Fun and exciting.
Penn State coach Cael Sanderson has used those two words all season to describe his team.
The No. 1 Nittany Lions were a little bit of both on Friday night in their 42-3 punishing of No. 19 Purdue.
“Everybody on the team has a good attitude and that attitude is contagious,” Penn State’s Kade Moss said to the Penn State Sports Network. “We all want to go out and score a lot of points and have fun doing it.”
Needless to say, Penn State had a lot of fun at the expense of the Boilermakers. Shakur Rasheed sprinkled in a little bit of that excitement.
The redshirt freshman continued his dominance of ranked wrestlers. In the highlight match of the night and a match Purdue fans thought was a lock win, Rasheed tangled with the Boilermakers’ Chad Welch. Welch came into the match ranked No. 5 nationally with a 19-2 record. After the match, Welch was 19-3.
Rasheed collected an early takedown and slowly worked his way into a cradle of Welch. Rasheed settled in and rolled Welch over for the first period at 1:56. Rasheed earned his fourth win of the year over a ranked wrestler, and the Nittany Lions led 28-0 at that point.
Rasheed was a co-Ernie Lucas Award winner, given to the outstanding wrestler in an away meet.
The match started at 125 pounds with Nico Megaludis using eight takedowns and a little bit of help from his opponent, Ben Thornton. Thornton was called for stalling four times in the match, giving Megaludis three free points. Megaludis opened the dual meet with a 21-6 technical fall.
Jordan Conaway followed with an 8-3 win at 133 to give the Nittany Lions an early 8-0 lead.
Moss, who was a co-Ernie Lucas Award winner, filled in for an injured Jimmy Gulibon at 141. He made the most of his start with an 11-3 major decision against Danny Sabatello. The pair went to the third period tied 2-2 before Moss took control.
He caught Sabatello in a body lock and planted him on the mat. Moss collected four near-fall points in the win.
Moss felt once he hit that body lock the match was over.
“We locked up,” he said, “and I feel real comfortable with upper body. I felt him slow down a little bit there. He got a little frustrated and wasn’t working as much on bottom any more.”
Zain Retherford and Jason Nolf followed Moss with their usual dominant performances. Retherford collected an 18-1 technical fall in 6:09 at 149. Nolf followed up his own 21-5 technical fall a second slower than Retherford’s. Joining the technical fall party was also Bo Nickal. Nickal earned his 16-1 with 4:58 on the clock and pushed Penn State’s lead to 33-0.
Brian Brill filled in for Matt McCutcheon at 184 pounds. Brill, who was making his Nittany Lion dual debut, wrestled solid.
He came off the mat an 11-7 win and helped keep Penn State’s shutout alive. Morgan McIntosh made quick work of his opponent with a fall in 1:33.
Purdue avoided the shutout, thanks to Tyler Kral. Kral earned a 7-4 win over Jan Johnson, who was making his Big Ten debut.