Nebraska 19 Minnesota 14

No. 9 Gophers Drop Dual, but Notch Upset Wins against No. 6 Huskers

MINNEAPOLIS – Despite three upset victories, No. 9 Minnesota (5-2, 0-2 Big Ten) came up just short in a 19-14 dual loss to No. 6 Nebraska (6-1, 1-1 Big Ten) in front of a season-high crowd of 2,481 Friday night at Maturi Pavilion.

The Golden Gophers won four of the 10 matches on the night, including three victories over wrestlers ranked seventh or better, according to InterMat. Minnesota’s two dual losses on the season have now come to teams ranked third and sixth in the NWCA Coaches Poll.

No. 18 Patrick McKee got things started with a bang thanks to an 18-2 tech fall over No. 7 Caleb Smith at 125 pounds. McKee wasted little time with a takedown off a Smith attack and added three nearfall points. While still in control, McKee added four nearfall points and led 10-0 after the first period. Another takedown off a Smith attack extended McKee’s lead to 14-2 and he capped it off in the third at 5:24 for his second tech fall of the season and first ranked win.

With The Pav buzzing after McKee’s win, No. 27 Tyler Wells kept the momentum going with a 6-3 overtime victory over Kyle Burwick at 133 pounds. Down 2-0 in the third period, Wells got a takedown to take the lead, but an escape from Burwick sent the match to sudden-victory. It didn’t take long for Wells to get the go-ahead score and win his fourth match in a row.

Nebraska fought back, however, and won the next two matches as No. 8 Brock Hardy defeated No. 19 Vance VomBaur, 8-3, at 141 pounds, while No. 1 Ridge Lovett scored an 11-0 major decision over No. 13 Drew Roberts at 149.

Minnesota’s second upset of the evening came at 157 pounds. Sixth-year senior Michael Blockhus, coming off a win over the No. 2 wrestler Monday night at Iowa, added a victory over the No. 3-ranked wrestler as he topped Peyton Robb, 12-6. Ranked 10th, Blockhus exploded for a double-leg takedown in the second period and added four nearfall points after a thunderous mat return to take an 8-5 lead. A third-period takedown provided the exclamation point as Blockhus improved to 3-0 against ranked opponents this season.

Minnesota led 11-7 at intermission, but the Cornhuskers took the next two matches after the break. No. 18 Antrell Taylor topped No. 30 Blaine Brenner, 8-2, at 165 pounds, while No. 29 Bubba Wilson recorded a 4-2 decision over Sam Skillings at 174.

Down 13-11, the Golden Gophers took the lead back at 184 when No. 10 Isaiah Salazar earned the team’s second win over a top-three opponent in a 4-1 decision. Facing third-ranked Lenny Pinto, Salazar tallied a second-period takedown and fended off late attacks from Pinto for his seventh win in a row, improving to 13-1 on the season.

Both of the final matches came down to the final seconds, but the Huskers prevailed in both.

At 197 pounds, No. 24 Garrett Joles went to overtime with No. 15 Silas Allred, but it was Allred who got the takedown in the sudden-victory session for a 4-1 victory.

The dual came down to heavyweight, but Harley Andrews won in an 11-7 decision. Tabor led 5-3 through two periods, but Andrews scored a pair of takedowns in the third period, including one with the match tied in the final 20 seconds to claim the victory.

Minnesota returns to the mat Saturday, Jan. 27 at No. 13 Rutgers. Match time is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT on B1G+.

Jan. 19, 2023 | Minneapolis | Maturi Pavilion | Attendance: 2,481

#6 Nebraska 19, #9 Minnesota 14
125: #18 Patrick McKee TF #7 Caleb Smith (NEB), 18-2 5:24 | MINN 5, NEB 0
133: #27 Tyler Wells dec. Kyle Burwick (NEB), 6-3 SV1 | MINN 8, NEB 0
141: #8 Brock Hardy (NEB) dec. #19 Vance VomBaur, 8-3 | MINN 8, NEB 3
149: #1 Ridge Lovett (NEB) MD #13 Drew Roberts, 11-0 | MINN 8, NEB 7
157: #10 Michael Blockhus dec. #3 Peyton Robb (NEB), 12-6 | MINN 11, NEB 7
165: #18 Antrell Taylor (NEB) dec. #30 Blaine Brenner, 8-2 | MINN 11, NEB 10
174: #29 Bubba Wilson (NEB) dec. Sam Skillings, 4-2 | MINN 11, NEB 13
184: #10 Isaiah Salazar dec. #3 Lenny Pinto (NEB), 4-1 | MINN 14, NEB 13
197: #15 Silas Allred (NEB) dec. #24 Garrett Joles, 4-1 SV1 | MINN 14, NEB 16
285: Harley Andrews (NEB) dec. #28 Bennett Tabor, 11-7 | MINN 14, NEB 19

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