The No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten) will take on No. 20 Purdue on the road Friday and will host No. 7 Nebraska Sunday.
Purdue (6-8, 2-5 Big Ten) lost its last duel against the No. 18 Rutgers 22-15 only winning four out of 10 bouts.
The Buckeyes are coming off a loss of their own, falling to No. 1 Penn State 28-9 for the team’s second loss of the season. In the match, the Buckeyes lost 7-of-10 bouts.
Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said the Buckeyes are reeling from their recent loss, but are ready to get back on track.
“Hopefully that event handed this team and our staff a pot of gold,” Ryan said. “We saw some things that we clearly have to evaluate, and we have the time to do it.”
Ohio State redshirt junior Kollin Moore, the No. 2 wrestler in the country at 184 pounds, is looking to bounce back from his first loss of the season.
Moore has a ranked match against Purdue junior Christian Brunner, who, at No. 9, is 17-6 this season.
Ryan said Moore has handled his first loss well and looks to grow from his adversity.
“[Moore] is hurt, and you take hurt two ways: you run from it or you run towards it,” Ryan said. “He has done a good job at dealing with it.”
No. 7 Nebraska (11-4, 5-3 Big Ten) won its last duel against then-No. 7 Minnesota 21-18 in a tightly contested match.
Ohio State senior Myles Martin, No. 1 wrestler in the country at 184 pounds and undefeated on the season, has a tough bout against Nebraska fourth-ranked redshirt sophomore Taylor Venz, who has a 17-4 record.
Martin defeated Venz earlier this year, but in a rare close match by an 11-5 decision. Martin said he is excited about the rematch versus Venz.
“[Venz] is just a competitor and he wrestles really hard,” Martin said. “He shoots a lot and he [creates] a lot of action and that’s why I like to wrestle him.”
Ohio State true freshman Malik Heinselman squares of against Nebraska redshirt senior Zeke Moisey, the No. 14 wrestler in the country at 125 pounds, who is 10-8 on the season.
Ryan said Heinselman is doing well lately and has a really big role to be successful against Nebraska for senior night.
“We have a true freshman in the lineup with [Heinselman] who we seen grow and is on a six-match winning streak,” Ryan said. “We need to hold our ground against Nebraska and pick up some bonus points,”
Ohio State will face No. 20 Purdue at 7 p.m. on Friday in West Lafayette, Indiana, and will host No. 7 Nebraska for senior night at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. John Arena.