Now that was one eventful night at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska stayed perfect on the year in a triangular with #13 Northern Iowa and Wyoming Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t without its highs and lows.
After UNI beat Wyoming 36-6, Nebraska took on the Cowboys of Wyoming. After an opening loss, Nebraska won nine straight matches with seven bonus-point wins to trounce Wyoming 44-3. The Huskers ended the dual with d-lineman Nash “The Polar Bear” Hutmacher pinning his opponent in the first period in his first collegiate match. Hutmacher was the #1 heavyweight prospect in the country in high school while going 166-0 with four South Dakota state titles. He ended his high school career with 73 pins in a row and just added another to the tally.
With a large contingency of Husker football players and a huge crowd on hand, Hutmacher certainly delivered.
Against UNI it was a different story. Nebraska saw two of its best get upset while also down a starter to injury. Both teams had team points deducted along the way, and the match came down to a controversial pinfall call that broke a 17-17 tie, giving Nebraska the 18-17 win on criteria — most pins (one).
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
In a rematch of his only loss so far this season, Nebraska’s #2 Caleb Smith took on Wyoming’s #14 Jore Volk to open the dual.
After a scoreless first period, Smith struck first with an escape in the second. In the third, Smith was call for a locked hands call while on top, tying the score at 1-1. Smith then conceded the escape in search of a takedown, but it was Volk who scored the late takedown to get the 5-1 decision over Smith.
In the dual against UNI, Smith took on #22 Trever Anderson. After another scoreless first period, Smith struck first again with an escape in the second, but not before Anderson had built up 1:12 in riding time.
In the third, Smith started on top and was able to get the riding time under a minute before giving up the escape, tying the match at 1-all, eventually sending the match into overtime. In sudden victory, Smith was able to get in low on a double leg for a clean takedown and a 4-1 decision win.
With his 1-1 record on the day, Smith is now 14-2 on the year.
Team Score: Wyoming 3, Nebraska 0
Team Score: Nebraska 3, UNI 0
Taking the mat for the Huskers in both duals was redshirt freshman Jacob Van Dee. He faced off first against Wyoming’s Cooper Birdwell.
Van Dee scored a quick takedown to start the match before putting on a hard ride. Birdwell did register an escape in the first before scoring a second escape in the second, but not before Van Dee built up over three minutes of riding time. Birdwell then was able to get in for a takedown to go up 5-3 with 20 seconds left in the period. The officials called for two nearfall points for Birdwell, but the Huskers threw the challenge brick and the back points were eventually wiped away. With 10 seconds left in the period, Van Dee reversed Birdwell to tie the match at 5-5.
133 | Big-time reversal and mat return to tie it up heading to the final period. pic.twitter.com/T2VcQrcZ00— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 6, 2024
In the third, Van Dee chose bottom but was cut loose, giving him a 6-5 lead. The young Husker was able to fend off Birdwell for the 7-5 decision with the riding-time point.
Against UNI, Van Dee took on #19 Julian Farber who Van Dee beat earlier this year. The match started with Van Dee picking Farber’s ankle right off the whistle and eventually working for the takedown, but the takedown was taken away after a UNI challenge. Farber then locked up a cradle late in the first to go up 3-0. Van Dee did escape before the end of the period.
In the second, Farber rode Van Dee out for the entire period, giving him 2:20 in riding time. In the third, Farber chose bottom and was given an intentional release. As Van Dee searched for a takedown, it was Farber who got in on a shot late, giving him the 8-1 decision win over Van Dee.
With his 1-1 record on the day, Van Dee is now 11-5 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Wyoming 3
Team Score: Nebraska 3, UNI 3
In the first dual, Nebraska’s #6 Brock Hardy took on Cole Brooks of Wyoming.
Hardy started fast with a takedown then seven total nearfall points before giving up an escape. In the second, Hardy scored a reversal for the 12-1 lead before riding out the period.
Brooks then scored a reversal in the third, but Hardy reversed him back and finished the match on top for a 15-3 major decision win.
Against UNI, Hardy faced #8 Cael Happel who beat Hardy 15-13 earlier this year.
Hardy struck first with a takedown and ride-out in the first period before adding an escape in the second to go up 4-0. With 10 seconds left in the second period, Happel was able to take Hardy down on the edge of the mat, cutting the Husker’s lead to 4-3.
Happel chose neutral in the third, and Hardy took him down early to go up 7-3. Happel then reversed Hardy before cutting him loose in search of the comeback. Happel then took Hardy down with eight seconds left, tying the match at 8-8.
In sudden victory, Happel was able to throw Hardy by for the winning takedown.
With his 1-1 record on the day, Hardy is now 10-4 on the year with all four losses to Top-10 opponents.
Team Score: Nebraska 7, Wyoming 3
Team Score: UNI 6, Nebraska 3
Nebraska’s #1 Ridge Lovett did what he was supposed to do against Wyoming’s #22 Gabe Willochell and UNI’s Cael Rahnavardi.
Against Willochell, Lovett quickly took him down, put him in a cradle and pinned him in just under 90 seconds.
It was Rahnavardi who gave Lovett more problems on the day and made him work for it. Lovett scored a takedown in the first before racking up almost two minutes of riding time. In the second, Lovett started down and got a reversal to go up 5-0, riding out the period again. With not much action in the third, Lovett won the match via 7-1 decision.
