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Wrestling: No. 8 Huskers fall to No. 1 Penn State

Nebraska unable to score any upsets in dual with top-ranked Nittany Lions

Nebraska’s No. 6 Ridge Lovett, seen here scoring back points against Michigan in 2020, was dominant Sunday in a 6-0 decision win over Penn State’s No. 15 Beau Bartlett at State College.
Dylan Guenther / CORN NATION

In a dual where the top-ranked Nittany Lions sent out three backups, No. 8 Nebraska was unable to take advantage in a 21-13 dual loss on the road at Penn State.

After falling short against No. 3 Michigan on Friday night at home, Nebraska hit the road to test itself against the best team in the country, falling short once again.

With defending NCAA Champion Carter Starocci at 174, No. 2 Max Dean at 197, and No. 10 Brady Berge at 165 pounds all sitting out this dual for Penn State, Nebraska was able to pick up four wins out of its top wrestlers but couldn’t pull the needed upsets to edge Penn State.

Match-By-Match Breakdown

*FloWrestling individual rankings used

125 pounds

Against Penn State, Nebraska’s Jeremiah Reno showed some good fight defensively but attempted almost no offense of his own.

For the Nittany Lions, No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt came out and scored a first-period takedown before riding out Reno the entire second period. In the third, Reno gave up a quick escape and spent the remainder of the match fending off Hildebrandt, falling to the Nittany Lion senior via decision 4-0.

Reno falls to 3-11 on the year with the loss.

Team Score: Penn State 3, Nebraska 0

133 pounds

After impressing in his past few matches against ranked opponents, Nebraska freshman Dominick Serrano found out what it’s like to face a defending NCAA champ in Penn State’s No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young.

Bravo-Young wasted little time racking up points, as he scored five takedowns in the first period to go up 10-4 before riding out Serrano for the entire second period.

Serrano gave up the escape in the third before Bravo-Young secured five more takedowns to earn the 23-8 win via tech fall.

Serrano is now 12-8 on the year with the pair of weekend losses.

Team Score: Penn State 8, Nebraska 0

141 pounds

After taking out Michigan’s No. 14 Stevan Micic Friday night, Nebraska’s No. 10 Chad Red Jr. was no match for No. 1 Nick Lee of Penn State.

Lee took Red down and rode out the remainder of the first period before going up 3-0 with a second-period escape. In the third, Red started on bottom and eventually got an escape on a granby roll, but he was never able to really threaten Lee with a takedown. Lee took the match 4-1 with riding time, improving his collegiate record against Red to 4-0.

With the loss, Red falls to 10-3 on the year.

Team Score: Penn State 11, Nebraska 0

149 pounds

With their backs against the wall, the Huskers turned to No. 6 Ridge Lovett to get them on the board.

Lovett continued his impressive season Sunday when he took on No. 15 Beau Bartlett of Penn State. In the first period, Bartlett had Lovett almost taken down, but the Husker sophomore showed incredible flexibility and strength as he turned it into a blast double-leg takedown that would have made Jordan Burroughs jealous. Watch it below.

Lovett rode out the rest of the first period before starting on bottom in the second and scoring a quick escape to go up 3-0. Lovett then secured another takedown before riding out the rest of the second period.

As has become the norm for Lovett, one of the best top wrestlers in the country, he started on top in the third period and rode out Bartlett for the rest of the match, securing the 6-0 decision win.

After winning via major decision against Michigan and this ranked win over Bartlett, Lovett is now 15-2 on the year.

Team Score: Penn State 11, Nebraska 3

157 pounds

After dropping his match against Michigan on Friday, Nebraska’s No. 8 Peyton Robb bounced back with a hard-fought win over Penn State’s Terrell Barraclough.

Robb started the match with a takedown before giving up the escape to go up 2-1. In the second, Robb scored an escape to go up 3-1. In the third, Robb started on top and eventually gave up the escape. Robb found himself in some late danger as Barraclough almost got in for the winning takedown.

It was a close call for Robb who improves to 9-5 on the year as he picked up his 40th career win.

Team Score: Penn State 11, Nebraska 6

165 pounds

In a battle of backups, Nebraska’s Tahjae Jenkins-Harris took on Penn State’s Creighton Edsell, who was the starter before the return of No. 10 Brady Berge to the lineup.

Edsell scored a late first-period takedown before riding out the period. In the second, Edsell rode out Jenkins-Harris for the entire period. Then in the third period, Jenkins-Harris gave up the quick escape and two takedowns as Edsell blew the match open, dropping Jenkins-Harris 9-2 via decision.

Jenkins-Harris is now 5-6 on the year for the Huskers.

Team Score: Penn State 14, Nebraska 6

174 pounds

Looking to bounce back from his loss on Friday, Nebraska’s No. 5 Mikey Labriola faced Penn State’s Mason Manville with No. 1 Carter Starocci sitting out.

Labriola scored a nice duck-under takedown in the first period before riding out the period. In the second, Labriola scored three takedowns to go up 8-3. Securing a quick escape and two more takedowns, Labriola earned the 14-4 major decision victory.

With the win, Labriola is now 14-2 on the year.

Team Score: Penn State 14, Nebraska 10

184 pounds

Facing top-ranked Aaron Brooks, Nebraska’s No. 12 Taylor Venz didn’t have an answer.

Brooks scored two takedowns in the first period, three in the second, and another in the final period to earn the 14-4 major decision win.

After a tough weekend that saw Venz fall to both No. 2 Myles Amine and No. 1 Aaron Brooks, Venz falls to 12-5 on the year.

Team Score: Penn State 18, Nebraska 10

197 pounds

With No. 2 Max Dean sitting out, Penn State’s Michael Beard toed the line against Nebraska’s No. 6 Eric Schultz. Last season, Beard was an All-American before the transfer of Dean from Cornell.

Beard took a 2-1 lead in the first with a takedown, but Schultz started the second period on top, earning a stalling point from Beard on the way to riding out the period.

In the third, Beard rode Schultz until riding time was under a minute before cutting the Husker loose for an escape. Beard then got in on Schultz’s leg and got the go-ahead takedown with 50 seconds left. In a bizarre scenario, Schultz then scored two stalling calls on Beard in the top position. Schultz took the 5-4 lead with the stall calls. Beard then was forced to cut Schultz loose and search for a tying takedown. Schultz held off the Nittany Lion for the 6-4 decision win.

With a pair of wins on the weekend, Schultz improves to 12-1 on the year.

Team Score: Penn State 18, Nebraska 13

285 pounds

Facing another top talent at heavyweight was Nebraska’s No. 10 Christian Lance.

Against Penn State’s No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet, Lance fell behind early on a big double-leg by Kerkvliet before getting the escape.

Kerkvliet then extended his lead to 5-1 with an escape and takedown in the second period. In the third, Lance started on bottom but Kerkvliet cut him loose. The Nittany Lion then got another takedown to earn the 8-2 decision victory.

With the loss, Lance falls to 12-5 on the season.

Team Score: Penn State 21, Nebraska 13

What’s Next for Nebraska?

The Huskers will play host to Illinois next Sunday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. The dual will air live on BTN.