Behind a trio of bonus-point victories, the No. 12 Nebraska wrestling team upset the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes, 18-16, on Friday night in its Big Ten opener. The Huskers won their school-record 10th straight dual to open the season, while giving the Buckeyes their first loss on the year to drop their record to 7-1.
Wrestling in front of 1,451 fans at the NU Coliseum, NU beat its first top 10 opponent since defeating No. 6 Missouri on Jan. 21, 2009. Nebraska got three key bonus-point wins on the night, including one from true freshman Jake Sueflohn (141), who upset No. 6 Hunter Stieber (OSU) by major decision, 10-2. After an early takedown by Stieber, No. 7 Sueflohn responded with 10 unanswered points, including a 3-point nearfall with 58 seconds left to put the Buckeye away.
Sueflohn has now defeated five ranked opponents this season and owns an overall record of 16-3.
Senior Tucker Lane (Hwt) got the Huskers started with his dominating win over No. 17 Peter Capone to open the match. Lane gained a 3-1 advantage going into the third period and was able to keep Capone in the bottom position for final two minutes of action.
Following victories at 133 and 149 pounds for Ohio State, true freshman James Green (131) defeated Josh Demas (OSU) by decision, 7-4, to tie the team score at 10-10. No. 10 Green used two first period takedowns to pull away from Demas and collect his team-leading 20th victory. The Willingboro, N.J. native, has won eight consecutive matches for NU.
At 165 pounds, No. 3 Robert Kokesh gave the Huskers their biggest lead of the night with his 9-1 major decision victory over Derek Garcia (OSU). Kokesh now owns an 18-2 overall record, and added to his bonus-point victory total which is now at 14.
No. 5 Nick Heflin (OSU) brought the Buckeyes back within one after defeating Tyler Koehn at 174 pounds. Koehn was able to get in on Heflin’s legs on several early shot attempts, but couldn’t convert. Heflin sealed the match with a takedown with 22 seconds remaining in the third period.
Following the loss, junior Josh Ihnen (184) put the match out of reach for OSU at 18-13 with his major decision victory over Craig Thomas (OSU). Ihnen was dominant during every period of the match en route to his 12-0 victory. The 7th-ranked wrestler now owns a 14-2 mark and has shutout three opponents this season.
In the last match of the dual, OSU’s Andrew Campolattano defeated NU’s James Nakashima (197) by decision, 5-3, but it wasn’t enough as the Huskers held on for the 18-16 win.
The Huskers will now turn their attention to their next Big Ten dual, which is next Friday, Jan. 13, against No. 1 Iowa at the NU Coliseum at 7 p.m. Nebraska’s dual against the Hawkeyes will be aired on the Big Ten Network on tape delay, with the broadcast starting at 9 p.m. after the dual.