Statistically, it was the largest margin loss in its short Big Ten history. The final score: Rutgers 6, Penn State 28
The Knights won only two bouts on the evening. Anthony Ashnault extended his Big Ten record to 3-1 with a takedown with 20 seconds to go for a 6-4 win over Kade Moss. Ken Thobold upped his overall record to 10-2 with a thrilling 5-2 win over No. 17/18/11/16 Zach Beitz.
But those two wins were all that the Knights could muster as, again, RU wrestlers gave up bonus points across the board. Four PSU wrestlers, including four of the first six bouts, scored major decisions. At the intermission, Rutgers trailed 16-6 and would never come close.
Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale knew what the team was facing. "I knew we were up against it. I'm a realist. I understand it. It was exciting to see those two guys (Ashnault and Theobold) win."
And where does the team go now, what do they need to do? "I think the most important thing is to remain positive. We knew what we were up against. We knew some of our guys aren't ready to go (because of injury- or personal-related issues). We need to remain positive and I think we'll do a good job of that. All it takes is one big win, knocking off a nationally ranked guy and your whole season can turn. This staff needs to remain positive. More importantly, our guys need to remain positive and understand they wrestled the best guys in the country and let's move forward. That has to be our mindset, have a short-term memory and put some things behind us.''
The largest crowd ever to watch a Rutgers home match - 6,071 - was enthusiastic. And it was primarily a Rutgers crowd. They had come to see the Scarlet Knights, not jut watch the No. 5 team in the country. And that's a good thing.
Come back to On the Banks for additional information on the Penn State bout, as well as Sunday's match at Maryland, tomorrow.
No. 5 Penn State 28, No. 22 Rutgers 6
125: No. 8/9/11 Jordan Conaway (PSU) major dec. over Sean McCabe (RU), 10-2
133: No. 7/7/9 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) major dec. over No. NR/17/NR Scott DelVecchio (RU), 12-2
141: No. 7/8/9 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over Kade Moss (PSU), 6-4
149: No. NR/NR/17 Ken Theobold (RU) dec. over No. 17/18/11 Zack Beitz (PSU), 5-2
157: No. 7/4/5 Dylan Alton (PSU) major dec. over Dylan Painton (RU), 11-3
165: Garett Hammond (PSU) major dec. over Nick Visicaro (RU), 13-4
174: No. 4/7/4 Matt Brown (PSU) dec. over No. 20/15/18 Phil Bakuckas (RU), 7-1
184: No. 16/16/NR Matt McCutcheon (PSU) dec. over Anthony Pafumi (RU), 10-4
197: No. 6/6/7 Morgan McIntosh (PSU) dec. over No. NR/18/NR Andrew Campolattno (RU), 8-2
285: No. NR/8/NR Jon Gingrich (PSU) dec. over No. 13/13/14 Billy Smith (RU), 5-3 (SV)
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / The Open Mat / WIN Magazine (Jan. 13)