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Updated: 2017-02-19T19:02:25-05:00


Penn State turns possible tragedy into triumph, wins dual championship


After an unfortunate injury and questionable call, PSU boat races Oklahoma State, 27-13 Well hot damn! That was sure something, eh? In the “Dual of the Year” against Oklahoma State, exclusively on (or off) FloWrestling, Penn State’s wrestling team came up with undeniably it’s best performance yet this season. Fourteen thousand plus people filled OkState’s Gallagher-Iba Arena and thousands more attempted to watch at home as the top-ranked Cowboys played host to Cael Sanderson’s Nittany Lions. And despite coming up against all odds, Sanderson’s squad was victorious. The dual started at 125 pounds where freshman phenom Nick Suriano jumped out to quick lead over Okie State’s Nick Piccininni before coming up hobbling. After multiple failed attempts to put weight on his ankle, Suriano restarted the match before it was stopped by coach Cael Sanderson who elected to injury default out of the contest after it was clear Suriano could not put weight on the ankle. Up at 133 George Carpenter did a fantastic job of keeping Cowboys’ stud freshman Kaid Brock to just a major decision to stem the bleeding. Jimmy Gulibon followed with a strong performance against undefeated, top-ranked Dean Heil and appeared to have Heil pinned twice in non-control fall situations that went uncalled. Heil was able to back his way to a 3-2 decision victory and the Poker were suddenly pulling away, up 13-0. Think got even more tenuous up at 149 pounds when Zain Retherford, riding hard against second-ranked Anthony Collica in the second period, was called for two ridiculous stalling calls giving Collica a 1-0 lead. Retherford was, however, able to ride out the period and get an early escape in the third to tie the score at one. Collica was unable to get a takedown in the third period and Retherford pulled a tough, 2-1 victory after receiving a point for over a minute of riding time. Momentum swung at 157 pounds, as it tends to do when Jason Nolf steps to the mat. Nolf absolutely annihilated sixth-ranked JoJo Smith. The sophomore pushed the pace and forced Smith to gas on his way to a 24-9 technical fall that put Penn State right back in the thick of things, down just 13-8. It was more of the same for Penn State at 165 after the intermission as freshman Cenzo Joseph turned in his best performance of the season, picking up a nice feet-to-back takedown on his way to a major decision over number eight Chandler Rogers. Freshman Mark Hall had his first rematch of the season as he squared off with Oklahoma State’s Kyle Crutchmer and pull out a clutch 3-2 decision win. Crutchmer appeared to be in on what would be the winning takedown before Hall cut across and got his hips behind for a slick counter-takedown to take the lead and eventually the match. Up at 184 Bo Nickal continues to somehow shock me every match. We should all know better at this point, and yet. Taking on fourth-ranked Nolan Boyd, Nickal fought off an early shot and locked up Boyd in a nasty cradle to earn the fall and take all the life out of the Okie State crowd, putting PSU up 21-13. Matt McCutcheon earned his best win of the season at 197, picking up two slick third-period takedowns to earn a 4-3 decision win over number eight Preseton Weigel, making the dual score 24-13 and clinching the victory for Penn State. Nick Nevills iced the cake for PSU with a 10-5 victory over backup Cowboys’ heavyweight Derek White. Outstanding Wrestler: It has to be Nolf, right? But also Nickal. And Cenzo had a hell of performance too! Ultimately, I’ll leave it up to you guys to decide comments. *ed note: how can you leave off McCutcheon, who was the only one who beat a higher ranked guy on the day? — CG Full results below: 125: #11 Nick Piccininni OKST inj. def. #2 Nick Suriano PSU, inj. def. (3:34). / 0-6 133: #3 Kaid Brock OKST maj. dec. George Carpenter PSU, 17-6. / 0-10 141: #1 Dean Heil OKST dec. #10 Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 3-2/ / 0-13 149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #2 Anthony Collica OKST, 2-1. / 3-13 157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #6 Joe Smith OKST, 24-9 (TF; 7:00). / 8-[...]

LIVE WRESTLING: No. 2 Penn State at No. 1 Oklahoma State



The sport’s two bullies fight for the title.

This is your big boy, the full-size Drake coffee cake of dual meets. It’s the Wrestling Dual Championship. No. 2 Penn State travels to a sold-out, raucous Gallagher-Iba Arena, on the campus of No. 1 Oklahoma State. The two meanest bullies on the block are going to see who’s tougher.

You can’t get a ticket if you wanted one. In fact, it’s such a highly anticipated fight, that you’ll have to spend $30 for a choppy, internet-only video stream to watch the 90-minute battle royale. Exclusivity makes demand go higher. (ehh, maybe?)

