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Wrestling Postview: #1 Penn State Destroys Michigan State 48-3

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After a hard-fought scrap with #4 Michigan on Friday, Penn State bussed up to Lansing to maul Sparty.

Nittany Lions celebrate 2016 National Championship
JP Pearson

Road trip!

Man, how fun was that Friday night dual at Michigan! Penn State formalized one bookend to its line of national champions by postponing 141-pounder Nick Lee’s redshirt to some future year. While at the other end, Southern Scuffle champion Shakur Rasheed continued to make his case to be that other bookend with a dominant win over a former All-American.

This Sunday’s dual, however....not as fun.

Michigan State’s been a Big Ten doormat the past few years, and their performance against Penn State showcased and confirmed that status with its 38th consecutive dual meet victory.

125 Rayvon Foley Dec. Devin Schnupp; Sparty 3-0

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Schnupp is still undersized, and seems to be a bit overmatched. He’s pretty close to being competitive, though, and just needs to be able to finish his shots - he’s always active (shocker for a PSU wrestler, right?) and doesn’t go down without a fight. But that can leave him vulnerable. His opponent on the day is last year’s Michigan state high school wrestling champ, and has had a pretty good true freshman campaign so far, though he was pinned by Friday’s Schnupp opponent, Mattin of Michigan. Foley’s wrestled a ton in tourneys this year, and that can only help him here.

Prediction: Foley by Decision

What Did Actually Happen:

Schnupp’s nose bled a lot and he fought hard, but he couldn’t quite generate the offensive points necessary to earn his first Big Ten W.

133 Corey Keener MDec. Matt Santos 12-2; PSU, 4-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Off the heels of a disappointing Scuffle, Keener came out flat on Friday, getting majored by Micic. Facing a top ten wrestler who’s gotten you previously isn’t easy, and this bounceback should give us an idea of where Keener will be the rest of the season. I’m betting the coaches get him ready to go on Sunday, and he comes up big.

Prediction: Keener by Major Decision

What Did Actually Happen:

Keener felt that his opponent was over-matched and behaved accordingly. He pushed the pace and earned the scores.

Cari, 2-0 in the quest for prediction perfection.

141 Nick Lee Tech. Fall Javier Gasca 16-1 (5:10); PSU 9-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

The official literature from PSU on this meet doesn’t list Nick Lee, but since he burned his redshirt on Friday, there’s a good bet that he’s the one to go against the Spartans. He’ll be up against last year’s Big Ten runner-up, the only ranked wrestler on MSU’s squad; Gasca isn’t having as great a redshirt senior campaign as previous, but he’s still sneaky good. This will be a great out for Lee, and I expect him to dominate from the start - and hopefully not let up as much later.

Prediction: Lee by Decision

What Did Actually Happen:

Lee got his takedowns, added four nearfall points at two different times, and continued to give hope that he can finish high on the podium in Cleveland in March.

Cari predicted a margin of victory at seven points or less; the final gap was 15. Cari, 2-1.

149 Zain Retherford WBF. Jwan Britton (4:08); PSU

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Friday is evidence - don’t make Zain mad. It’s true if you’re a top ten guy; it’s even more true if you’re unranked. It’ll be awesome for us here at BSD, but for you, it means...

Prediction: Zain by Pin

What Did Actually Happen:

Britton fought off his back twice. Jeff Byers quipped “and Britton will live to see period two.”

Which is where he did die.

Cari, 3-1.

157 Jason Nolf WBF. Jake Tucker (3:27); PSU 21-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

On Friday, Nolf wrestled his closest match in a few years; Pantaleo seemed to dictate the pace, and Nolf won by doing something we haven’t seen in a while - he rode out an entire period, when he’s used to playing catch and release. Tucker is his victim opponent after that close call, and I feel for the redshirt freshman - Jason will be out to make a statement.

Prediction: Nolf by Pin

What Did Actually Happen:

Nolf gave up the initial takedown, then scored seven of his own.

In the first period.

He added another one in the second period, confirmed his opponent was indeed fully gassed, locked up a near-side cradle, and provided the final result Cari accurately predicted.

Cari, 4-1.

