A week after a devastating 19-18 loss to No. 1 Penn State, the No. 2 Ohio State men’s wrestling team (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten) will have an opportunity to rebound from the defeat against rival No. 4 Michigan (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) in a road dual meet at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Ohio State lost by one point to the Nittany Lions after taking a 15-5 lead entering intermission, which still looms over the team.
“I wanted everyone to hurt, but not that much. I wanted them to hurt because I know you grow from it. But at the same point you don’t want them moping around,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said. “Last week, there was a lot of pain around this facility.”
There are four potential rematches between Ohio State and Michigan wrestlers that first took place at December’s Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational that could take place Sunday.
Ohio State No. 2 Luke Pletcher won by decision against Stevan Micic 7-5, who is now ranked No. 6 at 133 pounds.
Buckeye wrestlers No. 3 Bo Jordan and No. 2 Myles Martin also earned decision victories against Wolverines in Las Vegas. Jordan beat No. 6 Myles Amine 6-4 at 174 pounds and Martin defeated No. 5 Domenic Abounader. No. 5 157-pounder Micah Jordan will have a chance to redeem a 10-3 loss at the meet to Michigan No. 7 Alec Pantaleo.
“I watched my match a few times, it was pretty tight going into the third period, I think it was a 3-2 match,” Micah Jordan said. “I just got caught in a suck-back and lost some back points, so I definitely be leary of that position, and also excited to wrestle him again.”
Micah Jordan is coming off of a 24-9 technical fall win against Penn State’s Bo Pipher. This weekend he hopes to avenge that early-season loss to Pantaleo.
Ohio State’s Joey McKenna rose four spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings after beating Penn State’s Nick Lee last week at 141 pounds. McKenna will face Michigan’s only unranked wrestler, which might be Ohio State’s best opportunity to earn additional points with a technical fall or pin.
“I believed in myself, believed I could win. Maybe other people didn’t on paper,” McKenna said about his victory against Lee. “Shushing some of the haters, that’s always fun.”
Ohio State’s Kollin Moore remains ranked first at 197 pounds despite suffering a surprise loss to unranked Nittany Lion Anthony Cassar, which was the turning point in Penn State’s comeback victory.
“He didn’t have the best week of practice,” Ryan said on Moore’s loss to Cassar. “He just didn’t compete the way [he’s] capable of.”
Moore will face No. 13 Kevin Beazley for a shot at redemption from the previous week.
Not many people give Ohio State top-ranked heavyweight Kyle Snyder trouble on the mat, but he will have his hands full with No. 2 Adam Coon on Saturday. Coon, listed at 6-foot-6, 285 pounds, towers over the 5-foot-11 Snyder and has not lost yet this season.
Ohio State must quickly knock off the disappointment of losing to Penn State, with nine of 10 matches being against ranked wrestlers.