Tyler Berger did not need much motivation for his match at 157 pounds, as he helped set the tone in No. 11 Nebraska's 26-14 dual victory over Northwestern Sunday at the Devaney Center.
The ninth-ranked Berger handed second-ranked Ryan Deakin his first loss of the season with a 6-3 decision. Berger moved to 14-1 and is now just seven wins away from reaching the top 15 all-time in wins at Nebraska.
“I just weathered the storm in the first period,” Berger said. “(Deakin) has a lot of attacks and then I know my training, I trust my training and I trust my guys in the room that when the periods start getting late and the match gets in the sixth or seventh minute, I know I perform at my best.
“That's what happened. He started getting relaxed, a little fatigued and made mistakes in those periods, and it was about staying focused.”
The Huskers trailed 14-4 early, but Nebraska (6-2) closed out the dual with six consecutive victories including Berger's win.
Nebraska's Isaiah White (165) and Mikey Labriola (175) earned back-to-back major decisions, with White winning 17-5 and Labriola 14-4. Labriola's victory gave Nebraska its first lead at 15-14.
“We definitely feed off each other I say,” Labriola said. “It takes just one little spark to get us going and we roll. It shows what kind of team we are to comeback starting off a little shaky and not too hot.
“Berger coming in and picking it up, CJ (Chad) Red picking it up, we count on guys like them.”
Taylor Venz rolled to a 15-0 technical fall at 184 pounds, and Eric Schultz continued the winning trend with an 8-3 decision to make it five wins in a row.
David Jensen closed out the match, moving to 9-0 and giving the Huskers the 26-14 win with a 7-6 decision at 285 pounds.
“We wrestled really well today from the standpoint that we wrestled better than we did on the North Carolina trip (where Nebraska went 1-1),” head coach Mark Manning said. “That is what we were really looking for. Wrestling with good pace and just good intensity. We did that for the most part.”
The 14th-ranked Jensen turned heads as he broke a 5-5 tie late in the third period with a granby roll for a 7-5 lead against 18th-ranked Conan Jennings. Moments later Jennings collapsed to the mat after earning an escape. Jennings would return, as Jensen held off the Wildcats late.
“I'm telling you David Jensen showed a lot of heart today,” Manning said. “He beat a good guy; that (Jennings) is as big as David if not bigger. I think think he had to cut weight today at 285.”