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Terps struggle in first two Big Ten duals, lose to Wisconsin and Nebraska

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Maryland went to the heartland to wrestle their first ever Big Ten duals and despite a tough fight, they came back with two losses.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland wrestled two top-20 teams over the weekend in Wisconsin and Nebraska. Talent won out in both cases and Maryland is now 4-3 and 0-2 in Big Ten play. Let's take a look at the duals.

Maryland vs. #19 Wisconsin

The dual started at 174 pounds. That meant that Wisconsin was already at a strategic advantage because if the match was close, their best wrestler, fourth ranked Isaac Jordan, would wrestle last.

It started out well for the Terps but it was mostly all Wisconsin after that. Josh Snook gave Maryland an early lead with a close decision win but Wisconsin won the next four in a row. 10th-ranked Connor Medbery and Ryan Taylor put up back-to-back tech falls for the Badgers to give Wisconsin a 13 point lead. Geoffrey Alexander got a chunk of those points back by picking up a forfeit (don't expect that to happen). Shyheim Brown had an exciting match and beat #19 Ryan Lubeck in overtime, closing the gap to 16-12, before Wisconsin closed the dual by winning the last three matches with two close decisions and a fall (courtesy of #4 Isaac Jordan in the last match of the dual).

Maryland won three matches, two by decision and one by forfeit. It wasn't a bad performance for Maryland's first Big Ten dual, especially against a ranked team. The Terps got outclassed but they had some opportunities to win the close matches and they just couldn't pull them out.

174: Josh Snook decision over Frank Cousins (4-3) Maryland 3-0

184: Rickey Robertson decision over Tony Gardner (8-4) Maryland 3-3

197: #13 Timmy McCall decision over Rob Fitzgerald (5-1) Maryland 3-6

HWT: #10 Connor Medbery tech-fall over Sean Twigg (19-3) Maryland 3-11

125: Ryan Taylor tech-fall over Jhared Simmons (21-4) Maryland 3-16

133: Geoffrey Alexander wins by forfeit Maryland 9-16

141: Shyheim Brown decision over #19 Ryan Lubeck (2-1) SV 2 Maryland 12-16

149: Andrew Crone decision over Shane Arechiga (7-5) Maryland 12-19

157: Seth Liegel decision over Lou Mascola (10-8) Maryland 12-22

165: #4 Isaac Jordan fall over Tyler Manion Maryland 12-28

Maryland vs. #7 Nebraska

Maryland went to Lincoln and faced a top-15 team in Nebraska in front of another crowd that numbered over 1,000 people. This one didn't go as well as Maryland's dual against Wisconsin. The Terps got smacked around in this one and it never looked or felt close at all. James Green, ranked second at 157 pounds, picked up career win #100 for the Huskers and Geoffrey Alexander won a close decision for Maryland's only points of the day. Maryland trailed from start to finish and adding insult to injury, the Huskers got bonus points in seven of the ten matches, winning four of them with pins.

125: #14 Tim Lambert fall over Josh Polacek Maryland 0-6

133: #11 Geoffrey Alexander decision over Eric Montoya (4-2) Maryland 3-6

141: #15 Anthony Abidin decision over Shyheim Brown (4-2) Maryland 3-9

149: Justin Arthur major decision over Shane Arechiga (17-5) Maryland 3-13

157: #2 James Green major decision over Lou Mascola (16-3) Maryland 3-17

165: #16 Austin Wilson fall over Tyler Manion  Maryland 3-23

174: #2 Robert Kokesh fall over Josh Snook Maryland 3-29

184: Aaron Studebaker major decision over Tony Gardner (11-3) Maryland 3-33

197: Micah Barnes decision over Rob Fitzgerald (8-2) Maryland 3-36

HWT: #18 Colin Jensen fall over Ryan Kail Maryland 3-42

Looking ahead

The main weaknesses in the Maryland line-up at this season is clearly in the middle and upper weights. 125, 149-184 and heavyweight (until Myers returns) are all going to be liabilities for the Terps in every Big Ten dual this year. It isn't unrealistic to expect that Maryland will give up bonus points in every single Big Ten heavyweight match (regardless of whether Kail or Twigg is in) until Spencer Myers returns. Maryland just sent out their best line-up minus Spencer Myers and they got smoked. The Wisconsin dual only looked as close as it did because of Alexander's forfeit. Don't think that Maryland will get six points handed to them in another Big Ten dual and Maryland got beat decisively even with that gift.

Maryland's losing streak stands at three and it doesn't get easier any time soon for the Terps. Maryland's next two duals are against a consensus top-20 team in Pitt (who beat Maryland last year) and four-time defending national champion Penn State. Maryland's best shot, realistically, at a dual win comes at the Grapple in the Garden in Madison Square Garden in late December where they will wrestle both Hofstra and Duke. The message sent by Wisconsin and Nebraska this weekend was loud and clear. Welcome to the Big Ten boys.