By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Sunday's match between three-time defending national champion Penn State and last season's runner-up certainly lived up to its hype.
All the way to the 184-pound bout, it was a classic shootout, with zero bonus points between the top-ranked Nittany Lions and No. 5 Oklahoma State. But after the Cowboys took a three-point lead following the rematch of last season's 174-pound national championship between Matt Brown and Chris Perry, No. 2 Ed Ruth swung the momentum Penn State's way with a pin.
The Lions rode that wave through the final two bouts, winning at sold-out Rec Hall on Sunday, 23-12.
"They won some close matches that we would've liked to obviously won, but that's a good team, too," Lions coach Cael Sanderson said. "These guys did a great job. ... Ed got the pin, which was much-needed at that point."
Ruth's pin broke a string of decisions that had the Lions behind, 12-9. In the first period, he nearly came close to decking Nolan Boyd in the waning seconds, but time ran out.
With 1:19 remaining in his bout, he finally got Boyd on his back for the pin. Boyd was the only unranked Cowboy to compete in the dual. Ruth said he thought Boyd was just getting tired by his last cradle.
"That was huge. That was, in a way, kind of sealing the dual because we were confident in (197-pounder Morgan) McIntosh, and confident in heavyweight, also," Sanderson said.
Ruth said that he wasn't thinking of bonus points entering the matchup.
"I was thinking about my daughter; it makes me happy," Ruth said, noting she is nearly 2 years old.
After Ruth, No. 3 McIntosh dominated at 197 against No. 16 Blake Rosholt. He had no problem defeating the senior, taking a 16-2 major decision and putting the Lions up by seven.