These Nittany Lions ravage opponents, slaughter everything in sight, then salt the land behind them. Hopefully you understand just how fortunate you are, casual wrestling fan, to enjoy the brutal hammerings Cael Sanderson's 2015/16 war machine administer to every single other squad that stands in front of them. This level of domination is a rare thing, in any sport, at any advanced level.
Penn State traveled this weekend to wrestle two ranked conference squads on the road, back to back. They were without 20% of their expected starting lineup. They curb stomped both opponents by a combined score of 76 to 11.
Seventy-six, to eleven. As a reminder, these were solid, conference opponents, not weaklings. Indiana and Purdue's combined record before getting slaughtered this weekend was a healthy 9-1.
Penn State won 17 of the 20 bouts wrestled - 13 by bonus. They won the takedown battle 58 to 9. On the season, Penn State owns the takedown stat: PSU 225, Opponents 32. That's eight opponents, six of whom are/were ranked. 225 to 32!
Amazing. Enjoy it, friends. Now, let's recap the obliteration.
No. 1 Penn State 42, Purdue 3
|WT||Penn State||Result||Purdue||Team Score|
|125||#4 Megaludis||TF 21-6||Thornton||PSU 5, PUR 0|
|133||#4 Conaway||DEC 8-3||Welch||PSU 8, PUR 0|
|141||Moss||MAJ 11-3||Sabatello||PSU 12, PUR 0|
|149||#1 Retherford||TF 17-1||Griffin||PSU 17, PUR 0|
|157||#3 Nolf||TF 21-5||Welch||PSU 22, PUR 0|
|165||Rasheed||WBF 1:56||#5 Welch||PSU 28, PUR 0|
|174||#1 Nickal||TF 16-1||Morrisey||PSU 33, PUR 0|
|184||Brill||DEC 11-7||Lynde||PSU 36, PUR 0|
|197||#1 McIntosh||WBF 1:33||Stein||PSU 42, PUR 0|
|285||Johnson||L, 4-7||Kral||PSU 42, PUR 3|
Takedowns: Penn State 31, Purdue 5
Two stories jump out of table above. First, sophomore Kade Moss stepped in at 141lbs for Jimmy Gulibon, and majored Danny Sabatello, who figures to be a podium threat this season. Moss pulled some tricks from his Greco background, and used a pair of throws to score two takedowns, and four near fall. He added another takedown late in the third period, and with riding time, scored the major decision, 11-3.
The other story, of course, was freshman Shakur Rasheed getting the nod at 165lbs for PSU, against Midlands Champ and #5 ranked Chad Welch. Rasheed does what we've come to expect - he came out swinging off the whistle. Rasheed scored on a double leg takedown in the first period, locked up a cradle, and boom went the dynamite. Technically speaking, the 165 spot in PSU's lineup is still up for grabs between Rasheed (did not place at Scuffle), Geno Morelli (5th), and Garett Hammond (7th) - and we'll probably see all three. But Rasheed looks like the best bet to score some points at NCAAs, with his ability to bonus good wrestlers in the consolations.
No. 1 Penn State 34, No. 20 Indiana 8
|WT||Penn State||Result||Purdue||Team Score|
|157||#3 Nolf||MAJ 21-8||Danishek||PSU 4, IU 0|
|165||Rasheed||MAJ 11-2||Martin||PSU 8, IU 0|
|174||#1 Nickal||L, 6-7||#11 Jackson||PSU 8, IU 2*|
|184||Van Cura||DEC 5-3||Irick||PSU 11, IU 2|
|197||#1 McIntosh||WBF 2:50||Masengale||PSU 17, IU 2|
|285||Johnson||LBF 5:35||Goldman||PSU 17, IU 8|
|125||#4 Megaludis||DEC 6-2||Oliver||PSU 20, IU 8|
|133||#4 Conaway||MAJ 14-3||Sheppard||PSU 24, IU 8|
|141||#13 Gulibon||MAJ 11-3||Weaver||PSU 28, IU 8|
|149||#1 Retherford||WBF 2:43||Blanton||PSU 34, IU 8|
*Indiana was penalized one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct during Jackson's upset win over Bo Nickal.
Takedowns: PSU 27, Indiana 4
Bo used his left underhook for a throw-by to score the first takedown. Then he was reversed by Jackson, and got caught attempting a throw while Jackson still had control, and gave up four near-fall. That put Bo in a 2-6 hole after the first period. Bo closed the score to 5-7 with about one minute remaining. He had a takedown awarded near the edge of the mat, but it was waived off and stayed that way after video review. Jackson was (finally) hit with a stalling point with about 0:25 seconds remaining, which made the score 6-7. Bo appeared to have another takedown in the final seconds, but it too wasn't awarded - match over.
Probably not the worst thing that could happen for young Bo this season. And when that's the only bad news from a weekend conference road trip, you take it. Also - quick shout out to frosh Devon Van Cura, who earned his first Penn State win at 184lbs. You might remember Devon from his match wrestling 285lbs against Wisconsin. No, he didn't lose 101lbs in the last 3.5 weeks. Took one for the team that night, and got his reward against IU Sunday. Congrats, Devon.