Fans stormed the mats Friday night in Tempe as the Arizona State Sun Devils upset the No. 1 team in the country, snapping a 60-meet win streak dating back to February 15, 2015. Penn State fell 19-18 on the road, ending their streak 9 meets shy of Iowa's modern-era 69-win record between 2008-2011.
Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said earlier this season that Arizona State was the best team the Buckeyes would face in a brutal out-of-conference schedule, and the Sun Devils showed why against the reigning NCAA Champions. ASU won five matches, and picked up the decisive bonus point at 184 pounds via forfeit as Cael Sanderson held out No. 2 Shakur Rasheed rather than putting him up against No. 1 Zahid Valencia, an early favorite for the Hodge Trophy this season.
That forfeit gave ASU six points, same as a pin, which Valencia may have earned against freshman Creighton Edsell had Sanderson opted to wrestle him in Rasheed's stead.
Penn State counted on No. 7 Kyle Conel to pick up the win and seal the dual at 197 pounds, but the sixth-year transfer from Kent State fell to Kordell Norfleet. Conel finds himself on a three-match losing streak after a loss to Aaron Bolo of Central Michigan followed by an injury default last weekend at the Black Knight Invite.
Sun Devil head coach Zeke Jones hyped this match heavily in the weeks leading up to the dual, and it worked, as the upset came in front of a record-breaking home crowd of 8,522.
Penn State is working toward its ninth national championship in 10 years, and although a dual-meet loss is a setback, the NCAA Wrestling Championship is decided at the national tournament in March, not via dual-meet wins and losses. Some fans of the sport would gladly change that (including Ohio State's Tom Ryan), but for now March is all that matters.
...just don't tell that to Arizona State fans.
A little bit of home cooking— Sun Devil Wrestling (@ASUWrestling) November 23, 2019
Sun Devils get it done against No. 1 Penn State!! pic.twitter.com/oNM6DRWlY1
The Sun Devils wrestle the Buckeyes in Covelli Center Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m., live on FS1.