Monday, February 16, 2009

Wrestling Wreport: one step forward two steps back

The Penn State wrestling team entered the weekend needing to gain some momentum for the Big Ten and National championships coming up in less than a month but after a good match Friday it was more 'par for the coarse' on Sunday.

The Ugly*

Penn State got destroyed by a Michigan team (31-6) that they beat earlier in the season by a 21-18 score. The score differential shows how far Penn State has dropped over the past couple months. There are plenty of arguments to why Penn State has fallen (e.g. injuries, lack of confidence, etc.) but they have really bottomed out and, barring some unforeseen miracle, this team isn't looking to relive their spectacular run of last year that saw them finish 3rd in the nation.

197 and Heavyweight are throwaways once the Big Ten's start, if Penn State gets any points from those two weights consider it a Godsend.

The Bad*

Frank Molinaro wrestled really well against the number 5-ranked wrestler Kellen Russell of Michigan losing by a slim 3-1 score. Why do I list that under 'bad'? Because its matches like this one that make you scratch your head and ask "where is that intensity against everyone else?" If Molinaro could come out and wrestle like that every match he'd be a top-ten wrestler. He's such an enigma. Speaking of puzzles, Dan Vallimont fits that category nicely losing to an unranked Justin Zeerip of Michigan. It's looking more and more like the move from 157 to 165 was not a good one for Dan.
Jake Strayer didn't make weight for either match this weekend and I have no idea why, definitely not a good thing.

The Good*

Penn State dominated an overmatched and unranked Michigan State team Friday winning 7 of 10 bouts on the way to a 28-12 victory. Bubba Jenkins returned to the lineup and kept his undefeated record intact winning twice. Quentin Wright continues to impress losing to top-ranked and undefeated Wolverine Steve Luke at 174lbs by a thin 6-4 margin. Wright gave up two early period takedowns but came back to make things close, taking Luke down late in the third to tighten the bout at 5-4 with 32 seconds left but could not get the tying takedown (after cutting Luke lose). Brad Pataky continues a hot hand winning by Tech fall and beating #17 Michael Watts of Michigan 11-9.

*I'm totally stealing this from Mike's basketball write-ups, sure he's not the one that coined the "good, bad, and ugly" literary device but he uses it to perfection and I'm lazy, so here we are. Oh, and I leave you with 'The Good' because I'm an optimist like that. Stop laughing!


wvlion said...

Hidden fact: Wright's take-down of Michigan's #1 Steve Luke was the first time Luke had been taken down ALL YEAR. Good job, Quentin.

Galen said...

Good one wvlion, I did not know that!