Penn State posts third Big Ten shutout of season, blanking sixth-ranked Illinois
Penn State rebounded from having a 20-dual win streak ended at Iowa on Friday by posting a Big Ten road dual shutout. Penn State won all 10 bouts in blanking No. 8 Illinois 37-0 in Champaign, its third Big Ten dual shutout of the year.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, pinned No. 5 Jesse Delgado to get Penn State off to a fast start. The Lion used a third period scramble to get the fall at the 6:45 mark. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway picked up yet another win against a top-10 opponent, rolling to a convincing 8-6 victory against No. 8 Daryl Thomas at 133. Senior Bryan Pearsall then posted a 2-0 win against Steven Gonzales at 141 and the Nittany Lions led 12-0 early.
Sophomore Andrew Alton, ranked No. 8 at 149, then posted a 6-3 win against Caleb Ervin. Brother Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, then hit Illini Matt Nora with four third-period takedowns to roll to a 14-6 major decision, putting the Nittany Lions up 19-0 at the midway point.
All-American David Taylor, ranked No. 2 at 165, then posted a strong 14-7 win against No. 8 Conrad Polz to keep the Lion hopes of a road shutout going. Sophomore Matt Brown, ranked No. 4 at 174, posted a 6-4 win against No. 8 Jordan Blanton at 174. All-American Ed Ruth, ranked No. 1 at 184, remained undefeated with a pin of No. 20 Tony Dallago, getting the fall less than a minute into the bout with a cradle at the 0:47 mark.
Senior All-American Quentin Wright, ranked No. 3 at 197, also stayed unbeaten, posting a tough 4-2 win against No. 13 Mario Gonzalez to put Penn State up 34-0 heading into the final bout. At 285, sophomore Jimmy Lawson secured the road shutout with a 9-4 win against Chris Lopez, posting the final dual score at 37-0.
The Nittany Lions improve to 9-1 on the year, 6-1 in the Big Ten. Illinois falls to 6-4, 2-4 in Big Ten action. Penn State, in addition to winning all 10 bouts, tallied seven bonus points off Ruth and Megaludis' pin and Dylan Alton's major. Penn State also won the takedown battle 20-4.
The shutout is Penn State's third in Big Ten action this year and its first road shut out of a Big Ten foe since blanking Wisconsin 43-0 in Madison last year on Jan. 15, 2012. The victory is Penn State's first ever at Illinois.