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Penn State Wins 2015 Southern Scuffle

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Penn State won its fifth straight Scuffle in impressive fashion.

Penn State entered the 2015 Southern Scuffle as an underdog.  Bracket seeding projected the Lions for a 4th place finish.  Instead, Penn State won its fifth straight Scuffle, and did so in a way that underscores the program transformation that Casey Cunningham and the Sanderson brothers have enacted.

Penn State, with 165 team points, outpaced second place Missouri (150) and third place Oklahoma State (135.5).  Mizzou and the Pokes both crowned three individual champions.  Penn State had none.  And if you're looking for a takeaway from this tournament, this is it.

Five years ago, Penn State tied Cornell with 151.5 team points to share its first Scuffle title.  That team accomplished the feat with three individual champs, but just six total placewinners.  This year, Penn State boasted 12 placewinners, even though two of its best wrestlers, Nico Megaludis and Zain Retherford, stayed home.

WT Wrestler Seed Finish
125 Jordan Conaway 3rd 7th
133 Jimmy Gulibon 1st 4th
141 Kade Moss 11th 6th
141 Mike Waters US DNP
149 Zach Beitz 6th 4th
149 Luke Frey 8th 5th
157 Jason Nolf 11th 2nd
157 Dylan Alton 5th 4th
157 Cody Law US DNP
165 Garett Hammond US DNP
174 Matt Brown 2nd 2nd
174 Bo Nickal 11th DNP
184 Matt McCutcheon 6th 4th
197 Morgan McIntosh 3rd 3rd
285 Jon Gingrich 6th 3rd
285 Nick Nevills US 6th
285 Nick Ruggear US DNP

Here are your links to team scores and weight class brackets.

Top Performers

157 Jason Nolf
Ch R2 DEC 10-4, Flournoy (Geo.Mason)
Ch R3 DEC 7-4, Realbuto (Cornell)
Ch Qtrs DEC 6-1, Gantt (NC State)
Ch Semi DEC 6-1, Parsons (Army)
Ch Final L, DEC 7-4, Green (Nebraska)

The future of Penn State Wrestling is awfully bright.  True freshman Nolf made an incredible run to the final, scoring impressive wins over former All-American and current national #4 Brian Realbuto, as well as #12 Russ Parsons.

184 Matt McCutcheon
Ch R2 DEC 10-4, Hall (UNC)
Ch R3 WBF 2:21, Suvak (UVA)
Ch Qtrs L, DEC 4-2, Brown (Lehigh)
Con R4 DEC 3-1, Studebaker (Nebraska)
Con Qtrs WDF 6:49, Dudley (Nebraska)
Con Semi DEC 9-8, Miklus (Mizzou)
Con Final L, DEC 4-0, Brown (Lehigh)

Mouse wrestled an outstanding tournament in a very tough bracket.  Lehigh's #3 Nate Brown is still a step ahead of him, but Mouse destroyed last year's Big Ten phenom TJ Dudley, physically breaking him, and gutted out a great victory with a closing seconds takedown against #9 Willie Miklus of Mizzou.

285 Nick Nevills
Ch R2 DEC 6-0, Kettler (Geo.Mason)
Ch R3 DEC 7-5, DeJournette (AppSt)
Ch Qtrs DEC 6-1, Shaw (Cleve.St)
Ch Semi L, MAJ 11-3, Marsden (Okie St)
Con Semi MFF

Nick's tournament was cut short by an ankle injury, though he'd wrestled well enough to finish 6th.  He'd been nursing the injury before the tournament, and clearly aggravated it badly in his semi-final lost to #4 Marsden.   Nick worked #19 Riley Shaw in the quarters, showing off an excellent snatch single, powerful ride, and ballerina feet.

285 Jon Gingrich
Ch R1 WBF 4:29, Hutchinson (AppSt)
Ch R2 MAJ 12-1, Famutimi (Cornell)
Ch R3 MAJ 12-3, Harms (Wyoming)
Ch Qtrs L, DEC 2-0, Coon (Michigan)
Con R4 DEC 9-5, DeJournette (AppSt)
Con Qtrs TF 15-0, Lytle (Kent St)
Con Semi W, MFF, Nevills (PSU)
Con Final DEC 3-2, Mellon (Mizzou)

Look at the points.  Except for his matches against Coon (end of Day 1) and Mellon (end of Day 2), where he looked tired, Jon fired shots and scored.  A lot.  It was his best tournament.

