COLUMBUS, Ohio The 15th-ranked Ohio State wrestling team put up 37 points and shut out Rutgers en route to winning its 2007-08 season home opener in St. John Arena Monday night in front of 657 fans. The Buckeyes improve to 4-1, while the Scarlet Knights fall to 0-1 in dual action.

Ohio State held the lead in 28 of 29 periods contested in a match that also featured two falls and a major decision. The shutout by the Buckeyes was their first blanking since 2001 when they beat Clarion, 45-0, in the Clarion Duals.

“Tonight, it was the first time in our home gym, in front of our home crowd and it was a good performance,” Tom Ryan, head coach, said. “I think our team did a great job and certainly anytime you get 10 wins, it is a good night, but we still have plenty to work on.”

Redshirt sophomore Reece Humphrey started the momentum for the Buckeyes at 133 pounds with his 8-2 decision over Dan Hilt. After holding a slim 2-1 advantage on a takedown following the second period, the native of Indianapolis, Ind., scored two more takedowns and an escape to own a 7-2 lead. Coupled with a riding time of 2:38, Humphrey had sealed the three points for the Scarlet and Gray.

At 141 pounds, redshirt junior J Jaggers remained perfect on the season when he decisioned No. 20 Steve Adamscik, 5-2. Heading into the third period with a 2-0 lead, Jaggers, who hails from Northfield, Ohio, scored a reversal with 1:31 remaining in an attempt to hold onto the tight margin. A takedown by Adamscik with just four seconds left seemed to give the Scarlet Knights hope, but the third-ranked Jaggers still held a 4-2 lead and compiled a riding time of 4:42 to secure the win.

Sophomore Lance Palmer was up next for the Buckeyes at 149 pounds and the Columbia Station, Ohio, local did not even get through two complete periods as he pinned Spencer Kent at 4:42. The fourth-ranked Palmer had tallied a 7-1 lead prior to the fourth fall of his OSU career.

Jason Johnstone, a redshirt junior, recorded 10 points and limited Chris Norell to just three en route to his third win of the year at 157 pounds. Out of Massillon, Ohio, Johnstone already had a solid 6-2 lead after the first period and went on to increase that margin to 7-2 on a late escape with 28 seconds left in the second period. An additional takedown with 52 seconds remaining in the final period, added with a riding time of exactly one minute, helped Johnstone walk away with the 10-3 win, despite a last second escape by Norell to end the match.

True freshman Robel Campbell garnered his first win of the season at 165 pounds after rallying from a 3-1 deficit to come out on top, 6-5, against Matt Rigogliosa. Hailing from Troy, Ohio, Campbell managed a reversal (:15) and a two-point nearfall (:02) back-to-back in the waning seconds of the second stanza to jump out to a 5-3 advantage. After an escape at the 1:24 mark in the third period, Campbell took a 6-3 lead, but Rigogliosa refused to quit as he recorded a takedown with 11 seconds left to cut Campbell’s lead to 6-5. However, the Buckeye held on for his first collegiate victory.

After a scoreless first period, senior Alex Picazo ended the second period up 2-0 courtesy of an escape and two stalling calls on Rutgers’ Mike Whalen. Following a late takedown by the 174-pounder with just four seconds left in the final period and an unsportsmanlike conduct call and a third stalling call by Whalen gave Picazo, a local product out of Grandview Heights, Ohio, two points and the 6-1 win.

A 16-4 major decision over Keith Dobish by redshirt sophomore and fourth-ranked Mike Pucillo was up next at 184 pounds. The native of Strongsville, Ohio, already had an 8-3 lead after two periods and wasted little time in securing his fourth win of the season after compiling two more takedowns, a three-point nearfall and a riding time of 2:38.

True freshman John Weakley took a 2-1 lead against Lamar Brown after the first period and scored four times as many points in the second stanza for an 8-1 lead on the way to his second Buckeye win. A product of Cuyahoga, Ohio, Weakley rode an escape (1:57), takedown (1:39) and a three-point nearfall (1:22) into the third period and tacked on an additional escape (:12) and riding time advantage of 1:20 for the 10-4 win.

Two-time All-American J.D. Bergman continued his winning ways after posting an 11-5 triumph over DJ Russo at heavyweight. The fourth-ranked native of Oak Harbor, Ohio, had a 6-2 lead after the second period and increased that margin in the third period following two takedowns (1:00 and :18) and a riding time of 4:09.

Finally at 125 pounds, true freshman Nikko Triggas concluded the night on a high note for the Buckeyes, pinning Ryan Fisklin in 6:18. The Moraga, Calif., native earned his third win of the season and before the pin held a 4-0 lead on a pair of takedowns.      

Four Buckeyes now remain undefeated on the season Humphrey (5-0), Jaggers (5-0), Pucillo (4-0) and Bergman (5-0).

Ohio State will travel to Las Vegas for the 26th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational Friday-Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

No. 15 Ohio State, 37 (4-1), Rutgers, 0 (0-1)
Nov. 26, 2007
St. John Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Match started at 133
Attendance: 657

133 Reece Humphrey (OSU) dec. Dan Hilt (RU), 8-2; 3-0
141 No. 3 J Jaggers (OSU) dec. No. 20 Steve Adamscik (RU), 5-2; 6-0
149 No. 4 Lance Palmer (OSU) pinned Spencer Kent (RU), fall 4:42; 12-0
157 Jason Johnstone (OSU) dec. Chris Norell (RU), 10-3; 15-0
165 Robel Campbell (OSU) dec. Matt Rigogliosa (RU), 6-5; 18-0
174 Alex Picazo (OSU) dec. Mike Whalen (RU), 6-1; 21-0
184 No. 4 Mike Pucillo (OSU) mdec. Keith Dobish (RU), 16-4; 25-0
197 John Weakley (OSU) dec. Lamar Brown (RU), 10-4; 28-0
HWT No. 4 J.D. Bergman (OSU) dec. DJ Russo (RU), 11-5; 31-0
125 Nikko Triggas (OSU) pinned Ryan Fisklin (RU), 6:18; 37-0