It wasn’t pretty inside the RAC on Friday night.
A relatively quiet crowd watched Rutgers give up a little too many bonus points to a top ten Nebraska squad who will now prepare for Iowa on Sunday. For the Scarlet Knights, they’ll have to put this one on the back burner as they have a quick turnaround and have Princeton coming to Piscataway at noon on Sunday.
Here are some observations:
Nick Suriano, Anthony Ashnault dominate
On paper, this is what should have happened. Although Suriano only mustered a major decision, he controlled the entire match and earned two takedowns in the first period. Ashnault meanwhile, nearly earned a tech fall in the first period as he clinched the match in the 2nd period with a takedown to win 16-1 and remain undefeated.
Some vintage Ashnault here in the first period. #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/4RuxnMhQf6— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 2, 2019
Suriano works the near fall in P2. #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/EGUMmDxbM0— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 2, 2019
Way too many bonus points
Shane Metzler, Peter Lipari, Anthony Olivieri, and Matt Correnti all gave up major decisions. Take away four points and the final score stands at 27-9, a bit closer on paper due to Nebraska winning eight of ten bouts, but each wrestler just looked a bit flat. Metzler was shutout by the two time All-American Zeke Moisey and Lipari and Correnti let early close bouts slip away.
Correnti gave up late points due to trailing by too much with little time, so he tried big moves to go for a pin. However, he was put into an early hole when he was thrown to his back. A little surprising considering his flashy opening takedown on No. 11 Eric Schultz.
There is a real problem at 174 and 184
Not so much a talent problem, but the injuries have piled up and it could very well affect Rutgers’ chances against Princeton on Sunday.
Joe Grello weighed in at 174, has been banged up, and did not wrestle against Nebraska. I’d say he was likely being saved for Sunday but 184 is the bigger question mark. Nick Gravina weighed in, warmed up, but was seen in street clothes during the match. Jordan Pagano has been on the mend since the early part of the season and Willie Scott is still affected by his injury sustained vs. Michigan State last week. Freshman John Ciaramella had to be taken out of redshirt against Nebraska to avoid a forfeit at 184.
I’d venture to guess Grello is good to go for Sunday, but what head coach Scott Goodale does at 184 between a less than 100% Gravina, Scott, or even bumping up Olivieri is going to remain a mystery until weigh ins.
125: No. 16 Zeke Moisey (NEBR) over Shane Metzler (RUTG) (MD 11-0)
133: No 4 Nick Suriano (RUTG) over Jevon Parrish (NEBR) (MD 12-2)
141: No. 19 Chad Red Jr. (NEBR) over Peter Lipari (RUTG) (MD 16-5)
149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault (RUTG) over Jordan Shearer (NEBR) (TF 16-1 4:05)
157: No. 2 Tyler Berger (NEBR) over John Van Brill (RUTG) (Dec 7-3)
165: No. 6 Isaiah White (NEBR) over Stephan Glasgow (RUTG) (Dec 3-2)
174: No. 9 Mikey Labriola (NEBR) over Anthony Olivieri (RUTG) (MD 16-5)
184: No. 4 Taylor Venz (NEBR) over John Ciaramella (RUTG) (Fall 1:52)
197: No. 11 Eric Schultz (NEBR) over Matt Correnti (RUTG) (MD 21-8)
285: No. 14 David Jensen (NEBR) over Christian Colucci (RUTG) (Dec 6-1)
No. 18 Rutgers will host No. 20 Princeton on Super Bowl Sunday and the match will be highlighted at 149 lbs. as No. 2 Ashnault takes on No. 1 Matt Kolodzik in a potential NCAA Final preview.
Head coach @CoachGoodale met with members of the media after No. 18 @RUWrestling's defeat against No. 9 Nebraska on Friday night pic.twitter.com/jBJxqXXVjf— RVision (@RVisionRU) February 2, 2019