Nebraska never finished higher than fourth in its first seven seasons as a Big Ten member, but the Huskers have an opportunity to climb one rung higher this year. Mark Manning’s squad finished Saturday in third with 84 points, thanks, in part, to Chad Red’s run to the finals at 141 as the No. 8 seed.
Let me tell you a Husker story.
In Session I’s update, I told you about Husker wrestler Zeke Moisey, and the look of shock on hs face when he was pinned in 18 seconds in his first match. In Session II, Moisey went up against Purdue’s Devin Schroder. Moisey came into the match wearing a shoulder harness he wasn’t wearing earlier.
At one point in the match, Schroder throws Moisey to the mat. Moisey is in clear pain, and the match stops for a moment due to an injury timeout.
The match continues. You can see in photos #1 and #2 that Moisey nearly pins Schroder. Just as Moisey is about to win, he screams in pain and let’s go. A Purdue videographer is next to me at the edge of the match. We talk, and we confirm with each other that we heard a distinct “pop” at the moment Moisey let go.
Moisey is talking to Nebraska coaches. He is repeatedly saying, “I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to stop”. An official comes over and I can read his lips, saying they’ll allow one more injury time out.
Moisey continues valiantly, but toward the end Schroder gets on top of him as Moisey is on his stomach. It’s clear he is done. Schroder wins a 10-4 decision. Moisey is a senior. This is his last Big Ten tourney.
The biggest commotion of the night is found in shot #13. There is reference to it in that Trackwrestling.com story linked above. It came when Rutgers wrestler Nick Suriano won against Iowa’s Austin DeSanto. This happened across the floor from where I was and all I saw was a Rutgers wrestler pointing and yelling at the Iowa coaches. The Rutgers coach tried to drag his wrestler back to their corner. The officials tried to calm everyone. The Iowa coaches are yelling. The Iowa crowd in that corner is going bezerk. The MInnesota crowd loves it when Iowa loses, so they’re going bezerk as well.
It is great sports fun.
I can imagine their conversation when something like:
Rutgers Wrestler: HEY IOWA COACH GUY, YOU LIKE SEAFOOD?
Iowa Coach Guy: I LOVE SEAFOOD
Rutgers Wrester: WE HAVE GREAT SEAFOOD IN JERSEY. YOU COME TO JERSEY, YOU STAY AT MY HOUSE AND WE’LL GET YOU SOME GREAT SEAFOOD
Iowa Coach Guy: I WOULD LOVE TO STAY AT YOUR HOUSE. I WANT HOMEMADE JERSEY SEAFOOD
I would picture homemade Jersey seafood as some sort of toxic-infested fish with three eyeballs being cooked in sludge, but, hey, I’ve never been to Jersey.
BTW, every Rutgers wrestler I saw looked exactly like a guy from Jersey who would wrestle. I say that and then I don’t include any photos of Rutgers wrestlers. I know, there aren’t as many photos this time. It was late. I rushed through my photos. It was snowing, the roads were ice-covered and I had to get home so I can go back today.
Rutgers got two team points deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Let me tell you about shot #23. That is Minnesota’s heavyweight Gable Steveson throwing Wisconsin heavyweight Trent Hilger like a rag doll. Steveson controlled that match, sometimes appearing to be disinterested, even bored.
There is a Wisconsin photographer next to me. She has her camera on a short monopod. She has a small hard case with her. Our photography shooting areas are clearly marked with tape, but she’s way out on the edge, closer to the mat than most of us. Earlier in the day, I had asked her to move back as she was cutting down on my line of vision.
I tell her she should move back again. She looks as me as if I’m a pain, but this is no different than most people in my life. I say, “You’re too close to the mat. This guy (Steveson) threw an Iowa wrestler earlier (Stoll) and he landed about two feet in front of me.” The guy behind us tells her the same thing. She moves back.
Steveson toys around. With about 10 seconds left in the match, a match he is clearly going to win, he throws Hilger as you see in that photo. Hilger lands about three feet in front of us and Steveson almost pins him with a second left.
This wrestling stuff is growing on me.
Current Team Scores:
- Penn State - 131
- Ohio State - 111.5
- Nebraska - 84
- Iowa - 83.5
- Minnesota - 76.5
- Wisconsin - 63.5
- Michigan - 62.5
- Rutgers - 43.5
- Northwestern - 43.5
- Purdue - 38
- Illinois - 30
- Michigan Sate - 25.5
- Indiana - 24.5
- Maryland - 7.5