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WRESTLING RECAP: No. 1 Penn State Destroys No. 15 Wisconsin, 36-7

Behind a pair of pins and an early default, the Lions came out on fire to demolish an overmatched but ranked opponent in front of an electric BJC crowd.

Because this photo is fun.
Because this photo is fun.

The third Bryce Jordan Center dual meet, and the first of two on this season, saw the Nittany Lions take on conference foe Wisconsin for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. The Badgers were fresh off a somewhat surprising loss to Pitt, and had an even poor showing on Sunday--not that this fan (and most of the fans in the BJC) were complaining too much, unless you count the complains about the head zebra's seeming inability to whistle the start of action in less than 2 seconds, and therefore and overabundance of cautions given. You get a caution! And you get a caution! Sigh.

On to the recap...

WT No.1 Penn State Result No.15 Wisconsin Team Score
125 #4 Nico Megaludis MAJ 11-3 Johnny Jiminez PSU 4, Wisc 0
133 #8 Jordan Conaway FFT Forfeit PSU 10, Wisc 0
141 Kade Moss DEC 4-1 Luke Rowh PSU 13, Wisc 0
149 #1 Zain Retherford FALL 2:56 Ryan Lubeck PSU 19, Wisc 0
157 #3 Jason Nolf FALL 6:00 T J Ruschell PSU 25, Wisc 0
165 Geno Morelli L, DEC 5-4 #3 Isaac Jordan PSU 25, Wisc 3
174 #5 Bo Nickal MAJ 16-2 #16 Ricky Robertson PSU 29, Wisc 3
184 #13 Matt McCutcheon MAJ 14-1 Ryan Christensen PSU 33, Wisc 3
197 #1 Morgan McIntosh DEC 7-1 Eric Peissig PSU 36, Wisc 3
285 Devon Van Cura L, MAJ 10-0 Brock Horwath PSU 36, Wisc 7

125 LBS

#4 Nico Megaludis MAJ 11-3, Johnny Jiminez

Nico started off the action, and I use that term fairly losely--the two wrestlers circled each other for some time before Jiminez hit his head on the mat just shy of halfway through the first period, and concussion protocol saw him leave the arena for a bit. After the Badgers' training staff cleared him to wrestle, Nico chose bottom after the injury time and escaped to get the first points of the bout, and he got a takedown to end the first period. A quick escape and another takedown saw Nico end the second 6-0, and the third was much of the same; Jiminez escaped to start, and Nico took him down and let him up. The bout ended in a 11-3 major for the redshirt senior.

133 LBS

#8 Jordan Conaway win by FORFEIT

Not much to say about this weight, other than Taylor lost to Pitt's Dom Forys (who was ranked #19) in his first match back on Saturday 10-4--and they didn't bring him out. Conaway was on the cover of this dual meet's program, which seems somewhat prescient in hindsight.

141 LBS

Kade Moss DEC 4-1, Luke Rowh

With Jimmy Gulibon being held out again as a precaution from the injury sustained in last week's Nittany Lion Open, Kade Moss took on Wisconsin's starter--and looked pretty darn good in the process. Moss was able to hold off Rowh for the entire first period, with both wrestlers taking shots and neither converting; Kade escaped fairly quickly to start the second, and got a last second takedown to finish the second 3-0. He rode tough through much of the third and secured his riding time point before Rowh got his escape and held the Badger off, getting the upset, 4-1. The outcome of this one determined that the bloodbath was on.

149 LBS

#1 Zain Retherford FALL 2:56, Ryan Lubeck

As Zain was running up to the raised platform, I asked my mom if she wanted to bet how long it would take for Zain to pin his opponent. She said halfway through the second period. I said I thought it would be in the first period.

Thank you for making sure I was right, Zain.

157 LBS

#3 Jason Nolf FALL 6:00, T J Ruschell

Watching young Mr. Nolf wrestle, it is quite apparent that he simply gets takedowns at will--and he gets the takedowns until he gets his opponents in a position he thinks will be advantageous to pin his opponent. To Ruschell's credit, he was able to fight this off until halfway through the final period. To Nolf's credit, he was able to take Ruschell down and let him out--and still garner significant riding time before getting the fall. He is a super fun wrestler to watch, and taps my creative bounds when trying to describe watching him wrestle. Words just defy me when it comes to Jason Nolf. He's that kind of wrestler.

165 LBS - BSD Wrestler of the Meet

Geno Morelli  L, DEC 5-4, #3 Isaac Jordan

If he was writing this recap, Ben may have chosen one of the wrestlers who, you know, actually won their match. But my vote goes to Morelli, who beat both Shakur Rasheed and Garett Hammond at last week's NLO. Morelli took it to the #3 wrestler in the nation, returning Big Ten champ Jordan--and were it not for a literal last-second takedown by Jordan, would have won. He was pretty damn impressive all match, holding off what few shot attempts Jordan made in the first and going into the second at 0-0; Morelli chose down and Jordan reversed him, then Morelli got the escape to end the 2nd down 2-1. Most of the third was scoreless after Morelli quickly escaped; the BJC crowd absolutely ERUPTED when Geno got a late takedown of Ike, but he couldn't hold on and Jordan escaped. With less than a second left of the clock, as SWHA put it, Jordan realized he was a top-ranked wrestler and took Morelli down near the edge of the mat to secure the victory.

I'm pretty excited to see what Morelli can do in the future if this is his first meet wrestling attached for Penn State.

174 LBS

#5 Bo Nickal MAJ 16-2, #16 Ricky Robertson

Bo came out on fire with an early takedown and back points in the only matchup of two ranked opponents this weekend (though Robertson, after being defeated handily by an unranked Pitt wrestler on Saturday, likely won't stay that way). The second period saw Nickal slow down, with the only points his early escape. The rest of the match saw Robertson stall, and Nickal simply couldn't wrestle the way he wanted--which led to *only* a major decision for the other redshirt freshman on the squad--one point away from a tech.

184 LBS

#13 Matt McCutcheon MAJ 14-1, Ryan Christensen

You wouldn't have known that Mouse's first loss last week came because of an injury with the way he wrestled this week. He came out a bit slowly in the first, getting a quick takedown but riding Christensen tough--then getting impressive back points in the second before only letting up an escape in the third for the only points he gave up on the day. McCutcheon has become impressively solid all season, the Mouse we saw glimpses of all last season.

197 LBS

#1 Morgan McIntosh DEC 7-1, Eric Peissig

If Morgan's opponent doesn't wrestle him, this is the type of score you'll see. McIntosh spent much of the match trying to force Peissig to actually, you know, do what they were there to do--at one point, I actually screamed "DO SOMETHING" during this match--and the refs dinged Peissig for stalling. A very late TD by Morgan was the first period's only point, and Morgan's escape was the 2nd period's only point. He tried to get Peissig to get mobile, but when the refs won't call an escape as early as they should and the opponent won't do damn near anything, it's hard to get points.

285 LBS

Devon Van Cura L, MAJ 10-0, Brock Horwath

Van Cura is certified at 174 and 184, but weighed in at 194 before this match. His opponent weighed in at 275, so he only gave up roughly 80 pounds to him. Only.

The difference showed up very early, when Horwath took Van Cura down within seconds and got back points. Devon didn't give up the pin, though, and though he got warned for stalling, he was able to make it to through the match, and even took some shots--a fact not lost on the crowd, who was ecstatic, and gave Van Cura a standing ovation when the match was over. Keeping this to a simple major decision was an enormous feat.