Wrestling Upsets No. 16 Nebraska

Jan. 3, 2002

LINCOLN, Neb. - Despite a forfeit at 125 pounds - where No. 8 Shaun Williams is 6-1 this season - and three starters sidelined with injuries, the Oregon wrestling team walked away with a 24-24 win (based on criteria b) against the 16th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Thursday afternoon.

'We have guys that have been wrestling and working like starters in practice,' Oregon head coach Chuck Kearney said. 'They've been preparing and wrestling tough and really took advantage of the opportunity tonight.'

At 125, Williams sat out due to an ankle injury, which gave Nebraska an easy six points and seemingly a hefty advantage. The forfeit put the Cornhuskers up 24-18 with two matches remaining. The dual started at 149 pounds, where Oregon's Casey Hunt set the tone with a fall over Scott Burnett (1:01).

Following the 125-pound match, freshman Martin Mitchell (133), wrestling for the injured Jason Harless, defeated Joey Malia, 18-11 to pull the Ducks within three points, 24-21. At 141, Brian Watson used a takedown late in the second period to take a 4-2 lead and expanded his lead to 6-2 in the third period with a second takedown. Watson's 6-2 victory tied the match, which the Ducks went on to win based on criteria b. Criteria b awards the win to the team with the most wins by fall. The Ducks won by fall three times on Tuesday - at 149, 165 and 174 - while Nebraska pinned just one Oregon wrestler.

'We want to go out and be aggressive,' Kearney said. 'We decided not think about results and just think about the task and I think that worked. Our conditioning has improved over the season and I think we were able to fatigue Nebraska.'

Oregon sophomore Dustin Fisher, who has seen limited action this season behind heralded recruit Shane Webster, stepped up huge for the Ducks on Tuesday, pinning Jason Zakaras at 2:52after falling behind 2-0 in the first period. Fisher tied the match at two with a reversal in the second period and then put Zakaras on his back with eight seconds remaining in the second period.

Senior Eugene Harris scored Oregon's other fall at 2:38 in the 165 pound match. Harris, ranked No. 6 this week, led the entire match before finally pinning Tony Denke late in the second period.

Oregon continues to face tough competition this week, facing No. 11 Northern Iowa on Saturday.

Oregon 24, No. 17 Nebraska 17 (Oregon wins based on criteria b)149: Casey Hunt (UO) FALL Scott Burnett (NU), 1:01

157: No. 1 Brian Snyder (NU) TECH FALL Michael Badice (UO), 19-4, 4:10

165: No. 6 Eugene Harris (UO) FALL Tony Denke (NU), 2:38

174: Dustin Fisher (UO) FALL Jason Zakaras (NU), 2:52

184: No. 7 Travis Pascoe (NU) TECH FALL Elias Soto (UO), 21-6, 5:28

197: No. 7 Justin Ruiz (NU) TECH FALL Jake Leair (UO), 16-1, 4:09

Hwt.: Pat Miron (NU) DEC No.15 Eric Webb (UO), 6-5

125: NU wins by forfeit

133: Martin Mitchell (UO) DEC Joey Malia (NU), 18-11

141: Brian Watson (UO) DEC Dusty Spaulding (NU), 6-2

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