Nebraska wrestling coach Mark Manning’s fire showed lasting effects on his team Friday night at the Devaney Sports Center as his No. 15 Huskers defeated Wyoming 25-10.
The highlight match of the night did not go Nebraska’s way, but the 141-pound bout did bring some fireworks. Late in the third period, with Wyoming’s returning national runner-up Bryce Meredith leading Nebraska’s Chad Red, things got chippy.
Red and Meredith exchanged words while walking to the center circle after an out-of-bounds call, and it led to some pushing back and forth before they were separated.
“I love that young people can express themselves, and say ‘Coach, I was too nervous and didn’t pull the trigger,’” Manning said about Red, “That all comes with the experience of wrestling good guys.”
Red lost the match 10-5.
After that loss heading into the 149-pound match, the Huskers trailed the Cowboys 6-3 in the dual. But the Huskers rattled off three wins over the middle weights to gain a 12-6 advantage.
It started with sixth-ranked Colton McCrystal, who moved up from 141 pounds last year. He delivered a 7-3 victory to tie the dual at 6-6.
Then fourth-ranked Tyler Berger beat Wyoming’s Archie Colgan 5-4, scoring the decisive point for riding time at the end of the match.
“Not the performance I quite wanted, but it was great to get the win and be back in the Devaney,” Berger said, “I have wrestled him the last two years, and my game plan was bonus points, even up to a pin. It just didn’t happen tonight.”
Nevertheless, Berger gave the Huskers a 9-6 lead. Following that, Isaiah White upset 12th-ranked Branson Ashworth on a 7-5 decision.
Wyoming got back in the dual with a major decision from 174-pound Kyle Pope over Eric Engler to cut the Husker lead to 12-10. Then Nebraska slammed the door with three wins, including two technical falls for Heavyweight David Jensen and Taylor Venz (184), in the last three matches.
“The fine line of confidence is making sure young guys have the ability of just believing in themselves and just letting it fly,” Manning said.