ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Penn State (13-0, 7-0) won eight of 10 bouts and ran off three straight technical falls in the upper weights on Sunday to hand No. 11 Michigan (9-3, 5-1) a 32-9 loss at Cliff Keen Arena.
David Taylor, Matt Brown and Ed Ruth dominated their Michigan counterparts to help Penn State sinch up at least a share of the Big Ten regular season championship with three duals to go.
“That’s exciting. You just don’t see this very often,” Penn State assistant coach Casey Cunningham told the Penn State Radio Network. “We’ve got two real special guys there in David and Ed that are seniors. You don’t see guys like that very often. We’re very fortunate and I think our fans understand that it’s pretty unique what they’re seeing right now.”
Taylor and Ruth finished off a weekend that saw them both notch a pin and technical fall. Starting the dual after intermission at 165 pounds, Taylor dominated No. 6 Dan Yates 17-2 in 5:13 while Ruth added a 17-2 win over No. 20 Domenic Abounader in 5:39 at 184 pounds. In between at 174 pounds, Brown added his second technical fall of the weekend. He did so at a relentless pace, needing just 5:35 to beat Collin Zeerip 21-6.
Sophomore Morgan McIntosh capped off a solid weekend with his second straight bonus-point win at 197 when he beat Chris Heald 17-7.
Taylor, Brown and Ruth have earned the nickname “Murderers Row” for their combined dominance over the last two seasons in the lineup together. Against Michigan and Michigan State over the weekend, the threesome combined for 32 of a possible 38 match points. Recently, McIntosh has approached their levels of offensive output.
“I would add Morgan McIntosh to that now,” Cunningham said. “Look where he’s at. Look at the progress he’s made. So it’s not just three anymore it’s four and when Dylan gets rolling it’s five.”
Dylan Alton gutted out a 3-1 win over No. 14 Brian Murphy at 157 pounds. Alton hit the lone takedown of the match with 33 seconds left.
Jordan Conaway (125), No. 16 Jimmy Gulibon (133) and Zain Retherford (141) added wins for Penn State.
Conaway, filling in for Nico Megaludis (illness) at 125, started the dual with a 9-4 win over Conor Youtsey.
Gulibon added a bonus point with a 9-0 major over Rossi Bruno at 133 pounds. Gulibon picked up two takedowns, a second-period tilt and 2:48 of riding time to give Penn State a 7-0 start.
“You see what he’s capable of,” Cunningham said. “The kid’s a talent. He’s tough. He’s good.”
Retherford put together strong rides to overpower No. 13 Steve Dutton 7-1 at 141. Retherford’s win staked Penn State a 10-0 lead before Michigan struck back.
The Wolverines did so in a chaotic match at 149 where Penn State’s Andrew Alton met No. 7 Eric Grajales.
Alton burst off the opening whistle to secure the opening takedown and the first period was all Alton who led 8-2. But Grajales escaped to begin the second and worked for a takedown of his own. The match, which was held up by three replay reviews that all resulted in changed calls by referee Michael Chase, turned in the third period.
Grajales took advantage of an exhausted Alton with two takedowns and two stalling points. With the bout tied 12-12, Grajales drove Alton to his back at the edge of the mat and got the fall at 6:56. Cunningham didn’t want to comment too much on what the loss meant for Alton’s future as Penn State’s 149-pound starter this season.
Redshirt freshman Zack Beitz has performed well at 149 pounds this season.
“We saw a lot of good things out of him early in that match,” Cunningham said. “But you’ve got to be able to finish matches. That’s something we’ll work on as a staff.”
Michigan picked up its second win of the dual when No. 2 Adam Coon picked up a 2-1 win over Jon Gingrich.