149 Zach Beitz
Ch R2 MAJ, 12-3, Adams (No.Colorado)
Ch R3 DEC, 7-1, Donahue (UNC)
Ch Qtrs WBF 6:35, Cimato (Drexel)
Ch Semis L, DEC 3-2, Houdashelt (Mizzou)
Con Semi DEC 2-1, Frey (PSU)
Con Final L, DEC 3-2, Bright (Pitt)

Zach's 4th place finish probably isn't what he wanted, but he wrestled very well.  He took Houdashelt down, but lost 3-2 on two escapes and a riding time point.  And in the consolation final, Bright got a takedown in the first off of a scramble, and didn't wrestle the rest of the match.  Zach's close.  Like everyone else, he has some things to work on.  But he ought to feel good about this one.

Everyone Else

125 Jordan Conaway
Ch R1 TF 17-1 Banduka (Geo Mason)
Ch R2 MAJ 9-1 Russell (Edinboro)
Ch R3 L, SV2 5-4 Willeford (Cleve.St)
Con R3 DEC, 5-0, Gromacki (Pitt)
Con R4 DEC, 8-6, Macri (Cornell)
Con Qtrs L, DEC 8-5, Lambert (Nebraska)
7th/8th DEC 10-4, Willeford (Cleve.St)

Jordan had a bad tournament.  He got hosed by a poor call in his round 3 loss to Cleveland State's Willeford, but it shouldn't have come down to that, as Jordan showed in the rematch for 7th.  Similarly, he can't be happy with his performance against Nebraska's #17 Lambert.  That one hurt not just for this tournament, but possibly for Big Tens, as well.

133 Jimmy Gulibon
Ch R2 MAJ 12-4, Templeman (WYO)
Ch R3 MAJ 13-1, Montoya (Nebraska)
Ch Qtrs DEC 7-2, Devoy (Drexel)
Ch Semis L, DEC 5-2, Hall (ISU)
Con Semis DEC 7-2, McGuire (Kent St)
Con Final L, 1-3SV, Beckman (Lehigh)

Jimmy was rolling, scoring bonus, and then suddenly he wasn't.  Iowa State's All-American Hall caught him flat footed twice, and stole away a win in the semifinals.  The overtime loss to #6 Beckman - what can you say about that.  You have to take Beckman down in the first or second period, and you have to do it on your own.  He's not going to shoot and set you up for a reshot, that's for sure.

141 Kade Moss
Ch R1 WBF 1:43, Dunphy (Cornell)
Ch R2 L, DEC 2-0, Longo (App St)
Con R2 DEC 6-2, David (Cornell)
Con R3 WBF 1:50, Pearce (Drexel)
Con R4 WDF 0:17, Estevez (Buffalo)
Con R5 WFF, Arujau (Cornell)
Con Qtrs WBF 4:18, Heil (Okie State)
Con Semi LBF 2:42, Horan (Cent. Mich.)
5th/6th L, DEC 8-5, Ward (UNC)

Kade far out wrestled his seed, and racked up some serious bonus points as well.  His fall over Oklahoma State's Dean Heil in the consolation quarters was his best win.  Add to that some nice single leg offense, which we hadn't seen much of to this point, and you have to be pretty pleased if your the Sandersons.  Kade's making good progress, and, from our perspective, sealed the starting spot at 141.

141 Mike Waters
Ch R1 L, MAJ 12-2, Cruz (Lehigh)
Con R1 BYE
Con R2 MAJ, 14-1, Isenhour (Geo.Mason)
Con R3 MAJ, 11-1, Ferraina (Drexel)
Con R4 L, DEC 10-6, Estevez (Buffalo)

Mike had a tough opening draw, facing Randy Cruz, whose been ranked this season.  He bounced back in the consolations, scoring some bonus point victories.

149 Luke Frey
Ch R1 WBF 3:56, Graves (Gard.Webb)
Ch R2 DEC 6-5, Elliott (Wyoming)
Ch R3 DEC 9-3, Arthur (Nebraska)
Ch Qtrs LBF 5:22, Kindig (Okie St)
Con R4 DEC 9-2, Oliver (Cent.Mich.)
Con Qtrs DEC 5-2, Heffernan (Cent.Mich.)
Con Semi L, DEC 2-1, Beitz (PSU)
5th/6th WBF 1:31, Berger (Nebraska)

So, you don't take down against Luke.  Luke had a very good tournament, scoring two falls, and an impressive 9-2 decision over Nebraska's (via Clarion) Justin Arthur, who finished one win shy of All-American last year.  He looked to be on his way to an upset of #2 Josh Kindig, but got slammed with the rarely called defensive pin.  I thought it was a crap call, but others said it was legit, and I couldn't argue since my Flo innernets feed performed with a strobe light effect.

