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Nebraska Wrestling: Huskers in the Rankings, January 21

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Eric Schultz moves up six spots to No. 8

NCAA Wrestling: Big Ten Wrestling Championship Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

In a week that saw the Huskers push the top-ranked wrestling team in the country, there were few major changes to the individual Nebraska wrestlers’ national rankings at their respective weight classes. It makes sense, as when facing a team with as many highly-ranked wrestlers as the Hawkeyes, Nebraska had more to gain than it had to lose.

As a team, Nebraska (5-2, 0-2 Big Ten) held firm at No. 7 despite the loss.

125 - Redshirt Freshman Alex Thomsen (6-9) has some work to do to right the ship, as he’s dropped his last four matches, with three of those losses coming to ranked opponents, including his 18-0 tech fall loss in the first period to Iowa’s top-ranked Spencer Lee.

133 - True Freshman Ridge Lovett (8-5) holds firm at No. 13 at his weight class, despite the fact he’s still looking for his first dual win. Having faced No. 1 (Wisconsin’s Seth Gross) and No. 2 (Iowa’s Austin DeSanto) in consecutive duals, Lovett has faced a murderers’ row as of late, and it doesn’t get any easier this week when he squares off against Penn State’s third-ranked Roman Bravo-Young. Yes that’s right, Lovett is in the midst of facing the top three wrestlers in the nation in consecutive duals. And he’s only 19.

141 - Junior Chad Red Jr. (11-4) moves up one spot to No. 8 after defeating Iowa’s sixth-ranked Max Murin 6-2. Red, a two-time All-American, has the ability to challenge for a Big Ten title and maybe more, but he needs to find his consistency. He has a chance to pull off another statement win when he faces Penn State’s second-ranked undefeated Nick Lee on Friday night.

149 - Senior Collin Purinton (10-5) jumped two spots in the rankings to No. 14 despite his recent loss in the Iowa dual, however that loss came at the hands of top-ranked Pat Lugo. Even though Purinton lost, it was the way he challenged the top-ranked Hawkeye that led to his slight uptick in the rankings, falling just 6-2 to the undefeated senior.

157 - Redshirt Freshman Peyton Robb (12-3) still sits at the No. 11 spot after eventually falling to Iowa’s Kaleb Young (No. 6) by decision 6-4. Robb gets his shot at another highly-ranked opponent when he takes on Penn State’s Brady Berge (No. 4).

165 - Senior Isaiah White (12-2) sits at No. 5 after two consecutive losses to top-five opponents in Wisconsin’s Evan Wick (then No. 5) and Iowa’s Alex Marinelli (No. 2). Things don’t get any easier for the Senior as he tries to get back into the win column on Friday against Penn State’s top-ranked Vincenzo Joseph (6-0).

174 - Sophomore Mikey Labriola (13-4) stays ranked sixth after a tough 3-1 loss to Iowa’s Michael Kemerer (No. 2). Up next for the All-American is a showdown with top-ranked Mark Hall (15-0) of Penn State.

184 - Junior Taylor Venz (11-5) drops three spots to No. 8 after a disappointing 6-4 loss to then tenth-ranked Iowa freshman Abe Assad. The 2018 All-American for the Huskers looks to bounce back against another tough freshman in Penn State’s sixth-ranked Aaron Brooks, who carries a perfect 7-0 record into their matchup.

197 - Junior Eric Schultz (15-2) was the story of Nebraska’s dual against Iowa, as he took down Iowa’s Jacob Warner (then No. 4) by a 3-1 decision. Schultz is on a roll this year (7-0 dual record) and moves from No. 14 to No. 8 at his weight class.

285 - Senior Christian Lance (9-5) holds steady at No. 15 at heavyweight despite back-to-back losses to top-six wrestlers. Lance, the transfer from Fort Hays State, has a real shot at getting back into the win column against Penn State. Due to a season-ending shoulder injury to 2019 national champion Anthony Cassar, the Nittany Lions have turned to freshman Seth Neville, who is no slouch in his own right sporting a perfect 9-0 record on the year. But he’s no Anthony Cassar.

Nebraska takes on second-ranked Penn State Friday at 6 p.m. at the Devaney Sports Center. The dual will be televised live on BTN.