No.1 Penn State clinches share of Big Ten regular season title with 32-9 win over Michigan
By Pat Donghia Penn State Sports Information
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team handled No. 11 Michigan 32-9 in a Super Bowl Sunday showdown live on the Big Ten Network Sunday, in a battle between the conference’s final two unbeaten teams. By virtue of the win, Penn State clinched at least a share of the 2014 Big Ten regular season title, riding three straight technical falls to a lop-sided win. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s crew won eight of ten bouts in the victory.
With two-time All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, not making the weekend trip due to illness, sophomore Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) got the nod at 125 and controlled Conor Youtsey for a strong 9-4 win. 16th-ranked Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) then silenced a raucous sell-out crowd with a strong 9-0 major over Rossi Bruno at 133. True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 141, remained unbeaten with a dominating 7-1 win over Steve Dutton, rolling up 2:20 in riding time in the process and putting Penn State up 10-0
At 149, junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) nearly pulled off an upset of No. 8 Eric Grajales. Alton bolted out to an 8-5 lead and led by two late. But a last second Grajales takedown ended with a Michigan fall at the 6:56 mark, briefly cutting into Penn State’s lead. But All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 157, responded in fine fashion with a thrilling 3-1 (SV2) decision over No. 14 Brian Murphy, sending Penn State into halftime with a 13-6 lead.
After intermission, three-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, posted yet another impressive win over a top-ten opponent, rolling through No. 6 Dan Yates on his way to a 17-2 tech fall at the 5:13 mark. All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, posted a tech fall of his own, notching a 21-6 win at the 5:35 mark over UM’s Collin Zeerip. At 184, three-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 3 nationally, made it three straight tech falls, rolling to a 17-2 win over Domenic Abounader at the 5:39 mark to put Penn State up 28-6.
Sixth-ranked sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) continued the bonus point parade at 197, majoring Chris Heald 17-1. Junior Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) nearly upset No. 2 Adam Coon, but the Wolverine heavyweight fought off a late Gingrich shot to escape with a 2-1 win. Still, the Lions’ eight wins led to a 32-9 victory and kept Penn State unbeaten on the year.
Penn State won the takedown battle with a 31-5 edge. Taylor improves to 23-0 on the year with 11 pins, seven tech falls and five majors. He his 123-3 all-time, seventh on Penn State’s career wins list. He moves to 31-0 in Big Ten duals and is 52-0 all-time against Big Ten competition. Ruth is now 22-1 on the year with eight pins, eight tech falls and six majors. He is 124-3 on the year, fifth all-time at Penn State. Ruth improves to 31-0 in Big Ten duals and is 53-0 all-time against Big Ten competition.
Retherford remains unbeaten on the year with a 23-0 record, including four pins, two tech falls and seven majors. Dylan Alton is also unbeaten at 15-0 with three pins and a major. Brown moves to 23-1 with six pins, four tech falls and seven majors while McIntosh improves to 22-2 with four pins and ten majors.
Penn State is now 13-0 on the year, 7-0 in Big Ten duals, clinching at least a share of the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) crown. Michigan moves to 9-3, 5-1 B1G. The Nittany Lions continue a three-game Big Ten road swing when they trek to Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 9, for a 2 p.m. (Eastern) match-up with No. 3 Minnesota. The dual will also air live on the Big Ten Network.
With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the remaining Rec Hall duals. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#1 Penn State 32, #11 Michigan 9
February 2, 2014 – Ann Arbor, Mich.
125: Jordan Conaway PSU dec. Conor Youtsey MICH, 9-4 – 3-0
133: #16 Jimmy Gulibon PSU maj. dec. #17 Rossi Bruno MICH, 9-0 – 7-0
141: #2 Zain Retherford PSU dec. Steve Dutton MICH, 7-1 – 10-0
149: #8 Eric Grajales MICH pinned Andrew Alton PSU, WBF (6:56) – 10-6
157: #12 Dylan Alton PSU dec. #14 Brian Murphy MICH, 3-1 (SV2) – 13-6
165: #1 David Taylor PSU tech fall #6 Dan Yates MICH, 17-2 (TF; 5:13)– 18-6
174: #3 Matt Brown PSU tech fall Collin Zeerip MICH, 21-6 (TF; 5:35) – 23-6
184: #3 Ed Ruth PSU tech fall Domenic Abounader MICH, 17-2 (TF; 5:39)– 28-6
197: #6 Morgan McIntosh PSU maj. dec. Chris Heald MICH, 17-7 – 32-6
285: #2 Adam Coon MICH dec. Jon Gingrich PSU, 2-1 – 32-9
Records: Penn State 13-0, 7-0 B1G; Michigan 9-3, 5-1 B1G
Up Next for Penn State: at No. 3 Minnesota, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m. (Eastern)/1 p.m. (Central)