157 Dylan Alton
Ch R2 DEC 4-0, Shepard (UNC)
Ch R3 DEC 3-1SV, Salazar (Michigan)
Ch Qtrs LBF 6:24, Walker (Citadel)
Con R4 WBF 1:17, Realbuto (Cornell)
Con Qtrs WBF 2:33, Collica (Okie St)
Con Semi DEC 5-4, Parsons (Army)
Con Final L, DEC 5-2, Gantt (NC State)

We saw "good" Dylan score falls over Cornell's #4 Realbuto and Oklahoma State's #19 Collica.  We saw him gut out tough wins over #12 Parsons, and Michigan's Salazar.  No, you didn't come away thinking Dylan could threaten to top of the podium here.  But, in his first action back from surgery, his 4th place finish was a very good start.

157 Cody Law
Ch R2 L, DEC 7-4, Eifert (Cornell)
Con R1 DEC 2-0, Maziarz (Buffalo)
Con R2 MAJ 10-2, Luty (Campbell)
Con R3 L, 2-1, Lavallee (Mizzou)

Cody had a decent tournament.  He couldn't solve Cornell's Eifert in the top half, but he scored two good victories in the wrestlebacks, including a major.

165 Garett Hammond
Ch R1 WBF 2:39, Hicks (Citadel)
Ch R2 DEC 4-3, Shanaman (Cornell)
Ch R3 L, MAJ 14-4, Dieringer (Okie St)
Con R3 L, 11-9SV, Ramos (UNC)

Another freshman, another learning experience.  Garett scored a big victory over Cornell's Shanaman, but ran into a hammer in Alex Dieringer the next round.  Unfortunately, he bounced to the wrestlebacks, and then out of the tournament, with a not-good overtime loss to UNC's Ramos in sudden victory.

174 Matt Brown
Ch R1 WBF 2:34, Wedholm (Army)
Ch R2 TF 18-3, Morris (Stanford)
Ch R3 MAJ 16-5, Bernstein (Navy)
Ch Qtrs DEC 11-6, Rogers (Okie St)
Ch Semis DEC 6-5, Wilps (Pitt)
Ch Final L, DEC 3-2, Kokesh (Nebraska)

Hulk Hands reached the final, but never got to his offense against #1 Kokesh.

174 Bo Nickal
Ch R1 MAJ 13-2, Ellingwood (Cent.Mich)
Ch R2 DEC 12-6, Radford (Citadel)
Ch R3 L, 4-3TB2, McCulley (Wyoming)
Con R3 MFF

Bo started on fire, scoring takedowns with the greatest of ease.  Then he injured himself in his match to Wyoming's McCulley (who finished 5th).  He finished the match, but medicaled out of the tournament.  He's gonna be a good one, though.

197 Morgan McIntosh
Ch R2 DEC 5-0, Scott (Cornell)
Ch R3 WBF 3:00, White (Nebraska)
Ch Qtrs DEC 7-4, Huntley (Michigan)
Ch Semis L, DEC 2-1, Cox (Mizzou)
Con Semi WBF 1:38, Bennett (Cornell)
Con Final DEC 4-3, Riddick (Lehigh)

Morg, like most of the nation, hasn't figured out J'Den Cox's ride just yet.  Cox brings shades of Tony Nelson with his top pressure, spiral ride of doom.  Beyond that, though, Morg turned in an excellent tournament, including a very tough, pressure filled ride out of Lehigh's Riddick for 3rd.

285 Nick Ruggear
Ch R1 DEC 8-2, Phillips (Cornell)
Ch R2 DEC 3-2, Butler (Stanford)
Ch R3 L, DEC 9-3, Jensen (Nebraska)
Con R3 L, DEC 5-3, Bexley (Citadel)

Ruggear opened with a very satisfying 8-2 thumping of Cornell's starter, Aiken-Phillips.  But a tight, tough loss to Citadel's Bexley ended his run.