Photo by Pat Radigan
149: McCrystal — Major (15-3)
157: Berger — Pin (2:16)
165: White — Pin (0:40)
184: Venz — Major (12-2)
Story by Pat Radigan
Huskers respond from slow start to run Big Ten record to 5-1
Of all of the Senior Day scenarios that Colton McCrystal could have imagined, being down 12-0 to unranked Indiana was probably not high on the list.
But McCrystal said he wasn’t worried, and calmly went about picking apart his opponent for a 15-3 major decision. The comeback was on.
A pair of pins later, Nebraska was in the lead, and the Huskers stayed in control the rest of the dual to hold off the Hoosiers 23-18 in the final home matchup of the year. The win moves NU to 7-2 in duals, and 5-1 in the Big Ten, and gave the Big Red one last taste of home cooking with more than a month remaining until the Big Ten Championships.
Indiana took its early lead when No. 20 Cole Weaver knocked off No. 12 Chad Red Jr. in the 141-pound match for the third straight win to open the match. The dual started with an overtime win at 125 pounds, then got much worse for Nebraska with a pin at 133. Weaver added another win thanks to an overtime escape, and put the Huskers in a hole heading to 149.
McCrystal switched the momentum in a hurry, though, and put away a pair of first period takedowns against Alajandro Raya, and added and a first-period nearfall to go up 6-1. Raya got a reversal in the second period, while the only point McCrystal scored was the subsequent escape.
The second period slowdown put a spark back in McCrystal’s step, before the senior got an escape, a takedown and nearly pinned Raya as the home crowd got loud. McCrystal settled for a 4-point nearfall, and rode the third-period points to a major decision.
Two minutes and 56 seconds of mat action later, and the Huskers were in the lead.
No. 8 Tyler Berger took the mat immediately following McCrystal’s win, and quickly worked his way to a takedown and a nearfall. Indiana’s Austin Holmes didn’t have an answer, and unlike Raya was unable to avoid being pinned.
Following the fall in 2:16, Nebraska’s Isaiah White (No. 12 at 165) did his best to one-up Berger, and put away a pin in 40 seconds. In the blink of an eye, Nebraska was ahead 16-12.
Indiana was able to respond with a decision by No. 19 Devin Skatzka, with NU’s Beau Breske narrowly avoiding a pin following a video review, and trimmed the lead to a point.
The Hoosiers would not regain the lead, thanks to No. 7 Taylor Venz’ major decision in the next match at 184 pounds. Venz started with a 4-point nearfall, and allowed just two escapes over the three periods to cruise to a 12-2 win.
Eric Schultz held on to win 6-4 at 197 pounds, and secured the dual win for Nebraska with one match to go.
After hosting home duals on three straight weekends, Nebraska will now head to the road for the four duals remaining on the schedule. The Huskers head to Michigan next weekend to take on the Wolverines and Spartans, before capping the regular season with duals against Wisconsin and Stanford.