No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Torches Michigan State 37-10
While students packed into the Bryce Jordan Center for THON and rocked out to Andy Grammer at the other end of Curtin Road, Penn State wrestling steamrolled Michigan State 37-10 at Rec Hall in front of yet anther sold-out crowd.
184-pounder Francisco Bisono missed the dual, because he is dancing in THON this weekend. Without him, the Nittany Lions scored bonus points in the seven bouts they won, including five straight in the middle of the lineup.
How It Happenend
After starting last week’s dual off with a surge of momentum, Penn State stumbled out of the gates and trailed 7-0 after two bouts against Michigan State.
The dual began at 125 lbs. with Devin Schnupp facing the red-hot No. 7 RayVon Foley and dropping a 14-5 major decision. Foley’s win put the Spartans up 4-0 after one match. Filling in for No. 11 Roman Bravo-Young who was home in Arizona attending a funeral, Scott Stossel lost to Anthony Tutolo 4-1 at 133 lbs., digging the Nittany Lions into an early hole.
But, fresh off his upset over Joey McKenna, No. 2 Nick Lee got his team on the board with a dominant 19-7 win over Austin Eicher in a bout where he recorded eight takedowns. Lee’s win was the first of five straight by the Nittany Lions.
Jarod Verkleeren started over No. 11 Brady Berge for the fifth straight dual even after dropping his previous two bouts. Verkleeren bounced back with an 12-3 major decision against Jaden Enriquez to run his record this season up to 11-6 and give the Nittany Lions an 8-7 advantage.
The lead swelled to 14-7 at intermission after No. 1 Jason Nolf pinned Jake Tucker 50 seconds into the second period. Nolf had led 10-5 before pinning Tucker to record the 57th fall of his career.
No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph turned in nearly an identical match when wrestling resumed at 165 lbs. Joseph led Austin Hiles 10-2 after the first period before throwing him to his back 48 seconds into the second period, two ticks faster than Nolf was able to do so.
Joseph now has 11 falls this season, which has been a breakout year of sorts for him in terms of scoring bonus points. Before this season, the two-time national champion had only seven falls in his career. He surpassed that early in the Southern Scuffle on January 1. A more aggressive approach this year has led to a higher pin rate during his junior season.
No. 1 Mark Hall also added six points to Penn State’s team total, but he did so without pinning Drew Hughes. Instead, he won when Hughes was disqualified for stalling too many times.
Hall led 10-1 entering the third period when Hughes got flagged for stalling four times in the period. On the final call, Hughes’ fifth of the bout, and with Hall leading 14-1, the Spartan was forced to submit. His DQ helped Penn State extend its lead to 26-7.
The Spartans managed to break up the winning streak at 184 lbs. with No. 2 Shakur Rasheed out of the lineup for the second straight dual. With Bisono, who wrestled in place of Rasheed against Michigan, dancing in THON, Mason Manville made his third appearance at 184 lbs. this season. Manville, normally a 165-pounder, lost again while wrestling two weight classes up.
He trailed Cameron Caffey 5-1 entering the third period and launched a strong comeback attempt in the final frame but came up short with a 6-4 loss by decision.
No. 1 Bo Nickal got the Nittany Lions back on track in less than 35 seconds when he promptly pinned Brad Wilton at 197 lbs. Nickal made the team score 32-10, before Anthony Cassar rounded out the dual with a 21-6 technical fall win. Cassar beat up on Michigan State’s Chase Beard for more than six minutes before clinching the tech fall. He took Beard down eight times and added on four near fall points to blow out the Spartan heavyweight.
Penn State wrestling hits the road to visit Illinois Sunday at 2 p.m. The Nittany Lions will then return home for Senior Day and the final dual of the season against Buffalo on Sunday, February 24.
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