Bucknell coach Dan Wirnsberger opened his post-match press conference by quoting former NFL coach Denny Green.
“They are who we thought they were,” Wirnsberger said with a laugh.
The Nittany Lions recorded 50 takedowns without Vincenzo Joseph in the lineup to the tune of a 42-3 win on Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,279 fans inside Sojka Pavilion.
“We knew what we were up against from the get go,” Wirnsberger went on to say. “We knew there were a couple matches that we thought we could get. One was 125 and it just didn’t go our way.”
Joseph didn’t even make the trip to Bucknell with the team. According to Penn State coach Cael Sanderson, Joseph said he wasn’t feeling well Friday.
“I’m not sure we will see him on Sunday or not,” Sanderson said.
The Nittany Lions sent Devin Schnupp out for the dual-opening match at 125.
Schnupp recorded the first takedown of the match with 1:45 left in the first period. Schnupp tacked on one more in the third period and earned his first dual-meet victory for Penn State.
“I think Devin just has to realize he is good,” Sanderson said. “He’s got all of those qualities you need to be successful, and that’s going to come from him having success. A win like that is great for him.”
Roman Bravo-Young and Nick Lee followed Schnupp’s victory with a takedown clinic.
Bravo-Young had nine in his 20-7 major decision win. He recorded three in each period.
Lee started his 141-pound match with three takedowns in the first period to jump out to a 6-2 lead. He went on to add three more, amassed 4:23 in riding time and secured a 15-5 win. Penn State led 11-0 after three bouts.
Brady Berge made his debut in the Nittany Lions’ dual lineup after seemingly winning the starting spot at the Keystone Classic two weeks ago.
“Any time you can go out and compete is a great feeling,” Berge said. “I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity that I got. I wanted to compete hard and I did.”
The redshirt freshman tallied a team-high 11 takedowns but it was the manner in which he got those points.
Berge opened by rattling off four takedowns and racing to a 9-3 lead after one period. He led 14-5 after two periods thanks to an escape and two more takedowns. He just didn’t seem he was going to quit scoring points.
Berge rolled up five more takedowns in the third period and finished with a 25-10 technical fall in 6:21.
“I thought Brady wrestled really well,” Sanderson said. “This was his first dual meet, and that also means a one-hour weigh in and all those fun things. As the match was going on, he was getting stronger, which is always a good sign. I was really happy with Brady.”
Bucknell’s Zach Hartman picked up one of the Bison’s three takedowns in his match with Jason Nolf. It just fired Nolf up to pin Hartman in 3:49. The Nittany Lions led 22-0 at the break.
Over the second-half of the dual, Penn State saw Shakur Rasheed and Anthony Cassar secure pins, and Mark Hall and Bo Nickal continue the takedown parade.
Hall amassed nine takedowns in a 20-7 win at 174 pounds. Rasheed hit his trademark cross-face cradle 16 seconds into the match and earned the pin 15 seconds later.
Nickal recorded four third-period takedowns of his seven total in a 16-6 rout at 197 pounds. Cassar hit a blast-double leg takedown on Brandon Stokes and pinned him in 32 seconds to finish off the match.
“We’ve got a good group of guys. They like to compete and score a lot of points,” Sanderson said. “Obviously, twos count up a lot slower than fours, but they kept wrestling. Really with no exception, all of our guys wrestled for seven minutes and that’s what we like to see.”
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No. 1 Penn State 42, Bucknell 3
Friday at Lewisburg
125: Devin Schnupp, PSU, dec. Geo Barzona, 5-2
133: Roman Bravo-Young, PSU, major dec. David Campbell, 20-7
141: No. 4 Nick Lee, PSU, major dec. Matthew Kolonia, 15-5
149: No. 13 Brady Berge, PSU, tech. fall Joey Schiele, 25-10 (6:21)
157: No. 1 Jason Nolf, PSU, pinned Zach Hartman, 3:49
165: D.J. Hollingshead, B, dec. Bo Pipher, 10-5
174: No. 2 Mark Hall, PSU, major dec. Nick Stephani, 20-7
184: No. 4 Shakur Rasheed, PSU, pinned Kyle Inlander, :31
197: No. 1 Bo Nickal, PSU, major dec. Drew Phipps, 16-6
285: No. 5 Anthony Cassar, PSU, pinned Brandon Stokes, :32
Takedowns: PSU 50, Bucknell 3
Records: Penn State 2-0, Bucknell 2-2
Next match: No. 8 Lehigh at No. 1 Penn State, Sunday, 1:30 p.m.