LINCOLN, Neb. — The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) hammered home-standing No. 7 Nebraska (7-1, 1-1 B1G) for its second Big Ten road victory of the weekend. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad won seven of 10 bouts to roll to the 27-14 win.
The dual meet featured a Nittany Lion lineup with six underclassmen and a Husker lineup with six seniors in it. Penn State’s seven wins included three majors and a pin as well as sophomore Bo Nickal’s dominant win over TJ Dudley at 184.
Nevills pins Jensen at 6:01 mark! Lions win 27-14, 7 of 10 matches! more to come! #PSUwr— pennstateWREST (@pennstateWREST) January 8, 2017
The dual began at 125. True freshman Nick Suriano, ranked No. 3, used a second period takedown to beat No. 5 Tim Lambert, giving Penn State an early 3-0 lead. At 133, sophomore George Carpenter took to the mat for No. 13 Jered Cortez and suffered a 17-1 technical fall to No. 3 Eric Montoya. Nebraska’s Colton McCrystal, ranked No. 13, used a first period flurry to down senior Jimmy Gulibon, ranked No. 12 at 141, 12-5 and put the Huskers up 8-3.
Junior Zain Retherford, ranked No. 1 at 149, dominated Collin Purinton, posting a 19-6 major and staying unbeaten on the year. Sophomore Jason Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, majored No. 3 Tyler Berger, dominating action from start to finish on his way to a 15-7 major and putting Penn State up 11-8 at the midway point. Nolf tallied a 6-1 takedown edge in the match.
Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph, ranked No. 5 at 165, majored Nebraska’s Dustin Williams 20-7, for the Lions’ third straight bonus point win. Senior Geno Morelli once again got the call at 174 and continued to impress with a 2-1 victory over Nebraska senior Micah Barnes. Morelli’s win gave Penn State an 18-8 lead.
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Sophomore Bo Nickal, ranked No. 2 at 184, then downed No. 3 Dudley 10-5, rolling up four takedowns to none for the Husker senior. Nebraska got a win at 197 where No. 7 Aaron Studebaker pinned Lion junior Matt McCutcheon, ranked No. 11, at the 6:01 mark. Sophomore Nick Nevills, ranked No. 5 at 285, put an exclamation point on the road win by pinning No. 15 Collin Jensen at the 6:01 mark to give the Nittany Lions the final 27-14 victory.
The Nittany Lions dominated the dual from start to finish, rolling up a 24-8 takedown advantage in winning seven of ten bouts. Penn State picked up six bonus points off a pin (Nevills) and three majors (Retherford, Nolf, Joseph). Penn State’s Big Ten road weekend was successful with the Nittany Lions winning 15 of 20 bouts and outscoring the No. 9 (Minnesota) and No. 6 (Nebraska) teams in the country 60-20.
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Retherford has now won 46 straight matches dating back to the end of the 13-14 season. He is 11-0 with nine pins, a tech and a major. Nolf is 10-1 with seven pins, a major and three techs. Nickal is 10-0 with eight pins and a major this season. Nevills and Suriano both remain unbeaten with 10-0 records as well. Nevills now has four pins and a tech fall this year.
The Nittany Lions are now 6-0 on the year, 2-0 in the Big Ten, and have won 23 straight duals dating back to the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Nebraska falls to 7-1, 1-1 B1G.