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  • Brandon Dodson

No. 4 Ohio State (5-1) vs No. 8 Wisconsin (8-2) Preview

The Buckeyes return to action Friday night in Madison Wisconsin against the eighth ranked Badgers. The Badgers are currently 8-2 on the season with wins over Nebraska, Kent State, Utah Valley, Edinboro, Buffalo, Navy, Army, and Fresno State. They were defeated by Iowa 32-3 and Minnesota 20-14. The Badgers also competed in the Midlands Championships where they finished fourth as a team. The Buckeyes are coming off an impressive 22-13 victory over Rutgers. The Buckeyes are moving into the busy part of their schedule with 5 matches over the next two weeks. Lineup management becomes important this time of year to ensure everyone stays healthy. Please read below for weight by weight previews.


Probable Match-ups:


125 Pounds: Malik Heinselman (9-9, So.) vs. Eric Barnett (8-3. Fr.)

- In his last match, Heinselman was defeated by the No. 14 125-pounder in the country Nicolas Aguilar from Rutgers by a 14-1 major decision. Heinselman has struggled this season often being turned by his opponents for back points. To have a chance in this match Heinselman will need to stay on his feet and finish his attacks. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Barnett pinned an unranked opponent from Nebraska in 5:45. I would give the advantage to Barnett in this match, winning by major decision. Barnett’s major decision would make the team score 4-0 Wisconsin.


133 Pounds: No. 20 Jordan Decatur (9-2, Fr.) vs. No. 1 Seth Gross (17-1, r-Sr.) or Kyle Burwick (8-2, Fr.) or Dom Dentino (2-6, r-Fr.)

- In his last match, Decatur was defeated by the No. 11 133-pounder in the country Sammy Alvarez by a 6-1 decision. Decatur struggled both offensively and defensively in this match. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Gross defeated the No. 13 133-pounder in the country Ridge Lovett from Nebraska by a 13-5 major decision. Gross also competed in the Midlands Championships where he was crowned champion after defeating No. 1 Austin Desanto from Iowa. Wisconsin has two other wrestlers in the projected lineup but I would assume Gross wrestles unless he is injured. I would give the advantage to Gross in this match, winning by major decision. Gross’ major decision would make the team score 8-0 Wisconsin.


141 Pounds: No. 1 Luke Pletcher (16-0, Sr.) vs. No. 4 Tristan Moran (14-2, r-Sr.)

- In his last match, Pletcher defeated an unranked opponent from Rutgers by a 12-4 major decision. Pletcher has been a bonus point machine this year but can he do it again against Moran? In Wisconsin’s last dual, Pletcher defeated the No. 6 141-pounder in the country Chad Red from Nebraska by a 9-4 decision. Moran also competed in the Midlands Championships where he finished in 6th place. I would give the advantage to Pletcher in this match, winning by major decision. Pletcher’s major decision would make the team score 8-4 Wisconsin.


149 Pounds: No. 6 Sammy Sasso (14-2, r-Fr.) vs. No. 13 Cole Martin (10-5, r-Sr.)

- In his last match, Sasso defeated an unranked opponent from Rutgers by a 16-7 major decision. Sasso has looked impressive this season but has struggled with his pace. He often fades in the third period giving up late takedowns. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Martin defeated the No. 16 149-pounder in the country Collin Purinton from Nebraska by pin in 1:44. I would give the edge to Sasso in this match, winning by decision. Sasso’s decision would make the team score 8-7 Wisconsin.


157 Pounds: Elijah Cleary (11-7, r-Jr.) or Quinn Kinner (5-4, r-Fr.) vs. Garrett Model (7-9, r-So.) or Drew Scharenbrock (17-7, r-Fr.)

- In his last match, Cleary was defeated by an unranked opponent from Rutgers by a 5-3 decision. Cleary has continued to struggle this season which has forced Coach Tom Ryan to begin looking for other options at 157 pounds. This is where Kinner comes in. About a month ago I heard Kinner was beginning to add weight for a move to the 157-pound weight class. I think Tom Ryan rewards Kinner’s team first mentality and gives him a shot. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Scharenbrock was defeated by the No. 11 157-pounder in the country Peyton Robb from Nebraska by a 19-2 tech fall. I think Wisconsin has the advantage in this weight class but I am going with the upset if Kinner wrestles. I think Kinner’s speed is the difference in this match with him winning by decision. Kinner’s decision victory would make the team score 10-8 OSU.


165 Pounds: No. 12 Ethan Smith (12-6, r-So.) vs. No. 4 Evan Wick (17-2, r-Jr.)

- In his last match, Smith defeated an unranked opponent from Rutgers by a 13-4 major decision. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Wick defeated the No. 3 165-pounder in the country Isaiah White from Nebraska by a 10-6 decision. Wick also competed in the Midlands Championships where he came in third. Smith wrestled White earlier in the season at the Cliff Keen and lost by a 4-2 decision in OT. I think Wick has the advantage in this match but I could see Smith upsetting him. I think Wick wins a close match by decision. Wick’s victory would make the team score 11-10 Wisconsin.


174 Pounds: No. 8 Kaleb Romero (11-2, r-So.) vs. Tyler Dow (7-9, r-Fr.) or Jared Krattiger (6-10, r-Fr.)

- In his last match, Romero defeated the No. 19 174-pounder in the country Joe Grello from Rutgers by a 9-2 decision. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Krattiger was defeated by the No. 6 174-pounder in the country Mikey Labrola by a 9-3 decision. Dow last competed in the 184-pound weight class against Nebraska where he was defeated by a 17-1 tech fall. I think Wisconsin will go with Krattiger in this match. I would give the advantage to Romero in this match, winning by major decision. Romero’s victory would make the team score 14-11 OSU.


184 pounds: Rocky Jordan (20-4, r-Fr.) vs. No. 13 Johnny Sebastian (7-3, r-Sr.)

- In his last match, Jordan was defeated by an unranked opponent from Rutgers by a 5-4 decision. Jordan wrestled well the entire match but gave up a last second takedown to lose. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Sebastian was not in the lineup but he competed in the Midlands Championships where he finished in eighth place. I would give the edge to Sebastian in this match winning by decision. Sebastian’s victory would make the team score 14-14.


197 Pounds: Kollin Moore (16-0, r-Sr.) vs. Peter Christensen (6-5, Fr.) or Taylor Watkins (4-12, r-Sr.)

- In his last match, Moore defeated the No. 17 197-pounder in the country Jordan Pagano from Rutgers by a 20-9 major decision. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Watkins was defeated by the No. 14 197-pounder Eric Schultz from Nebraska by a 24-8 tech fall. I would give the advantage to Moore in this match, winning by tech fall. Moore’s tech fall would make the team score 19-14 OSU.


HWT: Gary Traub (16-2, r-Jr.) vs. No. 5 Trent Hillger (15-3, r-So.)

- In his last match, Traub defeated an unranked opponent from Rutgers in the fourth over time by a 4-2 decision. Traub has shown tremendous defense and an endless motor but he struggles offensively. In Wisconsin’s last dual, Hillger defeated the No. 16 heavy weight Christian Lance by a 4-1 decision. Hillger also competed in the Midlands Championships where he finished in third place. I would give the advantage to Hillger in this match, winning by decision. Hillger’s decision would make the final team score 19-17 OSU.


Ohio State will be tested in this match and if things do not go just right they could easily lose this dual. I have mentioned it week after week, if Ohio State wants to compete for the Big Ten Championship and National Championship they will need to find answers at 125, 157, and 184.


Written By: Brandon Dodson

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Picture Credit to @Wrestlingbucks