Manning Likes Huskers' Mindset as They Ready for March Matness
Photo Credit: James Wooldridge

Huskers Rally Again, Win Fifth Straight Dual

January 28, 2018

On Senior Day for Nebraska wrestling, the Huskers battled to their third consecutive come-from-behind victory, defeating Indiana (6-7, 0-6) by a score of 23-18 Sunday afternoon inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Trailing 12-0 after the first three matches, No. 16 Nebraska (7-3, 5-1) won five of the final seven, including four by way of bonus points to complete the comeback.

After the match, Nebraska Coach Mark Manning said it is concerning getting down early in duals, but the staff will make adjustments.

“We want to win 45-0,” Manning said. “We got to work for it better. It is what it is right now. Yeah, it concerns me, but when it hurts you make some changes and we got some matches (left) to correct things with.”

In his final home match, Nebraska senior Colton McCrystal, ranked No. 11 in his weight class by InterMat, started the Huskers scoring spurt at 141-pounds with a dominant 15-3 major decision. McCrystal finished with 2:40 of riding time against Alejandro Raya of Indiana.

When McCrystal’s hand was raised, the crowd of 1,164 gave the senior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, a standing ovation.

“That was nice,” McCrystal said. “It felt good. I’m going to miss it, but there’s more to do and I’m excited for the next few weeks.”

The Huskers still trailed by eight points in the team score going into the 157-pound match, but it only took 2:56 of action before they possessed a four-point lead.

Nebraska junior Tyler Berger, ranked eighth in his weight class, earned his first pin fall of the season, sticking Austin Holmes of Indiana to the mat in 2:16.

In the next match at 165 pounds, sophomore Isaiah White of Nebraska, ranked No. 12 in his weight class, needed just 40 seconds to earn his second pin fall of the season.

White said the victories from McCrystal and Berger, both team captains, helped his mindset going into his match.

“We try to mimic what the older guys on the team do,” White said.  “(Berger) always gets me started—obviously he goes before me—I’m one of those guys that builds off of energy really well, so that helped a lot.”

McCrystal said he wasn’t ever worried about Nebraska being down and knew his teammates would do their job and the bonus points would come.

“I wasn’t nervous for us. Underperformed definitely those first three, but I knew that the rest of us—we’d be able to put it away,” McCrystal said.

After a Hoosiers’ win at 174 pounds, the Huskers sealed the dual victory with a pair of wins from redshirt freshmen at 184 and 197 pounds.

At 184, seventh-ranked Taylor Venz, now 17-4 on the season, earned his 12th bonus-point victory with a 12-2 major decision against Norman Conley of Indiana. Venz tallied 3:54 of riding time.

The Huskers win Sunday was their fifth in a row, dating back to Jan. 7 against Maryland. It was also the third-straight time they have comeback after being shutout through the first three matches of the dual.

Nebraska trailed 10-0 against No. 20 Northwestern on Jan. 19 and 9-0 against No. 16 Rutgers on Jan. 21. The Huskers won those duals 19-18 and 19-13, respectively.

Nebraska hits the road for its final four duals of the season, beginning next Friday at No. 7 Michigan (8-2, 5-1) and at Michigan State (5-7, 1-5) next Sunday.

Manning said he sees the remaining schedule as a chance to see where his team stands as a whole.

“I want to see where our team is after next Friday,” Manning said. “Our team needs to be challenged.”

Match Results

125: Elijah Oliver (IND) SV-1 Mitchell Maginnis (NEB), 3-1 (IND 3, NEB 0)

133: Garrett Pepple (IND) pin fall Brian Peska (NEB), 1:56 (IND 9, NEB 0)

141: No. 20 Cole Weaver (IND) TB-1 No. 12 Chad Red Jr. (NEB), 6-5 (IND 12, NEB 0)

149: No. 11 Colton McCrystal (NEB) major dec. Alejandor Raya (IND), 15-3 (IND 12, NEB 4)

157: No. 8 Tyler Berger (NEB) pin fall Austin Holmes (IND), 2:40 (IND 12, NEB 10)

165: No. 12 Isaiah White (NEB) pin fall Dillon Hoey (IND), 0:40 (NEB 16, IND 12)

174: No. 19 Devin Skatzka (IND) dec. Beau Breske (NEB), 8-3 (NEB 16, IND 15)

184: No. 7 Taylor Venz (NEB) major dec. Norman Conley (IND), 12-2 (NEB 20, IND 15)

197: Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. Jake Kleimola (IND), 6-4 (NEB 23, IND 15)

HWT: Fletcher Miller (IND) dec. Patrick Grayson (NEB), 5-2 (NEB 23, IND 18)

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