Let’s all listen along to Ironhead Byers via the free GoPSUSports stream, at this link.

Action starts at 4pmET. Until then, here’s a little appetizer to set the mood.

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Now, let’s mess up some Cowpokes.

Football Team Impresses in THON's Dance Competition



It wasn’t a championship winning performance, but the football team danced its heart out.

One of the most popular events of THON is the Pep Rally, where Penn State’s athletic programs are pitted against each other in a good old-fashion dance off. Of course the football program takes part in the yearly competition, although the success of the team’s routine has been hit-or-miss in recent years.

I’m sure we all remember the stellar routine of the Robert Bolden led 2011 group. After watching Bolden move to-and-fro to *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye”, I was convinced that man was going to lead Penn State to a National Championship.

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Unfortunately, completing screen passes is a basic and necessary skill that quarterbacks must have, but man, Bolden’s ability to lead a dance squad can’t be questioned.

Following 2011, the Nittany Lions’ THON performances left a lot to be desired. The 2013 routine was — in a word — garbage. And while the 2014 and 2015 performances had juice, there was no real direction. Fortunately for the Blue-and-White faithful, things were turned around last year. The energy and direction was there, and let me tell you folks, there was dabbing. Lots and lots of dabbing.

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This routine was performed shortly after Moorhead’s arrival — just the spark the football team needed, in more ways than one.

So heading into this year’s performance, expectations had risen. No longer were people asking “Could the football team get back to its glory days under Robert Bolden?” Now it was “Could this team repeat as THON Pep Rally champions?”

As you can see from the video above, the football team once again captured the hearts of Happy Valley. Although the football ended up not finishing in the top three, it was an inspiring performance out of James Franklin’s program. No. 27, Anthony Johnson, was the star of the group this go around, but peep Blake Gillikin. Sneaky good performance from everybody’s favorite punter.

P.s. Thank God Miles Sanders didn’t hurt his knee on the flip.

Seven Seconds From Victory: Penn State Hockey Falls In Overtime To Minnesota 4-3


The Lions had a 3-2 lead witht 7 seconds left on the clock, but were unable to hold on for the critical conference win. Penn State did everything it had to do to get the win through nearly 60 minutes of play. With just 7 seconds left on the clock, a face-off in Penn State’s defensive zone was set to be the final play of the game. A breakdown in coverage led to a game-tying goal by Justin Kloos of Minnesota with just 3.5 seconds left in the game. With under 2 minutes left in overtime, Rem Pitlick scored to secure the win for the Big Ten-leading Gophers. The average hockey game features its swings of emotions. A big hit or miraculous save can boost one side’s confidence or shatter the other side’s hope. The final three minutes of regulation Saturday night featured enough emotional swings for an entire season. With just over two minutes remaining and Penn State holding onto a one-goal lead, Tyler Sheehy fired a laser over Peyton Jones’ glove to pull Minnesota even at two. Not even a minute later, Denis Smirnov was pulled down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. The slick Russian forward made a quick move and slid the puck between the legs of Eric Schierhorn, blowing the roof off Pegula Ice Arena and putting the Nittany Lions on top once again. The message Gophers’ coach Don Lucia gave to his team was simple, according to Rem Pitlick. “Not quitting. That’s exactly what we needed to do, not quit. We didn’t quit, and we scored and we came back and won. The rest is history.” With little time to spare — just 1:26 — the Golden Gophers broke out the full court press. The Lions managed a few chances at the empty net, none of which found their way home. An icing call with just seven seconds remaining gave the Gophers one last opportunity to tie the game. The aggressive offense paid off with just 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation, as Justin Kloos sent a point shot over Jones’ glove. The goal seemed to give the Gophers a spark of life, while the Lions bench seemed to deflate. The Gophers carried that momentum into overtime, when Rem Pitlick, coming off a hat trick Friday night, floated the puck toward Jones. The shot deflected off a Lions’ defenseman and into the bottom corner of the goal, sealing the win and weekend sweep for the Gophers. For two-thirds of the game, it appeared that the Gophers would have to settle for a series split. After assisting on all three goals last night, Denis Smirnov opened the scoring for the Lions on a beautiful passing play. After Ricky DeRosa forced a turnover at the Lions blue line, he pushed the puck ahead to Smirnov. A give and go play with Nate Sucese left Smirnov with an open net. The freshman forward buried the puck past Schierhorn for his fourth point of the weekend and ninth in the past four games. Midway through the period, the Lions were gifted an opportunity to extend their lead after Gophers’ forward Joey Marooney drilled Nikita Pavlychev from behind into the boards. Marooney, who was filling in for the injured Mike Szmatula, was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the infraction, marking the second time in the weekend a Gopher had been tossed from a game. Last night, Brent Gates Jr. was given the same penalty combination after he hit Erik Autio from behind into the boards. Despite the extended chance, the Lions failed to generate offensive pressure, and the best scoring chance during the five minutes came on a breakaway for Gophers captain Justin Kloos, which was denied by Peyton Jones. Nearly a full period after the opening goal, David Goodwin doubled the Lions’ lead early in the second period. On an odd-man rush, Vince Pedrie attempted a cross-ice pass but fanned on it. Fortunately for Pedrie, Goodwin was following the play and picked up the loose puck and fired a sharp-angle shot past Schierhorn’s blocker for his sevenths of the season. Late in the middle frame, the Lions received another phenomenal chance to extend their lead. With [...]

