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Penn State Wrestling HC Cael Sanderson Weighs in on Controversial 125 Finish

Screenshot courtesy of Big Ten Network

For the most part, Friday night’s dual meet against Ohio State at Rec Hall ended up being a standard Penn State wrestling win.

Cael Sanderson’s empire won eight of 10 matches and to dispatch OSU 28-9.

But the night had some controversy stemming from the opening bout.

At 125, Penn State’s Braeden Davis came in undefeated and ranked No. 3. Ohio State’s Vincent Kilkeary came in with four losses and unranked.

But in the match’s final seconds, Davis had a 4-3 lead.

Then, things got really interesting. Kilkeary had Davis on the ropes and got what many felt was a takedown. But the refs didn’t call it that way initally. It ended up going to review, and the initial decision stood.
Watch the replay here and judge for yourself.

Although it seems the vast majority of people who watched the footage believe it was a takedown, Sanderson offered a different perspective in his post-match presser.

“We always see things from our own perspective … the rules are a little bit different now,” Sanderson said. “There’s reaction time. There was one takedown for them and one for us where they let things play out a little bit, and that’s what they’re supposed to do.”

“They’re supposed to be patient with the reaction time. Last year, the skin of your finger drags along the mat, and it’s a takedown. I think it’s been a fine rule. You just know you have to really secure that takedown and have control for a little bit of time there.”

So what does this mean?

Here’s how the O’Colly, Oklahoma State’s student newspaper, explained it in a November article.

“Previously, if a wrestler touched the mat with a hand from the rear standing positions, a takedown would be awarded,” the article read. “Now, wrestlers are awarded reaction time in all positions.”

So in short, Sanderson didn’t feel Kilkeary had enough control of Davis prior to the end of the match.

Although a different ruling wouldn’t have kept Penn State from winning the dual meet, it will surely be talked about in the wrestling world for a bit.


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