165 Vincenzo Joseph WBF. Austin Hiles (2:48); PSU 27-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Oh me of little faith. Cenzo tried the patented inside trip that won him the match against Massa last year multiple times on Friday, to no avail - but then, when the Wolverine tried to get into a body lock situation, Joseph seemed to almost welcome the effort - before a six-point move that garnered him bonus points. Cenzo is the most unheralded of PSU’s murderers row, but he’s also in some ways the most fun to watch - he’s the wrestler that always seems to have so much joy out on the mat. He’s taken Cael’s mantra of having fun out there to heart, and it shows in his performance.

Prediction: Cenzo by Tech Fall

What Did Actually Happen:

Cenzo continued to look amazing. He had a cradle locked up but failed to get the pin early. Later he leveraged an arm bar that looked fairly benign into a nasty chin crank to turn Hiles over and finalize the first period pin.

Cari, 4-2.

174 Mark Hall Tech. Fall Logan Ritchie 19-4 (6:21); PSU 32-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Mark Hall’s gotta be disappointed by his Friday performance; it started out great, with him completely dominating Amine in nearly every fashion, but he seemed to let up as the match went on, and a narrow win adds to the sophomore’s resume. He’ll look to bounce back on Sunday, and if he tries that beautiful cement mixer against his Spartan foe (according to MSU, the wrestler that Cenzo doesn’t face), unlike Friday, it’ll stick.

Prediction: Hall by Pin

What Did Actually Happen:

Mark Hall scored a lot of points. Three takedowns and four nearfall points in the first period. And escape, a takedown and a long ride in the second. Then a reversal and two takedowns in the third to end the bout.

Cari, 4-3.

184 Bo Nickal WBF. Shwan Shadaia (2:02); PSU 38-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

In big matches, if there’s controversy with a PSU wrestler, odds are Bo Nickal is involved. Last year’s NCAA title match win over Gabe Dean featured many claims that PSU was the ref’s favorite, and this week’s match over Michigan’s Abounader was the same. Bo wrestled nowhere near his best, but was able to scramble through and win; even though the score wasn’t as close as others this year, it felt more in doubt. Whomever his opponent is in East Lansing, this one won’t come down to controversy; he’ll come out looking to beat his teammates in least amount of time on the mat. And this time, I think he’ll win again.

Prediction: Bo by Pin

What Did Actually Happen:

Bo by Pin.

Cari, 5-3.

197 Anthony Cassar MDec. Shwan Shadaia 16-3; PSU 42-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Shakur Rasheed made a case for being the starter on Friday after dominating a ranked foe in his first dual performance of the year. All accounts point to the Lions’ coaching staff splitting the starters at this weight, with Anthony Cassar getting the nod on Sunday versus Michigan State. Cassar should easily capture the victory, but not as high scoring; a more “traditional” 197er, the outcome won’t be in doubt, but I don’t see the backpoints being a factor. If Cassar gets bonus, it won’t be by much.

Prediction: Cassar by Decision

What Did Actually Happen:

With the pressure Shakur Rasheed is putting on with his own performances, Cassar’s got a real-world mandate to score more. The two have different styles, so he doesn’t need to wrestle differently per se, but he does have to figure out how to run up that scoreboard. He did achieve that today. Two first period takedowns, two second period takedowns, and capitalized on a sloppy knee shot from by Shadaia to earn four nearfall points on a third-period takedown.

Still, if you’re looking for gaps between Rasheed & Cassar, Cassar rather easily giving up on the pin opportunity there at the end could easily be one.

Cari, 5-4.

285 Nick Nevills WBF. Matt Lloyd (6:35); Penn State 48-3

What Cari Said Would Happen:

Adam Coon showed on Friday the gulf between the top two heavyweights and the rest of the field; Nevills didn’t help his cause much, but should get a bounceback match that puts him mentally in the driver’s seat the rest of the season. The only reason I’m not picking bonus here is I think his last few outings have kind of gotten into his head a little bit, and though it’ll be dominant, this one will be low-scoring.

Prediction: Nevills by Decision

What Did Actually Happen:

In this lineup of National Champions who perform at the top of their game match in and match out, Nick Nevills’ rusty looking bout ended up just the same as the others, with a fall.

Cari finished 10-0 in the W/L column, and 5-5 in Victory Margins.

The Takery

Understated woo.

Big thanks to BSD reader bubba0077 for scoring the dual in the live thread.

Sparty Wrestling is kinda sad, like in a genuine fanboy sense.

Let’s get those Buckeyes.