The Nittany Lions claimed eight out of ten bouts and switched up starters in three weight classes.
The first switch came at 141 with sophomore Kade Moss jogging up to the mat in place of usual 141 competitor junior No. 6 Jimmy Gulibon. Moss scored an escape early in the second period, countered one of Luke Rowh’s shots for a takedown and worked for a riding time point to take the 4-1 win.
Following Moss came two of Penn State’s powerhouse wrestlers- sophomore No. 1 Zain Retherford at 149 and redshirt freshman No. 3 Jason Nolf at 157.
Retherford quickly took control on top in his matchup with Wisconsin’s Ryan Lubeck. With a takedown already on the board, Retherford turned Lubeck for four near fall points to lead the Badger 6-0 at 1:00. Retherford continued to press and got the pin at 2:56 sending the crowd to its feet.
Next up, Nolf faced Wisconsin’s TJ Ruschell and finished shot after shot after shot to end the second period with a score of 14-5. Ruschell chose down to start the third. Nolf quickly rolled under him for a reversal and gained control of his arm. Nolf turned the Badger to his back and secured the fall at 6:00. The BJC roared with excitement from the back-to-back pin performances. This was Retherford’s fourth pin this season and Nolf’s sixth.
At 165, junior Geno Morelli stepped up in place of regular 165-wrestler, Shakur Rasheed. Morelli faced the No. 3 Badger, Isaac Jordan. In high hopes of an underdog win, the crowd continued off of the adrenaline rush from the Retherford and Nolf bouts. The first period ended scoreless and Jordan chose down to start the second. He rolled for a reversal and Morelli quickly escaped. The two battled evenly for the rest of the second and Morelli chose down to start the third. He escaped to tie the score 2-2 and Jordan began to shoot. Morelli avoid two low shots as the clock ticked down to :30. The Nittany Lion scored a low single for two and led the bout 4-2 with :20 left. Jordan escaped and went after Morelli. With the final seconds ticking down, the Nittany Lion tried to scramble out of bounds but Jordan was able to finish a final takedown with :01 left and Wisconsin took the 4-5 win.
Penn State’s overall record is now 5-0, 1-0 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions travel to New Jersey to face Rider on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. The Comcast Network will provide live coverage of the match.
BOUT BY BOUT:
125: PSU #4 Nico Megaludis maj. dec. WIS Johnny Jimenez, 11-3
133: PSU #8 Jordan Conaway win by forfeit
141: PSU Kade Moss dec. WIS Luke Rowh, 4-1
149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford pinned WIS Ryan Lubeck, WBF (2:56)
157: PSU #3 Jason Nolf pinned WIS TJ Ruschell, WBF (6:00)
165: WIS #3 Isaac Jordan dec. PSU Geno Morelli, 5-4
174: PSU #5 Bo Nickal maj. dec. #16 Ricky Robertson WIS, 16-2
184: PSU #13 Matt McCutcheon maj. dec. Ryan Christensen WIS, 14-1
197: PSU #1 Morgan McIntosh dec. WIS Eric Peissig, 7-1
285: WIS Brock Horwath maj. dec. PSU Devon Van Cura, 10-0