The largest crowd to ever see a wrestling match indoors at Rutgers was on hand for Sunday’s match with No. 1 Penn State.
Averaging 5,367 for the season, Rutgers has had three matches with over 5,000 this season. In 2016-17, RU averaged 4,706 (16,178 for the Battle at the Birthplace event against Princeton at High Point Solutions stadium helped to hold its spot at fifth in the nation in attendance for the second straight year.) With one home match remaining against currently-No. 14 Minnesota, Rutgers should be able to maintain a 5,000-plus average as long as they pull in over 3,200 for the match.
Some up, some down, some hold.
It’s always interesting how the different ranking groups evaluate a performance. Scot DelVecchio won and dropped in the two we list. Eleazar DeLuca lost and goes up.
The loss to Penn State was....well, still a loss, and it dropped the Knights to No. 19 nationally in the USA Today/NWCA Poll. There are still eleven Big Ten schools in the Top 25 with Michigan moving up three spots on the strength of its three matcg win streak over No. 21 Wisconsin, No. 13 Minnesota, and No. 4 Iowa. Northwestern also moved up three spots having won two of three (wins over Wisconsin, Minnesota) sandwiched around a two-point loss to Nebraska in Lincoln.
Intermat also ranks teams, using both a dual match ranking and a tournament ranking. Based on that, Rutgers - in theory - is a better tournament team. Intermat sees Rutgers finishing in 13th place in a hypothetical national tournament.
As seen on TV....
Two of the bouts from Sunday’s match are featured on BTN’s Wrestling in 60. Despite some fans of the Lions complaining about the quality, BTN seems to think that they were pretty good bouts. First airing on Monday, you can check out the BTN schedule here for additional showings.
Jason Nolf Injury
Penn State’s top-ranked 157 pounder, Jason Nolf, was injured during his match with John Van Brill. He was forced to default the match in the second period. The initial appearance was that it was pretty bad, but later reports seem to indicate that it isn’t as serious as first thought. Head coach Cael Sanderson, speaking on the “Penn State Coaches Show” on Monday said, “Really, it’s not as bad as we feared. But it’s going to be some time before we get him back in, just to play it safe and try to get him back as close to 100 percent as we can before the postseason. So we probably won’t even try to put him in a dual meet; we’ll just try to get him ready for the postseason.”
This is similar to what happened to Nick Suriano last year. In order to be eligible for the NCAA tournament (Nolf does have the minimum number of bouts already) he could, in theory, go out in the Big Ten Tournament for a few seconds and then default, as Suriano did. Strategy and tactics as the season winds down.
The Knights will be on the road this weekend as the travel to No. 20 Northwestern on Friday and No. 15 Illinois on Sunday. The match against the Cats is an 8 pm start with a 2 pm opening match on Sunday with the Illini. On the Banks will bring you a preview of both contests later this week.
Around the Big Ten
The match in the conference this year. This Friday, Ohio State visits Penn State in what is a battle for number one....in the country! Kyle Snyder is back from a triumphant tour in Russia. He is now the first American man to win two gold medals at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Snyder was named the Best Foreign Wrestler of the tournament, and will likely be named the best heavyweight in State College on Friday. How PSU handles the loss of Jason Nolf will be (it is) a major topic of conversation and will play into the final result on Friday.
The match will air live on BTN starting at 8 pm.
Big Ten Wrestler of the Week
Kevin Beazley, Michigan, 197 pounds – Sr. l
- Defeated a top-five opponent to help the Wolverines upset No. 4 Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa
- Used a pair of second-period takedowns to rally to a 6-5 decision against Iowa’s fifth-ranked Cash Wilcke, pulling Michigan within one point on the scoreboard and setting up a winner-takes-all finale at heavyweight
- Improved to 12-4 this season