National Dual Preview: No. 2 Penn State at No. 1 Oklahoma State


It’s the last dual meet of the year, and the Nittany Lions head to Stillwater. The postseason is upon us, and with all the down-ticket chaos, the matchup everyone was looking for was set a few weeks ago as Cael Sanderson’s Penn State squad, which demolished every team in its path by double digits (the closest anyone came to unseating the Nittany Lions was in their first road trip, the second away dual of the Big Ten season when they beat Nebraska 27-14), takes on John Smith’s Oklahoma State Cowboys. Last year, Smith was adamant that he wouldn’t participate in wrestling’s BCS if he couldn’t take on Penn State. That didn’t bode to well for his squad, as they lost 29-18 to the Lions behind pins from Nico Megaludis, Jason Nolf, and Morgan McIntosh, capping off Sanderson’s first undefeated season while in Happy Valley. This year, despite being the lower ranked squad, PSU is likely once again the favorites, despite coming in with only 9 wrestlers ranked to Ok State’s ten. With two of Oklahoma State’s lineup hailing from PSU volleyball great Micha Hancock’s hometown of Edmond, OK, I should like them more, right? But, alas, no. There’s too many good matches to pick a match or three as “matches of the meet” - but based on rankings alone Penn State is favored in seven of the ten. The question is how much bonus points with come into play - and whether the OSU wrestlers will, you know, actually wrestle. How To Watch What: #2 Penn State vs. #1 Oklahoma State Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK When: Sunday, 2/19, 4 pm ET Audio: Free, Jeff "Ironhead" Byers, via GoPSUSports Video: FloWrestling/FloSports. It’s $12.50 per month (automatically renewed) or $150 per year. 125 LBS Two ranked freshmen, both named Nick. The odds are that this one is pretty close - but I have more faith in Penn State’s Nick in pulling it away. Piccininni, a four-time NY state champion, hasn’t been in Stillwater long enough to learn how to stall his way to not giving up bonus, and he was majored by both Gilman and Lizak. Suriano should be able to do the same. Prediction: Suriano by Major Score: PSU 4, OSU 0 133 LBS Kaid Brock is a very good wrestler, who started out with an excellent true freshman season last year before medically redshirting. Why I don’t think it’ll be a tech fall or a pin? Brock is very good, but he just doesn’t score as much as many other greats at this weight (ie, NaTo or Cory Clark), and they weren’t even able to pin George Carpenter, who I’m assuming will go after Law’s unfortunate result against Maryland. George should be able to keep it to close bonus. Prediction: Brock by Major Score: PSU 4, OSU 4 141 LBS Jimmy Gulibon was wrestling differently last year, and still kept it close with eventual national champion Heil, though he wasn’t able to score a takedown. My guess is this year it’ll be even closer, and Heil won’t be able to take Jimmy down four times in Stillwater - but he’ll thwart most of Jimmy’s offense (Gulibon notches one takedown) and do just enough to win in the end. Prediction: Heil by Decision Score: PSU 4, OSU 7 149 LBS Collica is now up to #2 at this weight, surpassing Missou’s Mayes (the only wrestler he’s lost to this year) after he lost last week, and with a head to head over Sorensen. Can he keep it as close as the Iowa wrestler, and maybe even notch a takedown? No; they’ve only met twice (with Zain winning both), and he doesn’t have an in on our guy’s tendencies like Sorensen did earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean Zain scores bonus here, as Stallica will do his best turtling impression to keep Zain from doing what Zain does best. src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"> Prediction: Zain by Decision Score: PSU 7, OSU 7 157 L[...]

