No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Fends Off No. 16 Minnesota 35-8
No. 2 Penn State was as tested as it has been all season, but the Nittany Lions emerged with their first statement win of the season Friday evening, a 35-8 rout of No. 16 Minnesota, in front of yet anther soldout Rec Hall crowd, clad in white. After winning the dual’s first six bouts, the Nittany Lions stormed out to a 25-0 lead, thanks to a pair of pins from Bo Nickal and Shakur Rasheed and some tight contests at some of the Golden Gophers’ better weights.
How It Happened
The dual started at 157 lbs. and Penn State got out to an early 4-0 lead when No. 1 Jason Nolf majored No. 18 Jake Short 19-5. After Short kept the bout close through the first five minutes, Nolf turned a 10-4 lead into a 19-5 win with a period more fit for his standards. He outscored Short 9-1 in the third period, falling just short of a technical fall.
No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph outlasted No. 7 Nick Wanzek for a hard-fought 3-1 decision win. A first period takedown ended up making all the difference for Joseph, who led 3-0 heading in the third period before Wanzek escaped.
No. 2 Mark Hall tacked on another three points with a strong 10-3 decision win against Chris Pfarr. Although he didn’t score bonus points, Hall demonstrated his persistence and agility on top by totaling more than two minutes of riding time.
The Nittany Lions returned to their usual dominant form when No. 1 Bo Nickal pinned No. 19 Owen Webster early in the third period. No. 10 Shakur Rasheed once again got the nod at 197 lbs. and made yet another strong impression. He pinned Brandon Krone 55 seconds into the bout.
Following halftime, No. 8 Nick Nevills handed Penn State a 25-0 lead following a 2-0 win over Rylee Streifel. After a scoreless first period, Nevills escaped in the second period and added on a point with 1:33 of riding time.
The Golden Gophers got on the board with No. 6 Ethan Lizak’s 15-0 technical fall win over Devin Schnupp. Although he is 1-13, Schnupp has only lost fourth bouts by bonus points this season. No. 12 Mitch McKee cut a bit further into the Nittany Lions’ lead with a 15-8 win over Corey Keener. McKee led 11-0 after two periods, but a furious comeback from Keener in the third period prevented him from allowing bonus points, which he has only done once this season.
Before No. 1 Zain Retherford finished the dual out with a forfeit win at 149 lbs., No. 7 Nick Lee concluded the action with more bonus points, a 13-3 major decision over No. 10 Tommy Thornton.
Wrestler of the Dual
Shakur Rasheed, Redshirt Junior, 197 lbs.
Every dual, Rasheed seems to make a stronger and stronger case for why he should compete at 197 lbs. His quick pin blew up the dual score to 22-0, burying the Golden Gophers.
The Nittany Lions hit the road this weekend to visit former standout Nick Suriano and Rutgers Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.