LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 3 Ohio State University wrestling team (9-3, 5-2 B1G) came out on the wrong end of a 19-14 final score on the road at No. 6 Nebraska (7-3, 2-3 B1G). Four Buckeyes were victorious in their individual bouts, including major decisions from Luke Pletcher and Sammy Sasso.
Pletcher’s major was his second over 6th-ranked Chad Red this season, ninth overall and 21st of his career. It represents his 12th win over a top-25 opponent of the season, outscoring the higher-tiered competition by a combined tally of 148-56 (+92 or +7.67 points per bout).
Rocky Jordan was the first Buckeye winner of the night, however, as the dual began at 174 pounds. Following a last-second loss for Ohio State there, Jordan quickly placed OSU back in the win column. Jordan and No. 9 Taylor Venz battled to a scoreless first period. Then, Jordan rode the Husker for 1:40 in the second stanza before a reversal gave Venz the 2-0 lead going to the third. Jordan elected for a neutral start and the gamble paid off. He fired off a shot midway through the period and finished it off with 43 seconds left in the bout. From there Jordan latched on, rode out Venz and maintained his riding time advantage for the ultimate decider in a 3-2 decision.
Kollin Moore (22-0) took the mat next and delivered a 6-2 triumph over No. 10 Eric Schultz. It represented the pair’s fifth collegiate clash, all ending with Moore as the winner.
Nebraska responded by putting together a three-bout winning streak and surging ahead 11-6 after six bouts.
Pletcher and Sasso halted the run, recording the aforementioned back-to-back major decisions. Sasso jumped ahead 5-1 before No. 15 Collin Purinton surged back to close the gap at 6-4 midway through the third period. Sasso would catch him in a cradle though, rolling Purinton for a 6-point move which sealed the deal. In a matter of seconds Sasso went from clinging to victory, to bonus points as a 13-4 winner.
A Husker win at 157 pounds set the stage for everything coming down to the final scuffle at 165 pounds between No. 13 Ethan Smith and No. 4 Isaiah White. These two scrapped for a full 11 minutes at the Cliff Keen Las Invitational in December when White came out ahead in a second tiebreaker. It looked as if extra time was going to be necessary once again until Smith took a shot with under 10 seconds remaining and White caught him with a cradle for a pin at the 6:58 mark, clinching the team triumph.
No. 6 Nebraska 19, No. 3 Ohio State 14
174 lbs | No. 6 Mikey Labriola (NEB) def. No. 7 Kaleb Romero (OSU) | D, 3-1; Team Score: 3-0
*Nebraska deducted a team point after the 174-pound bout for unsportsmanlike conduct
184 lbs | No. 24 Rocky Jordan (OSU) def. No. 9 Taylor Venz (NEB) | D, 3-2; TS: 2-3
197 lbs | No. 1 Kollin Moore (OSU) def. No. 10 Eric Schultz (NEB) | D, 6-2; TS: 2-6
285 lbs | David Jensen (NEB) def. No. 23 Gary Traub (OSU) | D, 8-3; TS: 5-6
125 lbs | Alex Thomsen (NEB) def. Malik Heinselman (OSU) | D, 5-2; TS: 8-6
133 lbs | No. 14 Ridge Lovett (NEB) def. No. 21 Jordan Decatur (OSU) | D, 6-5; 11-6
141 lbs | No. 1 Luke Pletcher (OSU) def. No. 6 Chad Red (NEB) | MD, 10-1; TS: 11-10
149 lbs | No. 2 Sammy Sasso (OSU) def. No. 15 Collin Purinton (NEB) | MD, 13-4; TS: 11-14
157 lbs | Peyton Robb (NEB) def. Quinn Kinner (OSU) | D, 8-3; TS: 14-14
165 lbs | No. 4 Isaiah White (NEB) def. No. 13 Ethan Smith (OSU) | PIN, 6:58; TS: 20-14
*Nebraska deducted a team point after the 165-pound bout for lack of control over mat area
Ohio State opens the Covelli Center doors for the final time of the 2019-20 season next Sunday (Feb. 9) when hosting No. 1 Northwestern for Senior Day.