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College Wrestling Update for February 8: A wacky week in wrestling

By Jason Bryant

Penn State picked up its first victory over Iowa since 1997 with a 21-12 victory over the Hawkeyes in Carver-Hawkeye Arena last Friday. While the Hawkeyes were without the services of 174-pounder Mark Perry, the Nittany Lions won six of 10 matches, including a fall from Tim Haas at 125 pounds over Lucas Magnani, a swing match coming in.

That wasn't the wacky part.

The wacky part came on Sunday where Michigan State beat Iowa 19-17 and Northwestern beat Illinois 19-16 at Rolling Meadows High School. The swing bouts came at 125 and 184. John Velez of Northwestern scored a fall at 5:54 over two-time NCAA runner-up Kyle Ott of Illinois to give the Wildcats three key bonus points while Mike Tamillow's upset over Pete Friedl at 184 pounds was another tide-turner.

But like many matches that start at 125, it came down to the heavyweights with Dustin Fox getting the escape in the second tie-breaker to edge Matt Weight 2-1. It snapped a 10-match losing streak against the Illlini.

In the Michigan State-Iowa dual, Jeff Wimberly (133) and Jeff Clemens (197) picked up a pair of crucial victories over favored opponents while R.J. Boudro was named Big 10 wrestler of the week as his victory over Iowa reserve Ben Steadman gave the Spartans the dual win.

Big 12 hijinks
All Sean Connole had to do was not get pinned or teched. So what happened?

He got majored and it was likely the best major decision he'd ever given up because it kept Missouri ahead of Oklahoma and allowed the Tigers to beat the Sooners 17-16 for Coach Brian Smith's third win in four seasons over Oklahoma. Missouri scored a key upset at 184 pounds when freshman Raymond Jordan edged Justin Dyer 2-1.

Ben Askren was also pushed to seven minutes for only the second time this year in his 8-6 victory over Wes Roberts at 174 pounds. Askren reached 100 career victories faster than any past Missouri wrestler.

Pac 10 upsets
Stanford's Ray Blake picked up an overtime victory over previously undefeated Joey Bracamonte of Oregon in the Cardinal's 22-15 win over Oregon. Blake trailed 6-2 in the third period before tying the match and scoring the winning takedown late in overtime. Oregon State's Kyle Larson also upended UC-Davis' Derek Moore.

Portland State got a win last week over Fresno State of the West Region, but then the Bulldogs go out and beat an understaffed Cal Poly team. The 20th-ranked Mustangs haven't been full-strength since their victory over Nebraska earlier in the season.

American University sophomore Josh Glenn ascended to #1 at 184-pounds in the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA Division I Individual Rankings. Glenn, who hails from Johnson City, N.Y., is 22-1 this season and has 14 falls. Glenn has four victories over Top 15-ranked wrestlers. Glenn was ranked second coming in, but after Iowa State's Kurt Backes notched a major decision over #1 Eric Bradley of Penn State, this opened the door for Glenn to move up.

Glenn's only loss, a one-point decision that came at the hands of Ben Wissell of Purdue at The Midlands, has been the topic of debate. Wissell's loss to Brown backup Branden Stearnes, an opponent Glenn pinned earlier this season, throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the equation.

It's the first time a wrestler from American University has ever been ranked #1 in the nation.

Slippery Rock not going down quietly
While the door slammed shut on the wrestling program at Slippery Rock last week, Derek DelPorto's team isn't packing it in. Instead, The Rock is on pace to have its most successful season since the 1980-81 season, the last time wrestlers from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference school won more than 12 matches.

With four wins at the East Region Duals at Duquesne last weekend, The Rock are 12-8 with two duals remaining, one against Division II Pitt-Johnstown and one against Bloomsburg.
The last winning season came in 2001-02 when The Rock went 7-6.

Defending his spot
A marquee matchup in the MAC played out in Buffalo over the weekend with a pair of All-Americans butting heads at 197 pounds. Top-ranked Wynn Michalak of Central Michigan scored a 3-2 decision over previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Kyle Cerminara of Buffalo.

Coming up
ESPNU and DoubleSport come together for an invitational in Oklahoma City at the Ford Center this coming weekend. The invitational is a series of duals between Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Hofstra. It will be the first chance for Oklahoma State to get a shot at Minnesota since the Golden Gophers beat the Cowboys in the finals of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals at Northern Iowa in mid-January.

It will also be a chance to see rematches between Nathan Morgan and Mack Reiter at 133, Zack Esposito and Dustin Schlatter at 149 and of course, Steve Mocco facing Cole Konrad at heavyweight.

Virginia Tech coach Tom Brands has an opportunity to pick up his first dual victory of the season as the Hokies (0-14) take on Duke (1-8) on Thursday. Duke won its first match of the year, beating Campbell 37-3 on February 4.

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