PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- With Wisconsin wrestling's dual tied up at 15-15 against No. 12 Rutgers, it all came down to one match at 125 pounds where all eyes were on Wisconsin's Johnny Jimenez as he took on No. 20 Sean McCabe in front of a hostile crowd at the RAC.
Jimenez, who entered the match without a win over a ranked opponent this year, ultimately took the edge at the top of the third period with an escape and immediate takedown. With the sophomore's 7-4 victory, the Badgers clinched the 18-15 upset over the No. 12-ranked Scarlet Knights on the road.
Wisconsin ended an undefeated six-match home winning streak for Rutgers and extended their own advantage in the series history to 3-0.
"Tonight our guys came out and got the job done," head coach Barry Davis said. "We're building momentum right now. We had a good meet with Illinois and moved forward from there. You do what you have to do to win in this league. I took Johnny (Jimenez) back to the locker room and got him relaxed and got him out of that atmosphere and he finished the job for us."
No. 7 Ryan Taylor started the dual out with a bang in a ranked matchup against No. 17 Anthony Giraldo at 133 pounds. Giraldo scored first but Taylor used two escapes to tie it up 2-2 after two periods. Taylor started the third period out by gaining two back points but allowed Giraldo to escape. Taylor was called for a stalling point to knot the score 4-4. With Giraldo holding the riding time advantage, Taylor had less than 10 seconds to pull out a big move. And that was exactly what he did.
With just six seconds on the clock, Taylor used a big turn to throw Giraldo on his back and pinned the Scarlet Knight to give Wisconsin a strong start with a 6-0 lead.
Gabriel Grahek suffered a 6-1 loss to No. 6 Anthony Ashnault to bring the Scarlet Knights within three in the dual.
At 149 pounds, a controversial call on a last second takedown at the end of the second period paved the way for Andrew Crone's comeback in the third. Rutgers' Tyson Dippery held a 3-0 advantage headed into the third period after his takedown at the end of the second period was upheld by the officials but that didn't stop Crone. Crone exploded onto the mat in the third period, picking up a reversal and two nearfall points at the 20-second mark. Crone sealed the 5-4 decision with a riding time point, keeping the early lead in Wisconsin's favor, 9-3.
No. 17 Richie Lewis edged UW's T.J. Ruschell at 157 pounds in a tight 3-2 match despite Ruschell nearly being awarded a takedown in the last few seconds of the match.
In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the evening, No. 3 Isaac Jordan took on No. 8 Anthony Perrotti at 165 pounds in an All-American rematch of the 2014 NCAA seventh-place match where Jordan came out on top with a 2-0 decision.
Jordan came across with a pancake in the first period but was denied the back points after. It was a familiar feeling as Jordan used the same strategy he had in 2014, using an escape and riding time point to pull of the win in a rematch that was two years in the making. The win marked Jordan's fourth shutout of the season and fourth triumph over a ranked opponent this season. He now holds a 17-0 record on the season and extended an 18-match winning streak dating back to last season.
The Badgers had a 12-6 lead at intermission, just their third halftime lead all season.
Ricky Robertson (174 pounds) used a quick reversal to tie the bout at 2-2 with Phillip Bukuckas in the third period. Bukuckas immediately escaped to keep his riding time intact. Robertson had a hard attack at the end to take down Bukuckas and erase the Scarlet Knight's riding time. Robertson followed in suit to his teammates' earlier performances and stole away the end of the match, finishing with a 4-3 decision to push Wisconsin to a 15-6 lead.
Rutgers took the next three matches in a row and collected nine-straight points to tie the dual at 15-15 heading into the 125-pound match.
Jimenez had a 2-0 advantage until McCabe tied the bout with a reversal at the end of the second period. Jimenez's offense came out firing in the third period as he used an escape and takedown to put the match away and complete Wisconsin's first conference win of the season.
"We have to keep doing what we're doing and keep moving forward because this is behind us now and now we get ready for Sunday," Davis said.
The Badgers return to the UW Field House for a Border Battle matchup against Minnesota at noon.
133: No. 7 Ryan Taylor (UW) wins by fall over No. 17 Anthony Giraldo (RU), 6:54; Wisconsin leads, 6-0
141: No. 6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over Gabe Grahek (UW), 7-2; Wisconsin leads, 6-3
149: Andrew Crone (UW) dec. over Tyson Dippery (RU), 5-4; Wisconsin leads, 9-3
157: No. 17 Richie Lewis (RU) dec. over TJ Ruschell (UW), 3-2; Wisconsin leads, 9-6
165: No. 3 Isaac Jordan (UW) dec. over No. 8 Anthony Perrotti (RU), 4-0; Wisconsin leads, 12-6
174: Ricky Robertson (UW) dec. over No. Phillip Bakuckas (RU), 4-3; Wisconsin leads, 15-6
184: No. 20 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Ryan Christensen (UW), 7-2; Wisconsin leads, 15-9
197: Hayden Hrymack (RU) dec. over Eric Peissig (UW), 7-4; Wisconsin leads, 15-12
285: No. 13 Billy Smith (RU) dec. over Brock Horwath (UW), 4-2; Match tied, 15-15
125: Johnny Jimenez (UW) dec. over No. 20 Sean McCabe (RU), 7-4; Wisconsin wins, 18-15