Cael's team gave up takedowns in seven matches on Sunday. Someone who hadn't seen the match would expect a tight team score with that stat, but that wasn't the case as Penn State defended their unbeaten conference record and home arena with a 35-7 win. Penn State wrestles with a hard charging / seven minute style that will give up the occasional takedown, but that's okay because they didn't show up to win matches 3-2. It's impressive, and nobody in the country is currently wrestling on their level.
The takedown stat is actually even more askewed towards Michigan's favor as they forfeited 197 (allegedly Max Huntley failed a skin inspection) and Mahomes injury defaulted in the first period. Hopefully Mahomes will be back soon, and he did walk off under his own power. 174 was an interesting weight class in the beginning of the season as former #1 recruit and true freshman round of 12 member, Taylor Massa, was looming on the roster. Head Coach, Joe McFarland, said in a radio interview two weeks ago that Massa was just getting on the mat from injury. It'd be surprising to see, but maybe not out of the question. Massa has not wrestled a match since the NCAA tournament, but Michigan may need him to beat Rutgers on the road this weekend as part of a trip to the east coast that also includes Maryland.
For Michigan to win this dual, they needed a couple wins at 133, 141, and 165. Fisher & Sutton got the first takedown but lost scrambles as the matches went on. Bruno competed, but faded as well.
Penn State certainly appeared to have the stronger gas tanks for the afternoon as even the over-matched Jan Johnson was ready to go late in to the match.
Michigan has duals against Maryland, Rutgers, and Purdue to finish out the "regular season". While being favored in those matches, Michigan should end up with a very strong opponent in the National Duals series on February 21st. Then it's on to tournament time where the Wolverines will need to be better able to go seven minutes. I give Penn State all the credit I can as nobody is on their level right now, but Michigan can wrestle better than what they showed.
125: #4 Nico Megaludis PSU dec. Conor Youtsey MICH, 10-4 / 3-0
133: #5 Jordan Conaway PSU dec. #17 Rossi Bruno MICH, 9-4 / 6-0
141: #14 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. George Fisher MICH, 9-4 / 9-0
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU pinned #6 Alex Pantaleo MICH, WBF (6:35) / 15-0
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #9 Brian Murphy MICH, 22-6 (TF; 6:14) / 20-0
165: #17 Shakur Rasheed PSU dec. Garrett Sutton MICH, 6-5 / 23-0
174: #1 Bo Nickal PSU inj. def. #13 Davonte Mahomes MICH, Inj.Def (1:34) / 29-0
184: #8 Domenic Abounader MICH dec. Brian Brill PSU, 9-2 / 29-3
197: #1 Morgan McIntosh PSU win by forfeit / 35-3
285: #4 Adam Coon MICH maj. dec. Jan Johnson PSU, 15-5 / 35-7