Some of the dominant Nittany Lions were matched up with Cornhuskers who didn’t fall far behind them in individual rankings. They were some of the best matchups these top-ranked Penn Staters have seen this year.
These matchups included, No. 3 Nick Suriano vs. No. 5 Tim Lambert, No. 12 Jimmy Gulibon vs. No. 13 Colton McCrystal, No. 1 Jason Nolf vs. No. 3 Tyler Berger and No. 2 Bo Nickal vs. No. 3 Tj Dudley.
The match began with an exciting 3-2 win at 125 for freshman Nick Suriano. After one escape, a high shot and a scramble gave Suriano the takedown advantage early in the second. No. 5 Tim Lambert was able to escape in the second and again in the third, but ran out of time to score and gave Suriano the win.
Nebraska won two in a row at 133 and 141 to take the lead. George Carpenter was still in for Jered Cortez at 133 and senior No. 12 Jimmy Gulibon dropped a big 12-5 match at 141. After Gulibon’s upset win and solid performance on Friday, the loss and point spread wasn’t what fans were expecting.
No. 1 Zain Retherford brought the Lions back to life with a major decision. No. 1 Jason Nolf and No. 5 Vincenzo Joseph followed with two more majors. Senior Geno Morelli kept the momentum going at 174 and won his bout with a riding time point, 2-1.
Sophomore No. 2 Bo Nickal faced the best competition he’s seen this year in the dual’s “marquee matchup”, No. 3 Tj Dudley. In his usual aggressive style, Nickal scored the first takedown in the first period and Dudley was able to escape. The Lion picked up an escape and another point on an illegal hold call in the second to make the score 4-1 going into the third. Dudley chose down to start the third and quickly escaped. Nickal on the prowl again, scored another takedown and cut Dudley loose to go for more. At the 1:10 mark, Nickal took an 8-3 lead after he lifted Dudley off the mat and slammed him for another takedown. He cut Dudley loose and took him down again for a 10-4 lead. With 20 seconds left, Nickal let him go again looking for the bonus-point win. The bout ended with a dominant 10-5 victory for Nickal.
Unfortunately, junior No. 11 Matt McCutcheon got caught in a roll attempt for an escape against Nebraska’s No. 7 Aaron Studebaker. The Cornhusker took advantage and got the pin at 6:01. Heavyweight freshman No. 5 Nick Nevills answered with a pin over No. 15 Collin Jensen to end the match.
Penn State moves to an overall record of 6-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. They return to Rec Hall Friday, Jan. 13 to host No. 11 Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a narrow 19-17 win over No. 12 Illinois. They have four starting wrestlers ranked in the top twenty according to Intermat rankings. The match will start at 7 p.m. will be aired on BTN.
BOUT BY BOUT:
125: PSU #3 Nick Suriano dec. NEB #5 Tim Lambert, 3-2
133: NEB #3 Eric Montoya tech fall PSU George Carpenter, 17-1 (TF; 5:56)
141: NEB #13 Colton McCrystal dec. PSU #12 Jimmy Gulibon, 12-5
149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford maj. dec. NEB Collin Purinton, 19-6
157: PSU #1 Jason Nolf maj. dec. NEB #3 Tyler Berger, 15-7
165: PSU #5 Vincenzo Joseph maj. dec. NEB Dustin Williams, 20-7
174: PSU Geno Morelli dec. NEB Michal Barnes, 2-1
184: PSU #2 Bo Nickal dec. NEB #3 TJ Dudley, 10-5
197: NEB #7 Aaron Studebaker pinned PSU #11 Matt McCutcheon, WBF (6:01)
285: PSU #5 Nick Nevills pinned NEB #15 Collin Jensen, WBF (6:01)