Photo of Ed Ruth of Penn State pinning Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State at 184 lbs. courtesy of GoPSUSports.com
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Oklahoma State had hope with three bouts to go. However, Ed Ruth and Morgan McIntosh quickly squashed them as second-ranked Penn State beat No. 7 Oklahoma State, 23-12, on Sunday in front of another packed house at Rec Hall.
Chris Perry beat Matt Brown in a marathon, two-tiebreaker bout at 174 pounds to put the visitors up 12-9. But Ruth put the reigning national champions back in front with a third-period cradle, pinning OSU rookie Nolan Boyd at 184 pounds.
McIntosh, coming off his victory over Minnesota's Scott Schiller last weekend, then had little trouble with rookie Kyle Crutchmer, who has seen the mat at 174, 184, and 197 pounds this season. McIntosh's 14-5 major decision put the hosts up seven and wrapped up PSU's first dual win over Oklahoma State since 2007.
Sunday marked the Cowboys' first trip to State College since 1996.
"I think coming in it was probably 5-5," said PSU head coach Cael Sanderson, whose squad improved to 14-1 with only Clarion remaining on the dual schedule. "They won some close matches that we obviously would have liked to have won. But (OSU) is a good team. These guys did a great job."
Ruth, now 24-1 this season and 126-3 for his career, locked up at least four cradles through the first five minutes but was unable to put Boyd away. He spent a good part of the bout standing on his head trying to flip Boyd over. Eventually, Sunday's opponent became career pin-victim number 44.
"My head was starting to hurt so I really pulled hard so I could stop being on my head," said the always-entertaining Ruth.
The teams split the first six matches, all resulting in regular decisions. From 125 through 174 each squad had seven takedowns. Over the deciding final three bouts, PSU totaled thirteen takedowns, while OSU did not record one.
All-American Nico Megaludis (22-2) trailed Eddie Klimara 4-1 after one period, but stormed back with four takedowns over the next four minutes to win 11-7 at 125 pounds. OSU tied the dual with a 2-0 Jon Morrison (21-1) decision of Jimmy Gulibon at 133 pounds. Gulibon rode out the second period, but Morrison, an All-American last March, scored with a first period double-leg to provide the only points of the bout.
Zain Retherford (25-0) won a battle of freshmen at 141 pounds, beating Anthony Collica, 2-0. A second-period rideout and a third-period escape were the only points registered. Again the visitors battled back, getting a 5-3 win by Josh Kindig (17-7) over Zack Beitz at 149 pounds. A key third period takedown broke open a 3-2 match.
At 157 pounds, All-American Alex Dieringer (24-1) trailed Dylan Alton after an initial takedown, but the sophomore turned a double-leg attack into a bear hug and four points to take a 5-3 lead after three minutes. The two traded escapes in the second and third periods, and Dieringer picked up a 6-4 victory to give the Cowboys a 9-6 advantage.
PSU senior David Taylor (25-0) scored a season-low five points in beating three-time All-American Tyler Caldwell, 5-2, at 165 pounds. Post-match, most wondered if Taylor, who is now 125-3 for his career, was 100 percent.
Sanderson pointed out that Caldwell, who lost in the NCAA finals to Jordan Burroughs as a sophomore, is a possible NCAA finals opponent and a quality opponent. He also added, "Taylor will have his pop back in March."
Perry (22-1) scored a takedown after a wild flurry in the first period, but was dinged for stalling twice over the next two periods. A scoreless overtime and two 30-second rideouts sent the two NCAA finalists from 2013 to another extra session where Perry rode out his 30-second tiebreaker and escaped early in the second to win 4-3. It put the Cowboys (9-4) up 12-9, but Penn State had too much the rest of the way.
After Ruth and McIntosh took care of the scoreboard, Jon Gingrich (20-5) fashioned the final score with a 14-5 major decision over backup Ethan Driver at 285 pounds.
"Missing a couple of guys is tough," said Smith. "We needed to win six matches (to beat Penn State) and we had a couple of opportunities but I don't think we did enough to win those matches. There is a lot of parity in college wrestling right now; we've seen that this season and I think we will continue to see that."
#2 Penn State 23, #7 Oklahoma State 12
February 16, 2014 – Rec Hall – University Park, Pa.
125: #2 Nico Megaludis PSU dec. #13 Eddie Klimara OKST, 11-7
133: #4 Jon Morrison OKST dec. #16 Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 2-0
141: #2 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #19 Anthony Collica OKST, 2-0
149: #9 Josh Kindig OKST dec. #17 Zack Beitz PSU, 5-3
157: #3 Alex Dieringer OKST dec. #6 Dylan Alton PSU, 6-4
165: #1 David Taylor PSU dec. #5 Tyler Caldwell OKST, 5-2
174: #2 Chris Perry OKST dec. (TB2) #4 Matt Brown PSU, 4-3 (TB2)
184: #2 Ed Ruth PSU pinned Nolan Boyd OKST, 5:41
197: #3 Morgan McIntosh PSU maj. dec. Kyle Crutchmer OKST, 16-2
285: Jon Gingrich PSU maj. dec. Ethan Driver OKST, 14-5
Attendance: 6,571 (18th straight home sell out)
Records: Penn State 14-1, 7-1 B1G; Oklahoma State 9-5