Nebraska put on a dominant effort in front of dozens of former Husker wrestlers in its season opener Friday night at the Devaney Center.
The 9th-ranked Huskers mowed through Campbell 37-4, putting up points in bunches along the way. No slouch, Campbell is in the “others receiving votes” part of the rankings. Make no mistake, the way Nebraska handled the Fighting Camels shows how good this team is.
Starting this dual at 184 pounds, Nebraska fans got to see two ranked matchups in a row. The Huskers then blew the dual wide open down the stretch, showing they’re a serious trophy threat this year.
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
It’s not common when a dual doesn’t start at 125 pounds, but the Camels chose for the dual to start here.
Nebraska’s No. 14 Lenny Pinto took the mat against No. 23 Caleb Hopkins of Campbell. Pinto secured a first-period takedown, taking a 3-1 lead to the second period. Pinto then gave up an escape and a takedown, thus trailing 5-3 going into the third.
Needing just one takedown to win, Pinto took a few shots throughout the final period and was able to get in and finish on one of them with just three seconds left, giving him the 6-5 decision win.
A sophomore, Pinto is now 2-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Campbell 0
Nebraska’s No. 6-ranked Silas Allred took on Campbell’s No. 19 Levi Hopkins here.
Allred and Hopkins traded takedowns to start the match with Allred scooping an ankle and Hopkins on a go-behind. Allred then broke the tie with a last-second takedown to end the first with a 7-4 lead.
Allred started the second on bottom and scored an escape followed by a takedown. He then gave up an escape, taking an 11-5 lead into the third.
In the third, Hopkins got an escape as Allred essentially cut him loose to start the period. Allred did get in a couple times but wasn’t able to finish for a takedown.
Allred moves to 2-0 on the year with the 11-6 decision win.
Team Score: Nebraska 6, Campbell 0
The roof about blew off the Devaney Center when freshman Harley Andrews shot off the opening whistle on Campbell’s No. 16 Taye Ghadiali, took him down and put him on his back. Unable to get the pin, Andrews was up 5-0 just 20 seconds into the match.
HWT | Back points! Harley with a quick shot to start the match. He leads 5-4 after one. pic.twitter.com/pkasw6AN4J— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) November 11, 2023
After that point though, it was all Ghadiali. A junior who is a two-time NCAA qualifier, Ghadiali took down Andrews seven times after that while adding a pair of escapes. Andrews scored seven escapes in that span.
With the 24-12 major decision loss, Andrews falls to 0-2 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 6, Campbell 4
Nebraska’s No. 13 Caleb Smith took on redshirt freshman Zander Phaturos of Campbell.
Phaturos was able to get in on Smith’s leg and nearly take him down in the first period, but Smith was able to hold on to a leg and work up for a takedown of his own. With the Phaturos escape, Smith was up 3-1 to start the second.
Smith put on a hard ride with a few big mat returns as he rode out Phaturos the entire second period.
In the third, Smith started on bottom and got the quick escape. Smith then shot on a leg and scored the takedown on the way to the 8-2 decison win with the riding time point.
In his first season as a Husker, Smith improves to 2-0.
Team Score: Nebraska 9, Campbell 4
Nebraska’s No. 32 Jacob Van Dee started his match against senior Logan Heil with a slick cross-ankle pick for a takedown before putting up over a minute of riding time. Van Dee then scored another takedown late in the period to go up 6-1.
Van Dee scored an escape to start the second period before scoring a reversal in the third. With riding time, Van Dee secured a 10-2 major decision and improves to 2-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Campbell 4
Making his season and home debut, No. 4 Brock Hardy didn’t waste much time.
Hardy used a pair of takedowns and a four-point tilt to go up 10-1 in the first period. In the second, it was more of the same as Hardy scored three more takedowns for the 19-4 win via tech fall in just 4:36.
141 | HE'S BACK❗️— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) November 11, 2023
Hardy picks up the 20-4 tech in his season debut.
With the win, Hardy is 1-0 and looks as good as ever.
Team Score: Nebraska 18, Campbell 4
Nebraska’s top-ranked Ridge Lovett followed that up with an equally impressive win over Campbell’s Justin Rivera.
Lovett took Rivera down before riding him out for over a minute. Lovett then scored an escape, a takedown and four nearfall points to start the second period to take an 11-0 lead.
Lovett then added two more takedowns, ending the match with a 17-2 tech fall late in the second period.
Ridge Lovett doing Ridge Lovett things.— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) November 11, 2023
Second straight tech fall to start the season pic.twitter.com/trPBajxoS7
With the win, Lovett is 2-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 23, Campbell 4
Finishing out “Murderer’s Row” Peyton Robb actually found a way to one-up Hardy and Lovett — he secured his tech fall faster and without giving up any points.
Sporting a head wrap, Robb was nearly taken down in the first period by freshman Chris Earnest but was able to turn it into his own takedown. He then collected six total nearfall points in the first period to go up 9-0.
Starting on bottom in the second, Robb got a reversal to go up 11-0 before tilting Earnest for four nearfall points and the 15-0 tech fall win.
New season, same P Robb— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) November 11, 2023
Peyton picks up the Huskers' third straight tech fall.
With the tech fall in just over 3 minutes, Robb is now 2-0 on the year with both wins via tech.
Team Score: Nebraska 28, Campbell 4
Despite the three tech that preceeded him, No. 26 Antrell Taylor may have stole the show. against Campbell’s Dom Baker.
The redshirt freshman was shot out of a cannon to start the match and nearly secured a first-period tech, putting his strength up at 165 on display. He collected five first-period takedowns as well as two nearfall points, taking a 17-5 lead into the second period.
After a scoreless second period, Taylor cut Baker loose to start the third before delivering a big slam for a takedown to go up 20-6.
Antrell Taylor with a 22-10 Major for the win!— NEwrestle (@NEBwrestle) November 11, 2023
Huskers lead 28-4 pic.twitter.com/rADIq0ETfw
Taylor then lost out on the tech when Baker scored a takedown on a flying squirrel attack on the edge. With the escape and the riding time point, Taylor earned the 22-10 major decision and improves to 2-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 32, Campbell 4
In the final match of the night, Nebraska sent out a different starter as it sorts out who will be the man at 174. Last week it was Elise Brown Ton who took a loss, this week it was sophomore Adam Thebeau.
Facing Brant Cracraft, Thebeau looked really good. With a takedown and two back points in the first period, Thebeau took a 5-0 lead to the second.
In the second, Thebeau added an escape, a takedown and two nearfall points, blowing the match open 11-0. After cutting Cracraft loose, Thebeau got another takedown late, giving him a 14-1 lead going into the third.
In the final period, Thebeau scored a quick takedown to earn the 17-1 tech fall win.
174 | Thebeau finishes the night with another tech— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) November 11, 2023
Six straight bonus-point victories to end the dual. pic.twitter.com/pFShxOa2eM
Thebeau is now 1-0 on the year.