• Brandon Dodson

No. 5 Ohio State (4-1) vs. No. 24 Rutgers (6-0) Preview

The Buckeyes return to action Friday January 10th against No. 24 Rutgers at the Covelli Center. In their last match, the Buckeyes defeated No. 4 Arizona State 17-16. The Buckeyes won 5/10 matches but the difference was Luke Pletcher’s 19-4 tech fall. Rutgers is 6-0 with victories over LIU, Pitt-Johnstown, Centenary, Fresno State, and Maryland. Rutgers also placed fifth at the Navy Classic and seventh at the Southern Scuffle. Rutgers has not been tested this season, so this dual will gauge how good their squad can be. Please read below for a weight by weight previews.


Probable Match ups:


125 Pounds: Malik Heinselman (9-7, So.) vs. No. 14 Nicholas Aguilar (14-4, r-Fr.) or Malcolm Robinson (4-4, r-Fr.)

- In his last match, Heinselman was defeated by a 9-5 decision against the No. 15 125-pounder in the country Brandon Courtney from Arizona State. Heinselman has struggled both offensively and defensively this season despite having a good freshman season last year. In Rutgers last dual, Aguilar pinned unranked Brandon Cray from Maryland in 4:24. Aguilar also competed at the Southern Scuffle January 1st-2nd where he went 3-3 and finished in 8th place. I would give the advantage to Aguilar in this match winning by major decision. Aguilar’s major decision would make the team score 4-0 Rutgers.


133 Pounds: Jordan Decatur (9-1, Fr.) or Dylan Koontz (8-8, r-So.) vs. No. 11 Sammy Alvarez (15-4, Fr.)

- In his last match, Decatur made his varsity debut for the Buckeyes against the No. 15 133-pounder in the country Josh Kramer from Arizona State. Decatur defeated Kramer by a 5-3 decision. Decatur is an elite wrestler who loves to stay on his feet but he has struggled with endurance at times. As he gets used to new weight I expect Decatur to get better and better. In Rutgers last dual, Alvarez defeated an unranked King Sandoval from Maryland by a 9-4 decision. Alvarez also competed in the Southern Scuffle where he was crowned champion of the 133-pound weight class as the 5 seed. On his way to being crowned champion, Alvarez defeated No. 1 Micky Phillippi from Pittsburgh 6-3 and No. 2 Cam Sykora from NDSU 5-4. I am calling the upset in this match, Decatur wins by decision. Decatur has elite defense and body control but he does need to work on leaving his lead leg so far forward. Decatur’s decision victory would make the team score 4-3 Rutgers.


141 Pounds: Luke Pletcher (15-0, Sr.) vs. JoJo Aragona (8-3, Fr.) or Zach Firestone (5-6, r, Jr.)

- In his last match, Pletcher defeated an unranked Navonte Demison from Arizona State by a 19-4 tech fall. Pletcher has always had elite defense but this season his offense has become elite, making him a favorite to win the title at 141 pounds. In Rutgers last dual, Aragona defeated an unranked Hunter Baxter from Maryland by a 2-0 decision. Aragona also competed at the Southern Scuffle where he went 2-1, failing to make the podium. I would give the advantage to Pletcher in this match winning by tech fall. Pletcher’s tech fall would make the team score 8-4 OSU.


149 Pounds: No. 6 Sammy Sasso (13-2, r-Fr.) vs. Gerard Angelo (10-6, r-Fr.) or Nick Santos (6-2, r-So.)

- In his last match, Sasso defeated the No. 25 149-pounder in the country Josh Maruca from Arizona State by a 10-3 decision. In Rutgers last dual, Angelo defeated an unranked Michael Doetsch from Maryland by fall in 4:13. Angelo also competed in the Southern Scuffle where he went 2-2, failing to make the podium. Sasso has struggled with his pace at times this season but I would give him the advantage in this match, winning by major decision. Sasso’s major decision makes the team score 12-4 OSU.


