Tom Ryan’s Ohio State wrestling team notched not one, but two dual wins last weekend, both against Big Ten opponents in the North. In less than 48 hours, OSU made a business trip to Ann Arbor, traveled home to host the lesser of two evils and won 16 of 20 matches along the way. As a result, the Buckeye grapplers remain undefeated in conference duals (5-0) and should place themselves firmly in the top five in the next NWCA coaches poll.
Ohio State’s big weekend kicked off with a tough matchup against TTUN. Save for a lopsided loss at the hands of No. 1 Penn State, the Wolverines have dominated other Big Ten opponents and will no doubt be looking to defend their home mat at the Crisler Center. But the bookies outwitted their rivals with bad intentions and jumped out to a big lead – one they would not relinquish.
OSU’s trio of Malik Henselman (125 pounds), Jesse Mendez (133) and Dylan D’Emilio (141) led the Buckeyes to an early 9-0 lead, each with a win over the ranked Wolverines. Mendez won 12Th– Ranking Dylan Ragusin was key in establishing early momentum, as the latter is a third-year wrestler who finished third at the Big Ten Championships last year. But Ohio State’s true freshman phenom is suddenly victorious, continuing his claim as one of the top freshmen in the conference, if not college wrestling.
Next up, Sammy Sasso (149) continued the Scarlet and Gray lead with a 20-5 win over UM’s Fidel Mayora. The win was Sasso’s 12.Th By Tech’s fall or pin of the season, OSU had a comfortable 14-point lead. Those points provided a good buffer as the Wolves started to pull away…which is exactly what they did in the next two matches.
Will Lewan earned the first points of the night at 157 with a come-from-behind win over Ohio State’s Paddy Gallagher. The former was taken down early but rallied to earn a sudden victory 6-4 decision. It was Gallagher’s third loss of the season and a total of five points. And the results kept coming at 165, with OSU’s Carson Karchla dropping a heartbreaker to two-time All-American Cameron Amin.
They were tied 1-1 for most of the match — and after Karchela was robbed of the match-ending takedown in sudden victory — the two 165-pounders finally found themselves going toe-to-toe. second Additional (fifth total) time. It was there that Karchela tried to quickly reverse, only to be snapped up and immediately countered by Amin. The Wolverines put Big Ten runner-up Karchela on their backs and fell by six points at home. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, 14-9 is as close as their bitter rivals get.
Needing to step back, Ohio State had the luxury of turning to vets who were more than ready to take the mat. Ethan Smith (174) and Caleb Romero (184) held off the Maize and Blue Storm, each combining for six crucial team points in impressive individual wins. Smith attacked early and often in the match, while Romero did the damage late. He scored two third-period takedowns against UM’s Matt Finesilver, defeating a top-10 wrestler in the process. Romero’s was 18.Th 2022-23 season and 76 winsTh Like (non-redshirted) Buckeye!
Gavin Hoffman scored a 5-3 decision over Rylan Rogers at 191. TTUN then won the final match by pin over Mason Paris (HWT), but only Friday’s result was already decided. In the end, OSU won 23-15, giving Ryan’s team its first win in Ann Arbor since 2018. This team performance was huge, and Sunday’s runaway victory in Columbus was a prerequisite for the comeback.
After 40 hours of securing its rivalry with TTUN, Ohio State quickly returned to action, this time in the friendly confines of the Covelli Center. But honestly, folks, there’s not much to say about this match. Because OSU demolished Michigan State 36-3. It was the team’s biggest margin of victory this season, emphatically capping off an impressive weekend.
The Buckeyes have won 9 of 10 games against the Spartans, including D’Emilio and Sasso Pi. Mendez scored a major decision over a top-20 wrestler at 133 (MSU’s Rayvon Foley), while Romero added another tech fall for his team-leading 19.Th Victory. Ohio State’s only loss on Sunday came at 157, with Gallagher dropping another one-point decision. The redshirt freshman has been on the wrong end of too many closely contested games, so one would think the breaks would start to go in February and beyond. Hoffman and Isaac Wilcox also impressed, the latter recording his fifth “pinch” win of the season. There’s no other way to put it: This Ryan senior team was a total ass-kicker.
It’s Friday (home) with none other than Penn State on their team schedule. Cal Sanderson’s Nittany Lions have won just 9 of their last 11 national championships, so they may come in with a bit of upside and/or confidence. But Ohio State is hot right now, and they’ll have a sold-out Covelli home crowd behind them. Who knows what might happen if you get a few wins from the Sassos and Romeros of the World? I definitely expect the Buckeyes to come in and fight, it will definitely be an entertaining matchup.
Clash of the Titans will be televised on BTN on Friday, February 3rd at 7 pm ET. Go Bucks!