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Wrestling Wreport: Penn State lumbers to a victory over MSU

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Bryan Pearsall was one of the few bright spots today with a 2nd period pin
Bryan Pearsall was one of the few bright spots today with a 2nd period pin

It’s not often that you consider a 36-6 whitewash victory as somewhat disappointing. Penn State out-wrestled Michigan State by a margin of 25-5 in takedowns and the only points they gave up were a fluke disqualification. If not for those 6 points Penn State would have shut out Sparty, but nonetheless this was a laxidasical win. The team seemed listless and Michigan State was the aggressor. I’m not sure if it was a letdown after the Southern Scuffle or Penn State looking ahead but the Lions will have to wrestle better and have more focus this month especially when Iowa comes to town in two weeks.

Wt. Penn State vs Opponent PSU MSU Team PSU Team MSU
285 #6 Cameron Wade Steve Andrus 8 3 3 0
125 #10 Nico Megaludis Eric Olanowski Disqualified 3 6
133 Frank Martellotti Brandon Fifield 7 5 6 6
141 Bryan Pearsall Brian Gibbs 9 0 12 6
149 #1 Frank Molinaro #18 Dan Osterman 9 2 15 6
157 #9 Dylan Alton #14 Anthony Jones 1 0 18 6
165 #1 David Taylor David Cheza 13 5 22 6
174 #2 Ed Ruth Curran Jacobs Tec fall 27 6
184 #3 Quentin Wright John Rizqallah Fall 33 6
197 #13 Morgan McIntosh Nick McDiarmid 7 5 36 6

285: the dual started off at Heavyweight and the roller coaster ride that is Cameron Wade took a drop with Wade winning by a 8-3 decision. Why a drop you ask? With #11 Mike McClure out of the lineup, Sparty sent out Nick McDiarmid. Wade jumped out early but by the 3rd was hit for stalling twice and gave up a takedown. Despite the final score, Wade didn’t wrestle well at all.

125: probably the most controversial bout of the afternoon, Nico had an 8-4 lead and was looking for bonus points when he threw Olanowski and was called for an illegal arm throw. Olanowski was not able to continue and since the move that injured him was illegal it disqualified Megaludis and gave MSU 6 points. Nico was emotionally distraught which tells me it was by no means intentional, and he argued his point to the ref, but the ref was very sure of the call so it goes as a loss for Megaludis. Simply a tough break.

133: Frank Martellotti made his Penn State debut for this season after coming off academic ineligibility and we’ll chalk this match up to rust. He and Brandon Fifield battled a hard-fought bout that ended in a 7-4 Martellotti decision he won with a riding time point. This match was close all the way to the end.

141: probably Penn State’s best performance came from Bryan Pearsall who pinned MSU’s Brian Gibbs. Pearsall turned Gibbs with two cradles and was ahead by a score of 9-0 at the time of the fall (4:21).

149: the way Molinaro has been wrestling, he’s set the bar high but this was a sleepwalk. Frank gave up the first takedown but battled his way to a 9-2 victory with 2:13 in riding time. Normally this would have been an easy major decision for Tank but not so today.

157: the marquee matchup of the day was also the biggest snoozer. Unlike most of his teammates Anthony Jones wrestled tentative, afraid of giving up the big move and waltzed his way to a 1-0 loss. The only scoring came in the 3rd with an Alton escape. The first two periods went scoreless when Jones took neutral to start the 2nd. Alton got a stall call late in the third but that was about it for this bout.

165: David Taylor is still showing signs of the injury he sustained in the Scuffle. He was visibly holding his ribs after flurries but he still managed a 13-5 major decision. He gave up 2 reversals and couldn’t finish shots that he normally does but he did manage 2:17 in riding.

174: Ed Ruth was the other Nittany Lion to wrestle to his potential. Ruth was the aggressor early, getting a stall call, throwing Jacobs to his back for a five point move and winning by tech fall in 6:33.

184: when does a pin look bad? When you give up counter takedowns, get thrown on your back and look generally sloppy. Wright took Rizqallah down and put him on his back for a 5-point move in the first, only to be given the same treatment with the 1st period ending in a 6-6 tie. After a ho-hum 2nd, Rizqallah chose top, got reversed and Wright threw him on his back for a fall. A win… sure, but a sloppy one nonetheless.

197: Just like Wade, McIntosh was supposed to take on #16 Tyler Dickenson but got his backup. And just like Wade, Morgan slogged to an uninspired 7-5 decision. The bout was tied 4-4 at the end of the 2nd but McIntosh sealed the deal in the third with a takedown and riding time point (1:25 advantage).


Like I said, it’s tough to call a match that was almost a sweep "disappointing" but when you are the defending national champs going against a team that only wrestles two ranked guys, you expect better. I don’t want to take anything away from Michigan State, they came out firing and were not afraid of PSU’s lofting rankings. They deserve a lot of credit, but Penn State will have to wrestle much better against the rest of their schedule.

Up Next: Penn State travels to Evanston to take on Northwestern Friday January 13th at 8:00 PM.

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