157 Pounds: Elijah Cleary (11-6, r-Jr.) vs. Michael Van Brill (13-8, r-Jr.)

- In his last dual, Cleary was defeated by an unranked Jacori Teemer from Arizona State by a 6-2 decision. Cleary has really struggled with his offense this season. In Rutgers last dual, Van Brill was defeated by an unranked Jahi Jones by a 6-2 decision. I am very torn on his match but I would give the slight edge to Van Brill, winning by decision. Cleary has not shown he can consistently convert on his attacks. Van Brill’s decision would make the team score 12-7 OSU.


165 Pounds: No. 13 Ethan Smith (11-6, r-So.) vs. Brett Donner (13-7, r-Jr.)

- In his last match, Smith was defeated by the No. 5 165- pounder in the country Josh Shields from Arizona State by a 6-2 decision. In Rutgers last dual, Donner was defeated by an unranked Kyle Cochran from Maryland by a 4-0 decision. Donner also competed in the Southern Scuffle where he went 6-2, finishing 7th. I would give the advantage to Smith in this match, winning by major decision. Smith’s major decision would make the team score 16-7 OSU.


174 Pounds: No. 9 Kaleb Romero (10-2, r-So.) vs. No. 19 Joe Grello (5-2, r-Jr.) or Willie Scott (6-4, r-Sr.)

- In his last match, Romero defeated the No. 8 174-pounder in the country Anthony Valencia by a 7-3 decision. In Rutgers last dual, Grello defeated the No. 20 174-pounder Phillip Spadafora by a 3-2 decision. Grello also competed at the Southern Scuffle where he went 2-2, failing to make the podium. Romero has been improving each week so I would give him the advantage in this match, winning by major decision. Romero’s major decision would make the team score 20-7 OSU.


184 pounds: Rocky Jordan (20-3, r-Fr.) vs. Billy Janzer (11-4, r-Fr.)

- This match will be Jordan’s varsity debut at 184 pounds for the Buckeyes. Jordan competed at the F&M Open on January 5th where he was crowned champion of the 184 pound weight class. In Rutgers last dual, Janzer defeated an unranked Kyle Jasenski from Maryland by a 7-2 decision. This may be Jordan’s debut at 184 pounds but I would give him the edge in this match, winning by decision. Jordan’s decision would make the team score 23-7 OSU.


197 Pounds: Kollin Moore (15-0, r-Sr.) vs. Matthew Correnti (10-3, r-Jr.) or No. 17 Jordan Pagano (14-4, Gr.)

- In his last match, Moore defeated the No. 12 197 pounder in the country Kordell Norfleet by an 11-9 decision. Moore struggled with Norfleet’s counter shots in this match but Norfleet is underrated at No. 12. I have faith Moore will learn from this match and become an even better wrestler. In Rutgers last dual, Pagano was defeated by an unranked Jaron Smith from Maryland by fall in 0:52. Correnti competed in the Southern Scuffle where he went 3-2, failing to make the podium. I would give the advantage to Moore in this match, winning by tech fall. Moore’s tech fall victory will make the team score 28-7 OSU.


HWT: Gary Traub (15-2, r-Jr.) vs. Alex Esposito (13-9, r-So.)

- In his last match, Traub was defeated by the No. 6 heavy weight in the country Tanner Hall from Arizona State by a 4-2 decision. Traub showed exceptional endurance in this match against a highly ranked opponent but failed to get a takedown. In Rutgers last dual, Esposito did not compete. Esposito did compete in the Southern Scuffle where he went 1-2, failing to make the podium. I would give the advantage to Traub in this match, winning by decision. Traub’s decision victory would make the final team score 31-7 OSU.


Ohio State is coming off a great victory over a top 5 opponent and has continued to grow as a program this season. Ohio State continues to struggle at 125, 157, and 184. Coach Tom Ryan is giving Rocky Jordan the nod at 184 pounds but do they have any options at 157. Many thought Keshawn Hayes would be plugged into the lineup at 157 once healthy but we have not seen him to this point. Is he close to coming back from injury or is a medical redshirt in his future?


Written By: Brandon Dodson

Follow on Twitter @recruitingbucks

Photo credit given to @wrestlingbucks

OSWN

©2019 by Ohio State Wrestling News  Proudly created with Wix.com 

Design by Erica McInnis