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.
|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.
|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.
|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)|
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Ch R1||L, MAJ 12-2, Cruz (Lehigh)|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Ch R1||MAJ 13-2, Ellingwood (Cent.Mich)|
|Ch R2||DEC 12-6, Radford (Citadel)|
|Ch R3||L, 4-3TB2, McCulley (Wyoming)|
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.
|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.
|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.