No. 2 Penn State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) went into Lincoln to take on No. 7 Nebraska (5-3, 0-3) and made hard work of it, ultimately winning 20-18 in a fantastic dual. This was an exciting matchup with a little bit of everything. Ultimately it required a big win at heavyweight by true freshman Seth Nevills to save the dual for the Nittany Lions. The largest crowd in Nebraska wrestling history, 5.960, was on hand to witness the fun.
|125 pounds||Alex Thomsen||Brandon Meredith||SV-1 3-1, Nebraska 3-0|
|133 pounds||No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young||No. 15 Ridge Lovett||Maj. Dec. 11-3, Penn State 4-3|
|141 pounds||No. 2 Nick Lee||No. 8 Chad Red||Maj. Dec. 9-1, Penn State 8-3|
|149 pounds||No. 14 Collin Purinton||Jarod Verkleeren||Fall (5:50), Nebraska 9-8|
|157 pounds||No. 11 Peyton Robb||Bo Pipher||Dec. 5-3, Nebraska 12-8|
|165 pounds||No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph||No. 5 Isaiah White||Dec. 5-1, Nebraska 12-11|
|174 pounds||No. 1 Mark Hall||No. 6 Mikey Labriola||Fall (6:52), Penn State 17-12|
|184 pounds||No. 8 Taylor Venz||No. 6 Aaron Brooks||Dec. 9-5, Penn State 17-15|
|197 pounds||No. 8 Eric Schultz||No. 19 Shakur Rasheed||Dec. 3-1, Nebraska 18-17|
|285 pounds||Seth Nevills||No. 15 Christian Lance||Dec. 4-0, Penn State 20-18|
Nevills came to the mat with the entire dual on the line and the true freshman delivered for Penn State. He won a 4-0 decision when the Lions needed him. No. 15 Christian Lance was unable to get the better of Nevills, who was able to use a second period rideout and third period takedown to win the dual. It was a really strong performance for the true freshman to announce his presence in the lineup.
Penn State's first win came from No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young, who nearly secured a fall late. He was effectively up 5-3 due to his riding time advantage in the third period when No. 15 Ridge Lovett took a shot and Bravo-Young locked in a cradle. He nearly had the fall, but was able to get the takedown plus four near-fall points to win an 11-3 major decision.
No. 2 Nick Lee showed just how far he has come since last season in his 9-1 major decision over No. 8 Chad Red. In high school, Red was the better wrestler of the pair, and last season, nearly had Lee beat at Rec Hall. What a difference a year made, as Lee completely smothered him. The only time Red earned an escape point was when Lee let him up as he was pushing for the major decision.
No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph also had a comfortable 5-1 decision victory over No. 5 Isaiah White. Joseph was the aggressor all match and forced White into a stall warning as he was wrestling from behind. Joseph will take on longtime nemesis No. 2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) next Friday.
The turning point for the dual came at 174 pounds when No. 1 Mark Hall got a late third period fall over No. 6 Mikey Labriola. Hall outwrestled Labriola for the entire match, but it was Hall's pursuit of bonus points that got him the fall. He was up 6-1 and going to cut Labriola, but locked in a cradle to secure six crucial team points for Penn State.
At 184 pounds, No. 6 Aaron Brooks lost a decision 9-5 to No. 8 Taylor Venz. Brooks was able to get deep on some shots, but did not finish well throughout the whole match. Venz' experience came into play as he was able to put Brooks in danger a few different times before securing takedowns. This is a match that Brooks can win if they wrestle again.
The biggest disappointment of the dual probably came at 149 pounds with Jarod Verkleeren. He was trailing 3-2 and pushing for a takedown in the third period, but ultimately got pinned.
At 197 pounds, it's more of the same from Shakur Rasheed as he lost 3-1 to No. 8 Eric Schultz. What is more concerning for Penn State is that Schultz was the one who controlled the action and Rasheed never got close to scoring a takedown. The questions about this weight will continue for Penn State with stud freshman Michael Beard waiting in the wings.
Brandon Meredith lost in sudden victory to Alex Thomsen 3-1, who controlled the pace throughout the match. No. 15 Peyton Robb beat 157-pound backup Bo Pipher as well.
Penn State returns to the mat on Friday, January 31, 2020 against No. 1 Iowa. We will have live coverage of the dual here at Roar Lions Roar.