I took a bunch of grief for my forecast of this match last week. In my old age I’ve become of the mind that wrestlers are on the same team and non wrestlers are the (problem) other team. It’s impossible to know all the wrestlers out there and decide if I like them so I like rooting for styles: boys that are exciting and go big have always been my favorite. Penn State has a bunch of guys that fit this style. Other than the Suriano injury default the guy I overlooked was McCutcheon. I’ve seen him wrestle dozens of times and have talked with him on a few occasions. He might be the Rodney Dangerfield of the PSU team for me. He hasn’t figured out how to stay out of bad positions and stay healthy during college. He might be one of the least flashy PSU guys on the mat. He lost his starting sport to Bo Nickal earlier in the season and yet he’s adjusted to the adversity and moved forward. He’s the only guy that pulled a rankings upset yesterday. I talked with him after the Keystone Classic for some time; the mental strength he’s displayed to deal with this season is tremendous.
The biggest surprise in results for me was at 149. I thought that Retherford would be able to open it up. His attack style has changed up from last year, much less head pounding and more counter drags and go behinds. Retherford doesn’t strike me as a guy that is saving anything new for nationals. Are guys catching up to him? Either way as a fan I anticipate some compelling match ups over the next month. I’m one of those guys that like watching serious competition more than blowouts.
Nickal is just amazing. Wrestling definition of Bo Nickal=stone cold killer. I hope that he and Dean meet up and that it’s everything that it can be.
Nolf=Attack, while different than Nickal, is in his own right on a different level than everyone at his weigh class. Like a shark he just keeps hitting his victim until they are exhausted and its over.
Joseph opened it up from neutral more than I thought that he’d be able to. He’s so smooth and powerful from neutral that it can be deceiving. I have friends that can’t figure out why his shots can’t be stopped. They say he’s slow. They don’t know.
Heil vs Gulibon was much closer than I thought that it would be and leaves me with the same questions that Retherford vs. Collica did.
I thought that Nevills should have been able to open it up more versus White. Maybe it was just White’s late takedown that left me with that impression.
Is Hall big enough to win it all at 174? It seems that he’s having to dig deep to get wins over top guys. Like Nickal he can disguise a close match with a fall from lots of neutral positions. It’s fun as a wrestling fan to see his problem solving during a match.
The crazy thing about this PSU team is just how young they are. Nike used to push Michael Jordan as must see TV, well Penn State is must see wrestling. Take your friends, kids or wife to one of their matches next season.
You can see all the match for free on flo wrestling.
125: Nick Piccinini (OSU) Injury default Nick Suriano (PSU)
133: Kaid Brock (OSU) maj. dec. George Carpenter (PSU), 17-6
141: Dean Heil (OSU) dec. Jimmy Gulibon (PSU), 3-2
149: Zain Retherford (PSU) dec. Anthony Collica (OSU), 2-1
157: Jason Nolf (PSU) tech fall Joe Smith (OSU), 24-9
165: Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) maj. Chandler Rogers (OSU), 12-4
174: Mark Hall (PSU) dec. Kyle Crutchmer (OSU), 3-2
184: Bo Nickal (PSU) fall. Nolan Boyd (OSU), 0:38
197: Matt McCutcheon (PSU) dec. Preston Weigel (OSU), 4-3
285: Nick Nevills (PSU) dec. Derek White (OSU), 10-5