Miklus’ late takedown helps No. 6 Missouri defeat Nebraska, 19-14, in NWCA National Duals Series

By Andrew B. Melroe, Missouri | Feb. 21, 2016, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
LINCOLN, Neb. – No. 6 Mizzou Wrestling outlasted No. 11 Nebraska, 19-14, Sunday afternoon in its National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals Series matchup. With the Tigers up 12-10 in the 184-pound bout, redshirt sophomore 184-pounder Willie Miklus (Altoona, Iowa) scored a takedown right before the third period buzzer to upend TJ Dudley, 5-4, giving Mizzou the lead it needed to down the Huskers.

“I didn’t panic when I fell behind in the match,” said Miklus. “I still wrestled until the end. I was just happy to get the win for the team and that we were able to get the win as a team.”

Junior 197-pouner J’den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) became the 24th member of the 100-win club with a 16-7 major decision over Aaron Studebaker. Cox is the fastest Tiger wrestler to 100 wins in program history, doing so in 105 matches.

“J’den is wrestling well,” said Head Coach Brian Smith. “When he is shooting and scoring like that, he is unstoppable.”

Redshirt sophomore 125-pounder Barlow McGhee (Rock Island, Ill.) began the dual off for the Tigers with a 5-3 win over No. 12-ranked Tim Lambert. McGhee trailed 3-2 in the third period after a stalling call, but utilized an escape and a takedown the capture the victory.

In the third match of the night, redshirt junior 141-pounder Matt Manley (Perry, Okla.) scored takedowns in the first and second period, along with a reversal in the second for a 6-2 win over No. 19-ranked Anthony Adidin.

With the Tigers trailing 10-6, redshirt freshman 165-pounder Daniel Lewis (Blue Springs, Mo.) brought the Tigers within a point with a 4-0 victory over No. 9-ranked Austin Wilson. Following Lewis, redshirt senior 174-pounder Blaise Butler (Belvidere, Ill.) regained the lead for #TigerStyle with a narrow 7-5 win over No. 20-ranked Micah Barnes. With the bout tied, 4-4, heading into the final period, Butler scored a takedown and was awarded a point for riding time to claim the victory.

In Miklus’ match against Dudley, the Tiger sophomore trailed 4-2 with time winding down in the bout. Miklus scored an escape and a takedown with less than five seconds to steal the victory.

At 197 pounds, Cox scored seven takedowns in the first two periods to take a commanding lead over Studebaker. Cox added an escape point and a point for riding time to preserve the major decision, 16-7. The Tigers led 19-10 after the bout and would go on to win the dual 19-14.

“I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without my team around me pushing me and driving me to become a better wrestler every day,” said Cox. “It’s hard to do this sport alone, to have a great group of teammates and coaches around me is a blessing.”

Mizzou will next be in action March 5-6 in Ypsilanti, Mich. for the Mid-American Conference Championships. The Tigers will be looking for their fourth consecutive title and fifth conference title overall in the tournament.

No. 6 Missouri 19, No. 11 Nebraska 14
125: #11 Barlow McGhee (Mizzou) def. #12 Tim Lambert (Nebraska) by 5-3 decision
133: #9 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) def. #14 Zach Synon (Mizzou) by 4-0 decision
141: #6 Matt Manley (Mizzou) def. #19 Anthony Abidin (Nebraska) by 6-2 decision
149: #4 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska) def. #3 Lavion Mayes (Mizzou) by 4-1 TB-1
157: #19 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) def. #29 Le’Roy Barnes (Mizzou) by 10-2 major decision
165: #4 Daniel Lewis (Mizzou) def. #9 Austin Wilson (Nebraska) by 4-0 decision
174: #5 Blaise Butler (Mizzou) def. #20 Micah Barnes (Nebraska) by 7-5 decision
184: #11 Willie Miklus (Mizzou) def. #6 TJ Dudley (Nebraska) by 5-4 decision
197: #2 J’den Cox (Mizzou) def. #10 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska) by 16-7 major decision
HWT: #21 Collin Jensen (Nebraska) def. Cody Johnston (Mizzou) by 9-1 major decision

Head Coach Brian Smith

On the key to the victory…
“Aggressiveness. We were shooting in every match. Getting a lot of takedowns. Willie Miklus getting a big win when it looked like he was out of the match. He gets the escape and the takedown to win it. No time on the clock. A big win for him and the team.”

On Cox’s 100th victory…
“J’den is wrestling well. When he is shooting and scoring like that, he is unstoppable. He has believed it all year. He’s training good, he’s weight is good. He is fun to watch.”

On wrestling Nebraska again…
“The atmosphere was great. We had a great section of fans there. Hearing the MIZ chant. Seeing people travel from all over Missouri to watch us, that’s the great thing about this rivalry. When we wrestle Nebraska or Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, it’s always going to be a close match and go down to the wire like today. It’s fun. We got it going again.”

On the MAC Championships…
“We are attacking and wrestling well right now. The week off gives us some time looking ahead to the MAC Championships. Our guys are in good mindsets. We are wrestling at a good level right now where we can go in and win a MAC Tournament and get guys qualified for the NCAA Championships.”

Mizzou junior J’den Cox

On win No. 100…
“I didn’t really know about it until my mom told me about it. It’s really cool. I always look to push myself in every way I can. That’s the way I’ve always been in anything I do. The accomplishment in itself is a testament to that hard work.”

On doing it faster than any other Tiger wrestler…
“I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without my team around me pushing me and driving me to become a better wrestler every day. It’s hard to do this sport alone, to have a great group of teammates and coaches around me is a blessing.”

Mizzou redshirt sophomore Willie Miklus

On the final seconds of his match…
“I didn’t panic when I fell behind in the match. I still wrestled until the end. I was just happy to get the win for the team and that we were able to get the win as a team.”

On heading to the MAC Championships next…
“We take some good momentum heading into the MACs. Right now, everyone is 0-0, now I just need to win the next 8 matches and I’ll be a National Champion.”