Two days after suffering a 22-16 defeat to No. 3 Iowa at Carver Hawkeye Arena, a loss which snapped Penn State’s 20-match winning streak, No. 1 Penn State was back on the road to face another top-10 squad.
While Friday’s dual came down to Jon Gingrich needing to win at heavyweight for a chance at victory, Sunday’s dual was nowhere near as close as the Lions cruised to their third Big Ten shutout of the season, defeating No. 8 Illinois 37-0.
Sophomore Nico Megaludis rebounded from his sudden victory defeat against No. 1 Matt McDonough in stellar fashion. Megaludis was matched up against another top-five wrestler in No. 5 Jesse Delgado and pinned him at 6:45 to get the Lions off to a 6-0 start.
After being pinned against No. 2 Tony Ramos, a national title favorite, on Friday, Jordan Conaway picked up his second upset over a top-10 opponent this season on Sunday. The redshirt freshman defeated No. 8 Daryl Thomas 8-6.
The Lions entered the intermission leading 19-0 after Bryan Pearsall, Andrew Alton, and Dylan Alton all picked up convincing wins against their opponents.
The upper five weights fell short in their comeback attempt against Iowa, but all five wrestlers put in solid performances against the Illini.
David Taylor started the second half of the bout at 165 pounds against No. 8 Conrad Polz. The junior moved to 18-1 on the season with a 14-7 victory.
Matt Brown kept the Lions’ shutout hopes alive as he battled to a hard-fought 6-4 win over No. 8 Jordan Blanton at 174 pounds.
Facing his second ranked opponent in the span of a week, No. 1 Ed Ruth started strong out of gate as he pinned No. 20 Tony Dallago in just 47 seconds.
Quentin Wright improved to 19-0 on the year Sunday. After failing to pick up crucial bonus points Friday night, Wright was tested again against No. 13 Mario Gonzalez. The senior picked up a close win by decision, 4-2.
At heavyweight, Jimmy Lawson got the start after Gingrich’s tough 9-2 loss against No. 6 Bobby Telford on Friday, who was last year’s national runner up. Lawson posted a strong 9-4 win over Chris Lopez to complete the shutout.