With more intensity and a stronger lineup, No. 20 Nebraska wrestling made quick work of unranked Maryland in a dominating 48-3 win at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Sunday afternoon.
With its most points in a dual since 2008, Nebraska (3-3, 1-1) snapped a three-dual losing streak by winning nine of 10 matches, including two by forfeit and six by way of bonus points.
The Huskers came into their matchup against the Terrapins with consecutive losses to No. 6 North Carolina State, North Carolina and No. 12 Illinois.
Nebraska Coach Mark Manning said his team his team didn’t wrestle well in those duals, but changes made over the winter break are working.
“We changed what we’re doing,” Manning said. “Those changes are paying off and these guys are buying in and putting forth the work. Good things happen when you wrestle with a lot of fire.”
After a forfeit by Maryland at 157 pounds to start the dual, Nebraska sophomore Isaiah White, ranked No. 10 at 165 pounds, kickstarted the Huskers’ high scoring performance.
White earned his first fall of the season, pinning Brendan Burnham in 1:21. White said he was glad he got to start off the dual, even though he normally doesn’t like to.
“Normally when I start, it ends up good,” White said. “Getting that start, it was great, and then everyone started wrestling good.”
White said the move he used to pin Burnham isn’t considered a real move, but one he made up himself called the ‘He-Man’, based on the 1980s comic book character.
“It works every now and then,” White said. “If you get the right position, it’s effective.”
White’s bonus-point victory was the first of many for Nebraska during the dual.
After another forfeit by Maryland at 174 pounds, redshirt freshman Taylor Venz of Nebraska, ranked sixth at 184 pounds, earned his 11th bonus-point victory of the season. Venz defeated Niko Cappello of Maryland by technical fall, 18-0.
A major-decision victory for fellow redshirt freshman Eric Schultz of Nebraska gave the Huskers a 27-0 lead at the halfway point.
Maryland picked up its lone win of the dual at the heavyweight class. Yousiff Hemida, ranked No. 10 in his class for Maryland, edged Nebraska’s David Jensen by decision 7-4.
After a decision victory for Nebraska’s Mitchell Maginnis at 125 pounds, the Huskers won the last three matches of the dual by way of fall.
One of those pins came from true freshman Jason Renteria, who made his varsity debut at 133 pounds. Renteria wasted no time putting his opponent Danny Bertoni to the mat and on his back, ending the match in just 1:48.
Manning said after the dual that the coaching staff wanted Renteria in the lineup earlier in the season, but he was not making weight.
Following the match, White, who got the scoring started in the Huskers’ victory, said he noticed the team getting better during the break, adding Sunday’s win was a confidence boost.
“We’ve been working hard, getting better,” White said. “Hopefully it’s starting to show now.
“This was a big confidence booster. I feel like this was a jump start right here. So I feel like we’re going to start taking off.”
Nebraska will look to continue its momentum when it returns to action at home later this week in another Big Ten matchup against No. 24 Purdue. The dual is scheduled to begin Friday at 7 p.m.
157: #9 Tyler Berger (NEB) by forfeit (NEB 6, MD 0)
165: #10 Isaiah White (NEB) pin Brendan Burnham (MD), 1:21 (NEB 12, MD 0)
174: Beau Breske (NEB) by forfeit (NEB 18, MD 0)
184: #6 Taylor Venz (NEB) tech. fall Niko Cappello (MD), 18-0 (NEB 23, MD 0)
197: Eric Schultz (NEB) major dec. Mansur Abdul-Malik (MD), 16-3 (NEB 27, MD 0)
HWT: #10 Youssif Hemida (MD) dec. David Jensen (NEB), 7-4 (NEB 27, MD 3)
125: Mitchell Maginnis (NEB) dec. Brandon Cray (MD), 9-4 (NEB 30, MD 3)
133: Jason Renteria (NEB) pin Danny Bertoni (MD), 1:48 (NEB 36, MD 3)
141: #8 Chad Red Jr. (NEB) pin Ryan Diehl (MD), 3:22 (NEB 42, MD 3)
149: #8 Colton McCrystal (NEB) pin Alfred Bannister (MD), 3:17 (NEB 48, MD 3)
Cody is a senior journalism major at UNL. He grew up in Fairview, SD, a town of less than 70 people. Cody has covered a variety of Husker athletics, ranging from bowling to football. He has a passion for sports and an interest in telling stories and has developed a knack for sports data and looking deeper into statistics. He’s a fan of all Colorado sports teams. Cody and his fiancée Kaitlyn are engaged to be married in July 2018.