On Friday night, Penn State burned Mark Hall’s redshirt.
Iowa’s Alex Meyer didn’t care. He used a late takedown in the third period to ruin Hall’s debut in a 7-5 win at 174 pounds.
In the end, though, the No. 2 Nittany Lions still got the 26-11 win over No. 3 Iowa inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in front of 14,311 fans.
Hall scored the bout’s first takedown but Meyer battled back to tie the match at 3-3 after two periods. In the third period, Meyer held a 4-3 lead after an escape. Hall went back out front with a slick duck under. Meyer again escaped to tie the match at 5-5 and got the takedown with 15 seconds to go in the match.
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Meyer’s win pulled the Hawkeyes within 12-11 and the crowd came alive.
Iowa’s momentum was short lived.
No. 2 Bo Nickal came out and silenced the crowd with a pin of No. 5 Sammy Brooks, who is the reigning Big Ten champion, in 37 seconds.
Nickal finished the roll over in a spladle for the win.
“I’ve been doing it since I was little,” Nickal said on the Big Ten Network. “It’s just the way it went. I guess its a good thing. It was fun coming in here and competing with my teammates.”
Penn State closed out the dual with two victories.
Matt McCutcheon had to wrestle 11 minutes to earn his 8-7 win over Cash Wilcke. McCutcheon got the victory thanks to riding time criteria after the pair went through two sets of sudden victory periods and ride out periods.
Nick Nevills sewed up the dual with a 21-6 technical fall of Steve Holloway. Nevills was set to wrestle No. 8 Sam Stoll, but prior to the match Iowa announced that Stoll was out for the season with a torn ACL.
The match started at 125 pounds with No. 1 Thomas Gilman of Iowa handing No. 3 Nick Suriano his first collegiate loss in a 3-2 decision. Iowa went up 8-0 after No. 3 Cory Clark’s technical fall over George Carpenter at 133 pounds.
Things turned in Penn State’s favor after three straight wins, giving the Nittany Lions a 9-8 lead at the break.
Jimmy Gulibon used a four-takedown third period to earn an 8-6 win at 141 pounds. No. 1 Zain Retherford got his closest match ever with No. 3 Brandon Sorensen. Retherford topped Sorensen in their previous two matches — the Big Ten finals (4-1) and the NCAA finals (10-0). The pair had to go through ride out periods until Retherford was the 9-8 winner.
No. 1 Jason Nolf of Penn State handed No. 2 Michael Kemerer his first loss of the season 9-4.
After the break, Vincenzo Joseph kept things rolling for the Nittany Lions. He tallied three takedowns in the first period and held off Joey Gunther 7-4.