Huskers handle Jacks

Jordan C. Smith

Frost Arena was crowded Sunday afternoon as the Jackrabbits took on No. 9 ranked Nebraska Huskers in a duel that saw the Huskers controlling the mat from the start. The Huskers had a sizeable crowd at Frost on Sunday as head coach Mark Manning made his return to South Dakota in Nebraska’s 36-6 victory over SDSU. Manning is a native of Vermillion and he also has two South Dakota natives on his squad.

The Huskers took control on the mat Sunday winning all but one match. Nebraska exerted their dominance and made it very difficult for SDSU to score any points. In two of the matches the Huskers didn’t allow a single point to be scored.

“They are a good team,” head coach Chris Bono said. “We got our butts kicked, we couldn’t get off the bottom. They took the fight to us. We are getting better, we are taking baby steps, and it’s a process.”

A bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day was junior Cody Pack. Pack was originally scheduled to wrestle James Green; Green is currently ranked fourth in the nation. John Svoboda took Green’s place in the 157-pound match. Down 14-0 Pack came into the match with offense in mind. Pack had the Jackrabbits first lead after a period going up 2-0 on Svoboda. In the second period Pack pinned Svoboda to ignite the crowd.

“He is a back-up guy, and you have to treat a back-up as a back-up,” Bono said. “Cody went out there and did that and it was a good win for Cody.”

Pack was also happy with the win. After the late change in who he was going to be wrestling, Pack knew that he had to put some points on the board.

“I went in with my offense for that match,” Pack said. “I knew that I needed to show him what I had going into the match and I knew that we needed to put points up onto the board. We have been stressing it all week that we need to be aggressive and get our offense off.”

Bono, now in his second season as the Jacks head coach and is happy with the improvements he has been seeing. Bono is rebuilding the program and knows that it takes time for everyone to get on the same page. Bono is confident in how the team prepared for UNL, and every other team as well.

“We prepared well,” Bono said. “We watched video and did the same thing we would do for any other team ranked 10th or ranked 300.”

Junior Cody Pack is also confident in the team. Pack stressed that he believes this team could beat anyone; they just need more time to progress.

“They [Nebraska] are highly ranked, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Pack said. “At this level anyone can beat anyone, anyone is capable of beating the best.”

This Saturday, Nov. 30 at 6:00 p.m. the Jackrabbits host NDSU at Frost Arena. The rivalry is back and Bono and gang are well aware of it.

“Big week coming up,” Bono said. “NDSU is a big match. We’re going to prepare and treat it as a big match.”