UNI Panthers Freshman Topples Country’s Top Wrestler Peyton Robb in Team’s Hard-Fought Loss Against Nebraska Huskers

Published 01/07/2024, 12:18 AM EST

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The wrestling season is in full throttle and athletes around the country are focused to get off on a high note. As the first triangular dual of the year, the University of Northern Iowa locked horns with No. 7 Nebraska and Wyoming at the Devaney Center yesterday. While the UNI Panthers decimated their Big 12 opponents Wyoming 36-6, the Big 10 powerhouse Huskers gave the visitors a tougher challenge.

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Unsurprisingly, the Huskers came out on top of the UNI wrestlers, however, one Panther pulled off an unprecedented win over last year’s NCAA No. 6 opponent in style. Peyton Robb of Nebraska ended the last Big 10 season in second place and is considered one of the country’s best prospects in the 157-pound category. However, his first bout of the year didn’t go as planned.

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As the Huskers prepared to host the Panthers and the Cowboys, all eyes were on Peyton Robb & Co. in hopes that the No. 13 UNI would pose a greater task for the Nebraska team. Meeting their high-profile opponents with a star-studded lineup, the Panthers didn’t look too shabby, but probably even they weren’t expecting such a stunning victory from a freshman. In a social media post by the official UNI wrestling account, Ryder Downey of the UNI Panthers can be seen holding his ground with determination against Huskers junior Robb.

The short video clip on X, previously called Twitter, shows Downey’s resolute performance against a more experienced opponent. The clock shows the dying seconds of the 3rd period and Downey is already leading his foe 6-5. The commentator notices Ryder’s strategy and mentions that he is “not interested in a takedown“. Instead, the UNI wrestler looked concerned only to milk the clock to its last second.

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Holding Robb in a firm grip, Downey managed to beat the clock and secure a win while most of his comrades fell to the Huskers’ superior skills. And that wasn’t his only glory moment of the night.

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Win over the Cowboys brings solace

Upset wins aren’t something unheard of in the wrestling world, and Downey can take a much-deserved recovery break from the hectic schedule. While his night was pretty exciting, the Panthers had to accept an 18-17 defeat to the Huskers after showing incredible resilience. While the Huskers are obviously the superior squad, the UNI wrestlers’ determination to keep pushing for the win stole the show.

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The UNI freshman also secured a definitive victory against Wyoming’s Cooper Voorhees with a 15-0 tech fall. Now, as the Panthers return home next week to face off against the Utah Wolverines, it remains to be seen if the freshman can follow up on his recent huge wins.

Watch this story: A Women’s Volleyball Game in Nebraska Gives Both WWE & AEW a Harsh Reality Check

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Written by:

Diptarko Paul

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One take at a time

Growing up, I didn’t really have an interest in Olympic sports, but it was always something intriguing. As I found the means and the opportunity to explore its world, I found sports like volleyball, and track & field to be something that had tons to offer instead of just scoring through kills and sprinting toward the finish line. Whether it is Nebraska Huskers dominating the court or Noah Lyles maintaining his winning spree on the tracks, these two sports never fail to serve adrenaline rush to their spectators.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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