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  • Brandon Dodson

No. 17 Cornell (0-1) vs. No. 8 Ohio State (2-1) Preview

The Ohio State Buckeyes return to action on Sunday December 1st for their first ever sold out dual in the newly opened CovelliCenter. Both teams are looking for a victory after losing their last dual. Ohio State wrestled No. 11 Virginia Tech on Sunday November 17th with Virginia Tech winning 6/10 matches on their way to a 21-15 upset victory. Cornell Wrestled No. 9 NC State on Saturday November 23rd and lost 25-9. This defeat ended a 9-year streak of season opener victories.

Probable Matchups:



125 Pounds: Malik Heiselman (5-4, So.) vs. Dom LaJoie (8-3, So.)


- In his last match, LaJoie was defeated by the 15th ranked 125-pounder in the country by an 8-4 decision. All 4 of Lajoie’s points were from escapes. In Heinselman’s last match he was defeated by a 5-2 decision to an unranked opponent. Both wrestlers struggled to get to their offense in their last match but I would give the slight edge to Lajoie in this match, winning by decision. This would make the team score 3-0 Cornell.


133 Pounds: No. 18 Quinn Kinner (5-4, r-Fr.) vs. No. 6 Chas Tucker (6-0, Sr.)


- In his last match, Tucker defeated the 14th ranked 133-pounder in the country by a 4-1 decision. Tucker was unable to score a takedown until late in the third period but it was enough to secure a victory due to an escape in the second period and over a minute of riding time in the third period. In his last match, Kinner lost to the 17th ranked 133-pounder in the country by a 7-1 decision. I would give the edge to Tucker in this match winning by major decision. This would make the team score 7-0 Cornell.  


141 Pounds: No. 1 Luke Pletcher (8-0, Sr.) vs. Noah Baughman (9-1, Sr.)


- In his last match, Baughman lost to the 11th ranked 141-pounder in the country Tariq Wilson by a 4-0 decision. In his last match, Pletcher defeated the 19th ranked 141-pounder in the country by a 13-5 major decision. Pletcher has bonus points in 5 of his 8 matches this season with his best performances coming against ranked opponents. I would give the edge to Pletcher in this match winning by major decision. This would make the team score 7-4 Cornell.


149 Pounds: No. 10 Sammy Sasso (7-1, r-Fr.) vs. Hunter Richard (8-1, Jr.)


- In his last match, Richard lost to an unranked opponent by a 6-5 decision. Richard had a 4-2 lead late in the second period before giving up escape points at the end of the second and beginning of the third period tying the match at 4-4. Richard was then taken down in the third period leading to his defeat. In his last match, Sasso was caught in a pancake and was pinned in the first period by the 21stranked 149-pounder in the country. Sasso is an extremely talented wrestler but failed to set up his attack and paid the price for it. I believe Sasso will bounce back in a huge way in this match winning by major decision. This would make the team score 8-7 Ohio State.


157 Pounds: Elijah Cleary (6-4, r-Jr.) vs. Colton Yapoujian(10-1, Fr.)


- In his last match, Yapoujian was defeated by the No. 1 ranked 157-pounder in the country by a 4-0 decision. Cleary last competed Sunday November 24th in the Storm Open at Lake Erie College where he was crowned champion in the 157-pound weight class. Both wrestlers have shown great defense this season but Yapoujian’sdefense has translated to more victories so I would give him the slightest edge in this match winning by decision. This would make the team score 10-8 Cornell.


165 Pounds: No. 14 Ethan Smith (6-3, r-So.) vs. MilikDawkins (5-0 Sr.)


- Dawkins did not wrestle for Cornell in their first dual but he was crowned champion in the 165-pound weight class at the Cornell Open Sunday November 24th. In his last match, Smith defeated the 4th ranked 165-pounder in the country by a 5-4 decision. Smith has been improving every match and is primed for a big season after his upset victory last match. I would give the advantage to Smith in this match, winning by major decision. This would make the team score 12-10 Ohio State.


174 Pounds: No. 13 Kaleb Romero (7-0, r-So.) vs. No. 11 Brandon Womack (4-1, Sr.)


- In his last match, Womack was defeated by the 17th ranked 174-pounder in the country by a 5-4 decision. Womack was leading into the third period until his opponent scored with a reversal taking the lead. Romero did not wrestle for the Buckeyes against Virginia Tech but is 7-0 on the year with two bonus point victories. Romero won the Michigan State open with 3 victories coming against conference opponents. Romero then defeated an unranked opponent against Stanford by a 16-7 major decision. In Romero’s last match, he defeated an unranked Pittsburgh opponent by a 7-2 decision.  I would give the edge to Romero in this match, he has looked more comfortable this year getting back to the offense that made him so great in high school. I think Romero wins by decision in this match making the team score 15-10 Ohio State.  


184 Pounds: Gavin Hoffman (8-3, r-Fr.) vs. No. 4 Ben Darmstadt (7-2, r-So.)


- In his last match, Darmstadt was defeated by the 12th ranked 184-pounder in the country by a 7-5 decision. Hoffman did not wrestle for the Buckeye’s against Virginia Tech but was crowned champion in the 184-pound weight class at the Storm Open at Lake Erie College last weekend. I would give the advantage to Darmstadt in this match winning by major decision. This would make the team score 15-14 Ohio State.


197 Pounds: No. 1 Kollin Moore (8-0, r-Sr.) vs. Jonathan Loew (10-1, Fr.)


- In his last match, Loew pinned an unranked opponent in the first period. Loew was also crowned champion at the Cornell Open last weekend. In his last match, Moore defeated an unranked opponent by a 24-9 tech fall. Moore now has 7 bonus point victories this season. I would give Moore the advantage in this match, winning by tech fall. That would make the team score 20-14 Ohio State.


HWT: No. 8 Chase Singletary (2-0, r-So.) vs. Brendan Furman (9-2, So.)


- In his last match, Furman lost to an unranked opponent by a 3-1 decision, giving up a takedown in the final 10 seconds of the match. Singletary defeated an unranked opponent by a 4-2 decision in his last match. It appears Singletary is still working on getting back to his ideal weight of 225 pounds after wrestling 97kg or 212 pounds in the U23 worlds. Hehas continued to wrestle well despite being light for a heavy weight so I would give the edge to Singletary in this match, winning by decision. This would make the final team score 23-14 Ohio State.

In every match this year Ohio State has depended heavily on Pletcher, Sasso, and Moore to score bonus points. If Ohio State wants to compete in March they will need to find a home for Hayes and Decatur. I have heard Hayes is healing from an injury and I assume the plan is to insert him into the lineup at 157pounds within the next month or so. As to Decatur, I have heard he is regularly defeating Tomasello in practice but he has struggled making weight at 133 pounds so a redshirt is likely.  

Written By: Brandon Dodson

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