Top-ranked Penn State downs No. 9 Ohio State in front of sold-out crowd
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 1 Penn State (13-0, 8-0 B1G) used relentless offensive tempo to roll to a win over No. 9 Ohio State (9-3, 6-2 B1G) in front of a sold out Bryce Jordan Center crowd on Friday night. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won six of ten bouts to cruise to the 24-14 victory.
The announced crowd of 15,983 is the second largest crowd in Penn State history (15,996 vs. Pitt on 12/8/13) and the third largest in NCAA history (behind that dual and Iowa's 42,287 held in Kinnick Stadium this year on 12/13/15). Penn State has now wrestled in front of 30 of 31 sell-outs at home, including three of four in the BJC (and 27 straight in Rec Hall).
The dual began at 125 where senior Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 4, met No. 1 Nathan Tomasello. The duo battled evenly for nearly seven minutes before Tomasello notched a last-second takedown to grab a 3-1 win. Senior Jordan Conaway, ranked No. 5 at 133, tied the dual at 3-3 with a strong 8-4 win over No. 10 Johnni DiJulius, roaring back from a first period deficit to post the win.
Junior Jimmy Gulibon, ranked No. 14 at 141, battled No. 4 Micah Jordan tough before dropping a close 6-3 decision, giving OSU a 6-3 lead. Sophomore Zain Retherford, ranked No. 1 at 149, then made short work of Ohio State's Sal Marandino with a first period pin at the 2:31 mark to put the Lions up 9-6. Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, then handled No. 11 Jake Ryan to the tune of a 19-6 major to give Penn State a 13-6 lead at intermission.
Junior Geno Morelli got the call at 165 and nearly upset No. 2 Bo Jordan. Jordan used a third period takedown to grab a hard-fought 3-2 win and cut Penn State's lead to 13-9. Red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 174, used a dominating 10-point third period to roll to an 11-5 win over No. 14 Myles Martin, putting Penn State up 16-9.
Sophomore Matt McCutcheon, ranked No. 9 at 184, controlled No. 13 Kenny Courts for seven minutes, shutting the Buckeye out 4-0 and using a full third period ride-out to total 2:03 in riding time. Senior Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 1 at 197, then put up eleven takedowns in a 24-9 tech fall over Josh Fox at the 7:00 mark. At 285, freshman Jan Johnson dropped a tough 24-9 tech fall to No. 2 Kyle Snyder. Penn State rolled to the 24-14 victory to remain unbeaten on the year.
The Nittany Lions are now 13-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten, while Ohio State falls to 9-3, 6-2 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions dominated the dual's pace, totaling a 26-15 takedown edge. Penn State picked up bonus points off a pin (Retherford), a tech fall (McIntosh) and a major (Nolf). The Nittany Lions now own an 18-12 edge in the all-time series with Ohio State.