Not only did the Huskers dominate the Golden Gopher as a team, but they saw a number of big-time performances on their way to a 21-9 win.
The Huskers had three upset wins on the night as well as dominant performances out of their heavy hitters as they won seven of the 10 matches.
Nebraska improves to 5-2 in duals on the season while Minnesota drops to 7-2 after losing their last two to No. 11 Northwestern and to the Huskers.
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
Starting off for the Huskers was No. 8 Liam Cronin. The senior took on No. 3 Pat McKee of Minnesota and looked very impressive along the way.
McKee struck first in the first period with a takedown before Cronin got an escape. In the second period, Cronin tied things at 2-2 with a quick escape before getting right in on a single leg for a takedown. After a McKee escape, Cronin again got in on another fast single leg for another takedown, taking a 6-3 lead into the final period.
In the third, Cronin built his riding time up over a minute before giving up the escape. Cronin then blasted through McKee for a double-leg takedown. McKee notched another escape, but Cronin was able to pad his lead with a late takedown. With the riding-time point, Cronin earned the 11-6 upset victory.
With the big win, Cronin is now 12-2 on the year and will certainly move up in the rankings.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Minnesota 0
Next up for Nebraska was junior Kyle Burwick. The Wisconsin transfer has only competed this year unattached as he’s been stuck in an eligibility squabble with the Badgers. This week, the NCAA stepped in and approved his waiver for immediate eligibility.
Wearing a Husker singlet for the first time, Burwick took the mat against No. 22 Aaron Nagao.
Burwick struck first when he circled around Nagao for an early first-period takedown. He then rode out the Gopher for the rest of the period, racking up 2:39 in riding time.
In the second, Burwick started on bottom. Nagao, known for his abilities on top, really worked Burwick from the top position. Nagao got both his feet in and flattened Burwick out and worked on turning him. Burwick did a commendable job of not getting turned, but he suffered for it as Nagao nearly ripped his shoulder out of the socket. Burwick was noticably limited after that.
They started neutral in the third period, and Nagao was able to tie things with a takedown before putting on another hard ride and working on Burwick’s shoulders again. The match was tied 2-2 after regulation, sending things to sudden victory overtime. Burwick shot first, but Nagao was able to counter with a double-leg takedown for the 4-2 win over Burwick in his varsity debut.
Burwick is now 10-1 on the year after the loss.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Minnesota 3
In another matchup of ranked opponents, Nebraska’s No. 4 Brock Hardy took on No. 11 Jake Bergeland.
Hardy struck first with a takedown and ride-out in the first period before starting on bottom in the second and securing a reversal straight into putting Bergeland on his back for four nearfall points. Hardy again rode out the Gopher for the rest of the period.
In the third period, Hardy started on top and was able to keep Bergeland down for the full period, giving him a 9-0 major decision win with 4:31 in riding time.
Hardy is now 18-2 on the year and has been extremely impressive. He’s absolutely in the conversation for a national title at 141 pounds.
Team Score: Nebraska 7, Minnesota 3
In probably the biggest upset of the dual, Nebraska’s Dayne Morton showed massive improvement with a win over No. 18 Michael Blockhus.
After a scoreless first period, Morton scored first with an escape in the second. Morton then extended his lead with a takedown before Blockhus scored an escape.
Leading 3-1 going into the third, Morton started on top. Blockhus was able to boost Morton up for a reversal to tie things at 3-3. The Gopher was able to put on a hard ride to get his riding time over a minute, but Morton rolled through for a reversal with 10 seconds left to go up 5-3. With the riding-time point for Blockhus, Morton still earned the 5-4 decision win.
With the win, Morton is now 4-7 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 10, Minnesota 3
Nebraska’s No. 1 Peyton Robb took on No. 10 Brayton Lee of Minnesota. Robb fell to Lee last season 4-0 and was able to exact his revenge on the Gopher.
After a scoreless first period, Robb started on bottom and earned an escape to go up 1-0.
