In a meet that came down to the wire, Nebraska became just the second Big Ten team to defeat Ohio State wrestling Sunday.
The No. 3 Buckeyes (9-3, 5-2 Big Ten), fresh off a dominant 43-3 win against Maryland Friday, were upset 29-14 on the road by No. 6 Nebraska (7-3, 2-3 Big Ten) — a team that hadn’t beaten a ranked conference opponent prior.
With the meet tied 14-14 heading into the final match, Ohio State redshirt sophomore Ethan Smith, the No. 13 165-pounder in the country, squared off against Nebraska No. 4 senior Isaiah White for the deciding points. In the waning moments though, White cradled Smith for a pin at the 6:58 marker to tip the scale in the Cornhuskers’ favor.
In a top 10 matchup at 174 pounds, Ohio State No. 7 redshirt sophomore Kaleb Romero went head-to-head with Nebraska No. 6 redshirt sophomore Mikey Labriola. It was a close finish, as Labriola bested Romero with a takedown in the final seconds to take the 3-1 decision lead.
Labriola’s takedown celebration cost Nebraska a team point, making it a two-point decision.
One of two Buckeyes to get a pin Friday night, senior Luke Pletcher continued to show why he is the No. 1 wrestler at 141 pounds with a win against Cornhusker No. 6 redshirt junior Chad Red. Red gave up two stall points to Pletcher, allowing him to capture the 10-1 major decision win. Pletcher established a riding time bonus along with multiple takedowns to give him eight points.
Ohio State redshirt freshman Sammy Sasso — No. 2 in the 149-pound weight class — was back at it in another ranked matchup, wrestling against Nebraska No. 15 redshirt senior Collin Purinton. It was tight early, but Sasso earned a takedown and near fall points in the third period to make it a 13-4 major decision for the Buckeyes.
Riding high from a tech fall against Maryland in the 184-pound weight class, Ohio State No. 24 redshirt freshman Rocky Jordan faced Nebraska No. 9 redshirt junior Taylor Venz. Jordan scored his first top 10 win with a 3-2 decision victory. After a reversal by Venz, Jordan scored a takedown and secured a riding time bonus to earn the win.
The Buckeyes will return home to face No. 21 Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday for Ohio State’s final home dual of the season.