Minnesota 19, Nebraska 13

Gophers Knock Off No. 10 Cornhuskers in Dramatic Contest

MINNEAPOLIS – The Gophers kicked off the first leg of Championship Weekend on the right foot, as they knocked off #10 Nebraska by a score of 19-13 as they honored the 20th anniversary of the 2001 and 2002 national championship teams.

The dual came down to the final bout of the evening, but the Gophers would take six of the ten matches to earn themselves the upset win. The win also helped head coach Brandon Eggum reach a career milestone as he got his 50th dual victory on Friday evening.

““The most impressive thing about the guys tonight was that it was a full-team effort and they wrestled every second of those seven minutes,” Eggum said. “I’ve been really proud of the progress these guys have made over the last couple weeks. The way we’re finishing third periods has been amazing and we’ve still been really close to having even more of these big upsets because of our effort in the third period. Up and down the lineup, it’s been impressive how they’ve come out as a team and continued to battle.”

Cael Carlson kicked off the dual with his second straight home win at 165 pounds as he defeated Nebraska’s Bubba Wilson in a 6-3 decision. Carlson’s offense proved to be the difference in the match as Carlson secured two takedowns to Wilson’s none.

Bailee O’Reilly dropped a heartbreaker at 174 pounds against fifth-ranked Mikey Labriola. O’Reilly had knotted the match at 5-5 with fifteen seconds left in the frame, but a last-second reversal plus two-nearfall for Mikey Labriola allowed the Cornhusker to steal it at the end.

Isaiah Salazar made his return to the lineup after a one-week hiatus from the lineup by defeating Brandyn Van Tassel at 184 pounds with a 9-3 decision.

After Michial Foy dropped a close contest against fifth-ranked Eric Schultz, Gable Steveson closed out the first half with his fourth major decision of the year against #11 Christian Lance.

Coming out of the break, Patrick McKee and Jake Gliva got two huge decision wins to push the Gopher lead to 16-6 in the dual. Gliva was previously 0-2 against Thomsen in his career, but a huge feet-to-back exchange from Gliva broke the match wide open as he walked away with the 8-3 win.

Minnesota dropped the next two matches however as Jager Eisch and Michael Blockhus both took losses to top-10 opponents. Eisch, who has competed all the way down to 125 at times this season, showed a game performance in his dual debut. The true freshman rode out Chad Red for the majority of the third period and nearly eliminated the major decision with a deep attack late in the match.

All of that led to a dual-deciding feature bout between #4 Brayton Lee and #5 Peyton Robb, with Nebraska needing a major decision to win the dual due to tiebreaking criteria.

All that tie-break talk became a moot point, however, as Lee prevailed with a decisive 4-0 victory over his top-5 foe. Lee took the momentum in the second period by riding out the entire frame, then he broke the match open with a takedown in the third period en route to the shutout win.

“It was really fun,” Lee said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete, and Peyton (Robb) is a great wrestler. It’s always fun being able to face new challenges, and overall I was really proud of our team. It’s just fun wrestling. Wrestling is a gift and every time I get to step out there, I’m grateful for it.”

Up next for Minnesota is the 100th rendition of the Border Battle as they host another top-10 test in the #9 Wisconsin Badgers. The Gophers will also use the intermission to honor the career of former head coach J Robinson.

#14 Minnesota 19, #10 Nebraska 13
165: Cael Carlson (MINN) dec. Bubba Wilson (NEB), 6-3
174: #5 Mikey Labriola (NEB) dec. #23 Bailee O’Reilly (MINN), 9-5
184: #28 Isaiah Salazar (MINN) dec. Brandyn Van Tassel (NEB), 9-3
197: #4 Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. #30 Michial Foy (MINN), 2-1
HWT: #1 Gable Steveson) maj. dec. #11 Christian Lance (NEB), 18-6
125: #8 Patrick McKee (MINN) dec. Jeremiah Reno (NEB), 7-2
133: #24 Jake Gliva (MINN) dec. Alex Thomsen (NEB), 8-3
141: #9 Chad Red Jr. maj. dec. Jager Eisch (MINN), 9-0
149: #4 Ridge Lovett (NEB) dec. #24 Michael Blockhus (MINN), 7-2
157: #4 Brayton Lee (MINN) dec. #5 Peyton Robb (NEB), 4-0

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