Minnesota Hockey Outlasts Penn State 6-3


The Golden Gophers pulled away late in the third period of a closely contested game. Minnesota was too much for Penn State to handle in the first game of a very important series. The Lions answered an early Gopher goal when Andrew Sturtz scored for the 18th time this season, tying his total as a freshman last year. Nate Sucese got Penn State a lead early in the second period but Rem Pitlick answered for the Gophers, scoring for the second time to tie the game at two apiece minutes later. Ryan Norman scored the next goal, giving Minnesota a 3-2 lead, and it had a chilling effect on the fans inside of Pegula Ice Arena. The once boisterous crowd was pushed back on their heels. The feeling didn’t last long, as Kris Myllari answered for Penn State, tying the game at 3 with ten minutes remaining in the contest. From there things went the Gopher’s way. Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata, and Rem Pitlick added goals in the third period for the comfortable 6-3 Gopher win. The teams will play game two of the series on Saturday night at 8 p.m., the game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. Game Summary Looking to spoil a chance for the Lions to move up in the rankings, the Gophers opened the game a few steps quicker than the Lions, winning battles to loose pucks and generating better offensive chances. Just over six minutes in, the Gophers were finally able to capitalize on that speed. With a stretch pass from Tyler Sheehy, Rem Pitlick broke away with only Peyton Jones between him and the goal. Pitlick fired a wrist shot over Jones’ glove, opening the scoring for the Lions. After a string of penalties resulted in a five-on-three for the Lions, Andrew Sturtz cleaned up the mess of a net-front scramble, lifting a shot over Schierhorn’s pad. The two teams traded goals again in the middle frame. Just over five minutes in, Denis Smirnov, fresh off a five-point weekend against Wisconsin, sent a nifty pass to Nate Sucese, who had five points of his own against the Badgers. After a quick flick of the wrists, Sucese lifted the puck over Schierhorn’s blocker to give the Lions their first lead of the night. Just three minutes later, Pitlick picked up his second of the night to respond for the Gophers. Again using his speed to create separation from a defender, Pitlick unleashed a cannon that sailed once again over Jones’ glove. With just over five minutes remaining in the second period, the Gophers regained the lead. After a pair of saves by Jones, Ryan Norman hammered in the rebound as Jones sprawled to his right. Early in the third period, the Gophers had several chances to double their lead, none of which came to fruition. After Leon Bristedt missed the net on a partial breakaway, Vinni Lettieri failed to convert on a 2-on-0, hitting the crossbar with Jones down and out. Moments later, the Gophers appeared to have finally gotten an insurance marker as Justin Kloos deflected a rising shot by Steve Johnson through the legs of Jones. A lengthy review determined that Kloos deflected the shot with a high stick, however, keeping the Lions in the game. The Lions finally took advantage of their defensive luck midway through the period. Gathering the puck at the point, Kris Myllari sent a floater on goal that eluded the traffic in front of Schierhorn and beat the sophomore goaltender over the right shoulder. The Lions’ defensive luck ran out shortly after Myllari’s tying goal. With Brett Murray in the box for interference, Kloos blasted a shot past Jones from the left circle, giving the Gophers the lead once again. This time, the Gophers didn’t give the Lions the chance to make a comeback. With just two and a half minutes remaining, Bristedt, who had used his speed the entire night to create plays, connected a pass to Taylor Cammarata in the slot, who beat Jones with a quick wrister. Rem Pitlick added a late empty net goal for his third goal of the day, and the first hat-[...]

THON Open Thread




THON 2017 is upon us, folks! Come 6:00 PM ET tonight, over 700 students at the BJC will stand up and stay on their feet for the next 46 hours, all in the name of raising money for pediatric cancer research, via the Four Diamonds Fund. Consider this your Open Thread to chat about what you're seeing on the webcast (via the THON website) or to reminsice about your days as a PSU student canning/dancing/serving on a committee/whatever other fond memories come to mind.

Oh, and if you haven't already done so, please donate at

As always, typical Open Thread rules apply: No porn, no politics/religion, and please be kind to one another, mmkay?

BSD Matcast Episode 13: Nittany Lions Head to Oklahoma State



Penn State will look to capture their second consecutive NWCA National Duals championship when they take on Oklahoma State Sunday

On this episode of the Black Shoe Diaries Matcast, Garrett and Clay cover topics like:

  • What can we take from the dual wins over Illinois and Maryland?
  • What's going on with the NWCA Dual Series Politics?
  • What should we do about National Duals?
  • How will Penn State fare against Oklahoma State?

All that and more on this week's episode of the BSD matcast!

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