Lovett is now 14-0 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Wyoming 3
Team Score: Nebraska 6, UNI 6
Nebraska’s #3 Peyton Robb started the day against Wyoming’s Cooper Voorhees before taking on UNI’s #12 Ryder Downey.
Against Voorhees, Robb scored a takedown and four nearfall points to go up 7-0 while piling up 2:37 in riding time in the first period. In the second, Robb scored an escape and a takedown to go up 11-0.
Voorhees chose neutral in the third. Robb took him down and cut him loose before securing the 17-1 tech fall with another takedown.
THREEEEEE straight bonus point wins for NU.— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 6, 2024
157 | P-Robb with a dominant 18-1 tech fall pic.twitter.com/RayGCSkrZS
Facing the redshirt freshman Downey, Robb scored first with an arm-spin takedown. Downey then escaped and scored a takedown of his own to go up 4-3.
In the second, Downey extended his lead with an escape, but the UNI bench was hit with the loss of a team point for misconduct as they disagreed with an official’s call.
In the third, Robb started on bottom and was ridden for over a minute before getting a reversal to tie things at 5-all. Robb then gave up an escape with 20 seconds left but was unable to get a late takedown, falling to Downey 6-5.
Robb is now 14-1 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 18, Wyoming 3
Team Score: UNI 8, Nebraska 6
Nebraska’s #16 Antrell Taylor had a solid day against a pair of unranked opponents in Wyoming’s Brett McIntosh and UNI’s RJ Weston.
Taylor started things off with a beautiful display of offense as he racked up seven takedowns in a 21-5 tech fall against McIntosh.
Taylor and Weston wrestled a scoreless first period before Weston rode out the Husker freshman for the full second period. In the third, Taylor gave Weston an intentional release but was able to get a pair of powerful body lock takedowns for a 6-3 decision win.
Taylor is now 11-2 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 23, Wyoming 3
Team Score: Nebraska 9, UNI 8
Nebraska’s new 174-pounder #20 Bubba Wilson had himself a day with a pair of wins over Wyoming’s Kevin Anderson and UNI’s #31 Jared Simma.
Against Anderson, Wilson was quickly able to lock up a headlock and put the Cowboy on his back for a pinfall in under a minute.
— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 6, 2024
174 | Bubba Wilson makes it FIVE straight bonus point victories with a first-period pin (0:50) pic.twitter.com/xkUTh1XImx
After a scoreless first period against Simma, Wilson gave up an escape in the second but also scored on a stall call on Simma, making it a 1-1 tie going into the third.
Wilson chose bottom in the third and took a lead with an escape. Simma was then hit with stalling again as Wilson was pushing the pace and controlling the center of the mat, giving him a 3-1 decision win.
Wilson is now 10-4 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 29, Wyoming 3
Team Score: Nebraska 12, UNI 8
Nebraska’s starter #4 Lenny Pinto was out of action Saturday with an injury he suffered in practice, so Elise Brown Ton, normally a 174-pounder, moved up to replace him. He did well in splitting matches against Wyoming’s Tyce Raddon and UNI’s #1 Parker Keckeisen.
Against Raddon, Brown Ton scored the first takedown in the first period before adding two more in the third for a 10-3 decision win.
Against Keckeisen, Brown Ton did well in not getting pinned as the top-ranked Panther scored four takedowns and three nearfall points for the 17-2 tech fall.
Brown Ton is now 5-6 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 32, Wyoming 3
Team Score: UNI 13, Nebraska 12
Saturday looked like a major bounce back performance from #13 Silas Allred who downed both of his ranked opponents.
Facing Wyoming’s #19 Joey Novak, Allred scored a pair of takedowns before putting Novak on his back with a brutal bow and arrow for the pin in 2:16.
ANOTHER ONE— Nebraska Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 6, 2024
Allred ALL DAY. pic.twitter.com/tpsT4aGoMT
Against UNI’s #29 Wyatt Voelker, the first period went scoreless, but Allred scored two second-period takedown to go up 6-3. After a fast escape in the third, Allred was able to corral Voelker with his legs during a scramble, securing the rare non-controll fall for six big team points, although the officials questionably took a team point for a “headgear spike” by Allred as he flipped his gear to his corner in celebration.
With the loss of team point, the score was 17-13 going into the final match.
With the two pins, Allred is now 13-3 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 38, Wyoming 3
Team Score: Nebraska 17, UNI 13
In the most anticipated moment of the night, Nebraska’s Nash Hutmacher took the mat for the first time in college after joining the wrestling team after the football season ended. The starting nose tackle for Nebraska who was listed at 330 pounds, Hutmacher was able to get down to 285 to take the mat for the Huskers. Hutmacher is looking to slim down for his senior season on the field.
Against Wyoming’s Kevin Zimmer, Hutmacher got to a leg, elevated it and finished with a foot sweep. Shortly after, Hutmacher isolated an arm and was able to muscle Zimmer over for the pinfall, sending the Devaney crowd into a frenzy.
Taking the mat for the Huskers against UNI’s Tyrell Gordon was Harley Andrews. The redshirt freshman wrestled Gordon to a scoreless first period before getting ridden out for the entire second period.
In the third, Andrews gave up a point on a locked hands call before eventually cutting Gordon loose. Gordon then scored a pair of takedowns to secure the 9-1 major decision, tying the dual at 17-17. Based on criteria (most pins), Nebraska ended up winning 18-17 on the controversial pin by Allred.
Hutmacher is now a perfect 1-0 while Andrews is 8-9 on the year.