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Wrestling Recap: Penn State Shucks Off Huskers’ Challenge

Nick Nevills’ pin caps a solid PSU performance

Bo Nickal

The Penn State wrestling team traveled to Lincoln and soundly disposed of the Huskers, 27-14, in its second B1G dual of the season.

The dual started at 125 pounds, where third-ranked freshman Nick Suriano topped No. 7 Tim Lambert 3-2. Suriano was the aggressor for most of the match and the score is probably a bit flattering for Lambert.

At 133, Nebraska’s Eric Montoya, ranked No. 3 in the country, won by technical fall over PSU backup George Carpenter by a score of 17-1 at 5:56. At 141, the much-maligned Jimmy Gulibon fell 12-5 to No. 13 Colton McCrystal.

Top-ranked Zain Retherford earned just a 19-6 major decision over Nebraska’s Colin Purinton after the referee decided he would refuse to hit Purinton for stalling despite the freshman’s inability to work up from bottom or move forward from neutral.

At 157, we had one of the dual’s marquee matchups as No. 1 Jason Nolf took on No. 3 Tyler Berger. While Berger closed the gap from last year, Nolf still rolled to a 15-7 major decision on the back of seven takedowns.

Cenzo Joseph kept the momentum rolling for PSU at 165. Joseph, ranked No. 8 by FloWrestling, earned a 20-7 major decision over Huskers’ freshman Dustin Williams and looked to have Williams stuck mid-way through the final period.

Geno Morelli put in a strong third-period ride to earn a 2-1 victory over the Huskers’ Micah Barnes. Barnes, like Purinton, was lucky to avoid conceding a stalling point as he refused to shoot for much of the match.

The meet’s second marquee matchup was at 184 pounds where No. 2 Bo Nickal took on third-ranked TJ Dudley, a returning national finalist. Nickal cruised, racking up four takedowns to earn a 10-5 decision and cementing himself as the lone wrestler who appears capable of dethroning Cornell’s Gabe Dean.

Fifth-ranked Matt McCutcheon had a bit of a slip up at 197. After falling behind 2-1 through two periods, McCutcheon chose down against No. 8 Aaron Studebaker. Studebaker proceeded to hit Cutch with a filthy spladle and pick up the fall at 6:01 mark.

Nick Nevills put the cherry on top for PSU at 285. Nevills, ranked No. 6, was already leading 4-1 in the third period when he reversed 14th-ranked Collin Jensen and flattened him out to earn the fall at 6:01.

OW: Bo Nickal gets the nod for today’s outstanding wrestler. Many felt Dudley would be a stern test for Nickal, up this year from 174. Bo proved otherwise as he casually got to the legs of Dudley time-and-again in a virtuoso performance. Dudley is likely the highest ranked wrestler Nickal will face before possibly getting a shot at Dean in March. He passed this test with flying colors.

Penn State 27, Nebraska 14

125: No. 3 Nick Suriano (PSU) dec. No. 7 Tim Lambert, 3-2. / 3-0

133: No: 3 Eric Montoya (NEB) TF. George Carpenter, 17-1 (5:56). / 3-5

141. No. 13 Colton McCrystal (NEB) dec. Jimmy Gulibon 12-5. / 3-8

149. No. 1 Zain Retherford (PSU) MD. Colin Purinton, 19-6. / 7-8

157. No. 1 Jason Nolf (PSU) MD. No. 3 Tyler Berger, 15-7. / 11-8

165. No. 8 Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) MD. Dustin Williams, 20-7. / 15-8

174. Geno Morelli (PSU) dec. Micah Barnes 2-1. / 18-8

184. No. 2 Bo Nickal (PSU) dec. No. 3 TJ Dudley 10-5. / 21-8

197. No. 8 Aaron Studebaker (NEB) WBF. No. 5 Matt McCutcheon, 6:01. / 21-14

285. No. 6 Nick Nevills (PSU) WBF. No. 14 Collin Jensen, 6:01 / 27-14