In the final period, Robb started on top and put on full display his newfound commitment to improving in the top position. Robb rode Lee hard with mat returns and multiple restarts as the two went out of bounds. Robb was able to ride the period out, collecting the riding-time point for a 2-0 shutout win.
157 | Big-time W for Robb over No. 12 Lee.— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 14, 2023
Huskers on top 10-3 after Robb's 2-0 decision. pic.twitter.com/zXCT90wYkI
Robb improves to 16-0 on the year as he’s the favorite to win the NCAA title.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Minnesota 3
Nebraska’s No. 21 Bubba Wilson took on Minnesota’s Andrew Sparks here. Sparks is an honorable mention in the 165-pound rankings.
After a scoreless first period, Wilson struck first with an escape to start the second. Sparks then put up five unanswered points with a pair of takedowns and an escape in the final two period. He also secured riding time in downing Wilson 6-1.
Wilson falls to 9-7 with the loss.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Minnesota 6
Nebraska’s No. 2 Mikey Labriola got things back on track against No. 14 Bailee O’Reilly.
After a scoreless first period, O’Reilly took the early lead with an escape to start the second. Labs wasted no time in getting in on a single-leg shot for a takedown. Labriola cut O’Reilly for an escape before getting another takedown. With another escape by O’Reilly, Labriola took a 4-3 lead into the third.
Labriola scored a fast escape in the third to go up 5-3. There was plenty of action the rest of the period but no scoring as Labriola left with the 5-3 decision win.
With the win, Labriola is now 16-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 16, Minnesota 6
In one of the premier matches of the dual, Nebraska’s No. 15 Lenny Pinto took on No. 11 Isaiah Salazar.
In a match that was high-paced and was never short of action, Pinto struck first in the first period when he threw Salazar over onto his back for a takedown and two nearfall points to go up 4-0. With a fast escape by Salazar, the score was 4-1.
184 | Big first period for Pinto. 4-1 after 3:00. pic.twitter.com/nWG98gk44n— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 14, 2023
In the second period, Salazar scored an escape. There wasn’t any more scoring, but the two really went after one another.
With a neutral start in the third, Salazar was able to score a takedown on Pinto, but the Husker was able to immediately roll into a reversal to go back up 6-4. Pinto then gave up the escape, but Salazar shot late and was able to get a takedown on the edge with three seconds left to steal the 7-6 decision. Pinto led almost the entire match but fell just short in the end.
During the match, Nebraska’s coaches were penalized a team point for control of the mat.
With the loss, Pinto falls to 9-6 on the year but has proven to be a must-watch for fans.
Team Score: Nebraska 15, Minnesota 9
Nebraska’s No. 15 Silas Allred faced off against Michial Foy, an honorable mention in the rankings.
Allred looked to get a takedown in the first period but it was taken away after review. Foy then struck first with a late takedown to go up 2-0. In the second period, Foy scored an escape to start, but Allred cut the deficit with a late takedown of his own.
In the final period, Allred was able to outscore Foy 4-1, including another late takedown to earn the 6-4 decision.
With the win, Allred improves to 15-4 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 18, Minnesota 9
With the dual win secured, Nebraska’s Cale Davidson took on Minnesota’s Garrett Joles, also an honorable mention in the rankings.
Davidson was able to score first with a first-period takedown and ride-out, taking a 2-0 lead and 56 seconds of riding time into the second. Joles then evened the score 2-2 to start the second before an escape from Davidson. Davidson then scored a takedown of his own to go up 5-2 into the final period.
Davidson again scored a late takedown in the third period to secure the 9-6 victory.
HWT | Davidson doin' work— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 14, 2023
He hangs on for the 9-6 victory over No. 25 Joles. pic.twitter.com/VLqqLF5pOV
With the win, Davidson improves to 8-10 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 21, Minnesota 9
What’s Next for Nebraska?
Nebraska hosts No. 11 Northwestern tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. The dual will air on BTN+ (subscription required).