The 6th-ranked Huskers finished their weekend with a 27-14 win over Purdue at the Devaney Center Sunday afternoon.
Starting a pair of backups against the Boilermakers, the Huskers were led by #1 Ridge Lovett and a pair of redshirt freshmen in #25 Jacob Van Dee and #17 Antrell Taylor as they captured the dual. In fact, on Friday against #9 Minnesota, Nebraska also relied on Taylor and redshirt freshman Harley Andrews at heavyweight to win the dual. All redshirt freshmen, Van Dee, Taylor and Andrews combined to go 4-0 on the weekend in pivotal matches.
Also a big-time contributor for Nebraska against the Boilermakers was Grand Island native Blake Cushing who stepped in at 141 pounds and beat a ranked opponent.
The Huskers improve to 7-1 on the year with their only loss to #3 Iowa.
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
Nebraska elected to send out true freshman Alan Koehler to face #8 Matt Ramos and start the dual. Normally, Nebraska’s starter is #5 Caleb Smith.
While still redshirting this year, Koehler held his own early but was overwhelmed late as Ramos poured it on in the third period. Down 5-2 to start the third, Koehler gave up three takedowns and four nearfall points, falling via 19-4 tech fall.
A freshman with a lot of promise, Koehler gained some valuable experience facing a top-ranked guy in a dual, regardless of the outcome.
Team Score: Purdue 5, Nebraska 0
With his team needing a boost, Nebraska’s #25 Jacob Van Dee took on Purdue’s Dustin Norris.
Van Dee got an early takedown in the first and took his 3-1 lead into the second. Starting on bottom in the second, Van Dee eventually reached back, swimming for Norris’ head, and got a reversal before riding out the period for a 5-1 lead.
Van Dee cut Norris to start the third and was unable to get another score, ending the match with a riding-time point and a 6-2 decision win.
Van Dee improves to 13-5 on the year with the win.
Team Score: Purdue 5, Nebraska 3
Sending out another backup, Nebraska’s Blake Cushing took the mat against #32 Greyson Clark, a true freshman for the Boilermakers who came in with a 13-4 record on the year.
Cushing was impressive while spelling #8 Brock Hardy, taking down Clark in the first period and adding an escape in the second to go up 4-0 going into the third.
In the third, Cushing got a nice takedown on a re-attack on the edge of the mat. Clark did score a late takedown with 15 seconds left, but Cushing earned the 7-5 decision win.
141 | Blake Cushing gives us the lead with a 7-5 decision over Clark— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 21, 2024
PUR 5 pic.twitter.com/dGB5VdgwLN
With the win, Cushing is now 12-5 on the year (3-2 against DI competition).
Team Score: Nebraska 6, Purdue 5
Nebraska’s #1 Ridge Lovett just keeps rolling along, downing Purdue’s Marcos Polanco on Sunday.
Lovett scored two takedowns in the first period before adding two more and a reversal in the second to go up 14-4. In the third, Polanco made the drastic mistake of choosing bottom against Lovett and he paid for it. Lovett ran an arm bar before getting a figure four on Polanco’s head for the win via pinfall.
With his fourth pinfall win of the year, Lovett is now 16-0 this season.
Team Score: Nebraska 12, Purdue 5
Nebraska’s #3 Peyton Robb continued his recent struggles against Purdue true freshman #23 Joey Blaze, dropping his fourth match in a row.
The first period ended scoreless but had plenty of action as each wrestler had their shots to score but multiple scrambles were blown dead due to potentially-dangerous situations.
In the second, Robb started down and was able to roll through a couple times before eventually collecting a reversal. After letting Blaze go, Robb was up 2-1.
In the third, Robb started on top and was putting on a hard ride before he was reversed by Blaze who caught the two-time All-American on his back for the pinfall.
With the loss, Robb is now 14-4 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 12, Purdue 11
Facing the only guy who’s bonus-pointed him this year, Nebraska’s #17 Antrell Taylor faced off against Purdue’s Stoney Buell. At the Cliff Keen Invite, Buell beat Taylor 12-1 by major decision on the back side of the bracket.
Taylor turned the tables on Buell on Sunday. The two traded takedowns and escapes in the first period before Taylor added another late in the period to go up 7-4. Taylor then added an escape and a last-second takedown in the second to go up 10-5.
In the third period, Taylor scored a quick escape and a takedown on a low double-leg, collecting the 14-6 major decision win.
With the win, Taylor is now 13-3 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 16, Purdue 11
Nebraska’s #19 Bubba Wilson took on Purdue’s Brody Baumann here.
Baumann struck first with a fast takedown in the first period before Wilson scored an escape. Wilson then cut the deficit to 3-2 with a second-period escape.
Baumann started the third from neutral, and Wilson shot from space but appeared to slip or just overextend himself, getting caught for a counter takedown by Baumann. Baumann rode Wilson out, handing him the 7-2 loss.
With the loss, Wilson is now 11-6 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 16, Purdue 14
With the dual still in the balance, Nebraska’s #3 Lenny Pinto rebounded from his Friday loss to down Purdue’s James Rowley.
After a long scramble to begin the first, Pinto eventually took Rowley down and rode him out in the first period, lifting him and returning him hard twice to end the period.
In the second, Pinto started on top and eventually cut Rowley after getting called for stalling on top. In the final seconds of the period, Pinto scored another takedown to go up 6-1. Pinto then added an escape in the third to earn the 7-1 decision win.
With the win, Pinto is now 13-3 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 19, Purdue 14
Nebraska’s #14 Silas Allred dominated Purdue’s Ben Vanadia to close out the dual for the Huskers.
Allred took Vanadia down a whopping five times in the first period before adding an escape and one more takedown in the second for the 19-4 tech fall in just 3:28.
With the win, Allred is now 15-4 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 24, Purdue 14
With the dual locked up for Nebraska, Nash Hutmacher took the mat to take on Purdue’s Tristan Ruhlman.
After a scoreless first period, Nash chose down in the second and got a fast reversal on a switch, nearly getting Ruhlman’s arm for a turn. Hutmacher then scored a point on a stalling call on Ruhlman to go up 4-0 going into the third after Hutmacher rode him out for the rest of the period, racking up 1:44 in riding time.
In the third, Hutmacher was searching for another takedown but was unable to convert, eventually winning the match 5-0 with the riding-time point.
With the win, Hutmacher is now 2-1 on the year since joining the team in early December.