from 165 to 184 are going to be brutal. Sparty has all unranked wrestlers in Penn State’s wheelhouse. Taylor, Ruth, and Wright will be looking for pins and not just bonus points.
I think either Wade or McIntosh could drop a regular decision but other than that I don’t see MSU getting another win. Perhaps if Martellotti is a little rusty from lack of competition he could slip up but I highly doubt it. Penn State rolls in this one.
Penn State 36 – Michigan State 3