Ohio State wrestling missed the mark on the road, losing to rival Penn State in a 20-16 finish.
The No. 6 Buckeyes (10-4, 6-3 Big Ten) dropped a couple crucial matches in their loss to the No. 2 Nittany Lions (11-2, 7-1) in Happy Valley Saturday.
In the marquee matchup of the night, Ohio State senior Luke Pletcher –– No. 1 at 141 pounds –– wrestled against Nittany Lion junior Nick Lee, who is No. 2. Pletcher was first to score but a strong second period by Lee gave him momentum to finish strong and upset Pletcher in an 8-4 decision win.
Back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s meet against Northwestern, Ohio State redshirt sophomore Kaleb Romero –– No. 7 at 174 pounds –– fell quickly to Nittany Lion senior Mark Hall. Hall is No. 2 in the weight class.
Hall earned six team points for Penn State with a pin over Romero at the 0:46 mark.
Ohio State redshirt junior Gary Traub, the No. 23 heavyweight wrestler, toughed it out against Nittany Lion freshman Seth Nevills, the No. 13 heavyweight. Traub finished strong with a takedown in the final seconds of the match before riding Nevills to earn the Buckeyes a 5-4 decision win.
Ohio State redshirt senior Kollin Moore –– the No. 1 wrestler at 197 pounds –– remained undefeated with a win against Penn State redshirt senior Shakur Rasheed, ranked No. 18 in the class. Moore put on a takedown clinic against Rasheed while improving to 3-0 in their career meetings, posting a 14-6 major decision win.
Following Pletcher’s loss, No. 1 149-pounder and Ohio State redshirt freshman Sammy Sasso took on Penn State redshirt sophomore Jarod Verkleeren. Tied 1-1 at the end of the third, Sasso scored a takedown on Verkleeren with seconds left to earn a 3-1 decision in SV-1.
Penn State has not lost to the Buckeyes in a dual meet since the 2014-15 season.
Ohio State will take a break before starting tournament play, but the Buckeyes return to action to face off in the first session of the Big Ten Championships beginning March 7.