PREVIEW: No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 11 Rutgers

Jan. 5, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - After a nearly two-week hiatus, the fourth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team returns to the mat this weekend for a pair of key Big Ten tests. The Buckeyes travel to Madison, Wisc. for a date with the 17th-ranked Badgers on Friday night (7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. ET) and then turn around and host 11th-ranked Rutgers on Sunday at noon.

THE BASICS
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 17 Wisconsin | Friday, Jan. 6 | UW Field House | 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. ET
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No. 11 Rutgers at No. 4 Ohio State | Sunday, Jan. 8 | St. John Arena | Noon
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MATCHDAY LINKS

No. 4 Ohio State No. 17 Wisconsin No. 11 Rutgers
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FOLLOWING ALONG

Friday's dual at Wisconsin can be seen live on BTN Plus (subscription required). On Sunday, the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights will do battle in front of a national audience on BTN. Tim Johnson will handle the play-by-play duties with Jim Gibbons offering color analysis. 

BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
• The Buckeyes, ranked fourth in the USA Today/NWCA Poll for the eighth consecutive week, are 5-0 and 1-0 in the Big Ten. As a team, Ohio State was last in action on Dec. 18 when it opened the conference schedule with a 43-3 win over Northwestern.
• Four members of Ohio State's starting lineup are still undefeated, led by 149-pounder Micah Jordan, who is 19-0 with 13 of those wins coming via bonus points. Joining Jordan are Nathan Tomasello (7-0), Bo Jordan (7-0) and Kyle Snyder (4-0).
• In the latest InterMat rankings, all seven Buckeyes that are ranked find themselves inside of the top 10, led by two No. 1s: B. Jordan and Snyder. Both have been ranked No. 1 for the duration of the season.
• Following its match-ups with Wisconsin and Rutgers, Ohio State will have faced four ranked teams already with at least five more remaining on the schedule - No. 12 Illinois, No. 3 Iowa, No. 2 Penn State, No. 7 Nebraska and No. 13 Minnesota.
• Ohio State's probable starting lineup features no seniors and seven that have either freshman or sophomore eligibility.
• In his 11th year, head coach Tom Ryan is 55-28 (.662) vs. Big Ten competition and has won at least 11 duals overall in eight of his 10 full seasons. While at Ohio State, Ryan-led teams are 4-2 vs. Wisconsin and 2-0 vs. Rutgers.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN
Led by 2016 NCAA finalist Isaac Jordan at 165 pounds, Wisconsin is 3-0 on the year with wins over Indiana, Duke and Northern Iowa. At the 53th Midlands Championships, six Badgers earned spots on the podium. Ricky Robinson, UW's starter at 197 lbs., was fourth.

Isaac Jordan, the cousin of Bo and Micah Jordan, is a three-time All-American and two-time Big Ten champion. He won three state titles while being coached by Bo and Micah's father at St. Paris Graham High School. He's currently ranked No. 3 nationally by InterMat.

At heavyweight, redshirt senior Connor Medberry is coming off an Olympic redshirt in 2015-16 and is ranked No. 2 nationally by InterMat. He carries a 13-3 record into his bout on Friday.

SCOUTING RUTGERS
Ranked No. 11 this week in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, Rutgers is also coming off an impressive showing at the Midlands Championships that saw six end up on the podium. The Scarlet Knights have four ranked in InterMat's top 20 - No. 6 Anthony Ashnault (141), No. 11 Nicholas Gravina (184) and No. 15 Ken Theobold (149) and No. 19 John Van Brill.

Rutgers' dual victories so far this year have some against San Francisco State, Cal-State Bakersfield, Cal Poly, Princeton, Columbia and Maryland. It also had a 28-10 loss to No. 8 Cornell as part of the "Grapple at the Garden" in November.

In his 10th season at Rutgers, head coach Scott Goodale led the Scarlet Knights to program bests last year with a fifth-place Big Ten finish and 15th-place showing at the NCAA Championships. Ashnault was the 141-pound Big Ten champion.

PROBABLE MATCHUPS - VS. WISCONSIN

Weight Ohio State Wisconsin
125 lbs. #9 Jose Rodriguez (11-2) Johnny Jimenez (5-2)
133 lbs. #2 Nathan Tomasello (7-0) Michael Cullen (4-6)
141 lbs. Luke Pletcher (17-2) #14 Cole Martin (15-6)
149 lbs. #5 Micah Jordan (19-0) Andrew Crone (18-6)
157 lbs. Jake Ryan (9-6) TJ Ruschell (3-3)
165 lbs. Cody Burcher (13-5) #3 Isaac Jordan (13-1)
174 lbs. #1 Bo Jordan (7-0) Ryan Christensen (17-7)
184 lbs. #10 Myles Martin Jake Stilling (3-4)
197 lbs. #5 Kollin Moore #13 Ricky Robertson (20-7)
HWT Josh Fox (4-9) #2 Connor Medbery (13-3)

Previous Matchups: Moore is the only member of Ohio State's lineup who has wrestled against his probable opponent already this season. He earned a 12-11 decision over Robertson at the Journeymen Classic on Nov. 13. In last season's dual, Ryan and Ruschell met at 157 lbs. with Ryan getting a pin in 3:36. He also won an 8-3 decision over Ruschell at the Big Ten Championships.

PROBABLE MATCHUPS - VS. RUTGERS

Weight Ohio State Rutgers
125 lbs. #9 Jose Rodriguez (11-2) Brandon Paetzell (9-3)
133 lbs. #2 Nathan Tomasello (7-0) Scott DelVecchio (13-5) OR Tyson Dippery (12-3)
141 lbs. Luke Pletcher (17-2) #6 Anthony Ashnault (14-3)
149 lbs. #5 Micah Jordan (19-0) #15 Ken Theobold (12-4) OR Anthony Giraldo (15-5)
157 lbs. Jake Ryan (9-6) #19 John Van Brill (14-6)
165 lbs. Cody Burcher (13-5) Willie Scott (12-5)
174 lbs. #1 Bo Jordan (7-0) Phillip Bakuckas (10-3) OR Jordan Pagano (16-6)
184 lbs. #10 Myles Martin (17-3) #11 Nicholas Gravina (12-2)
197 lbs. #5 Kollin Moore (16-2) Matthew Correnti (8-6)
HWT Josh Fox (4-9) Marc McDonald (8-6) OR Razohnn Gross (5-6)

Previous Matchups: None

CURRENT RANKINGS - INDIVIDUAL

Name Weight FloWrestling InterMat AWN TheOpenMat
Jose Rodriguez 125 lbs. #11 #9 #7 #10
Nathan Tomasello 133 lbs. #2 #2 #1 #1
Luke Pletcher 141 lbs. #16 N/A N/A #17
Micah Jordan 149 lbs. #5 #5 #4 #5
Bo Jordan 174 lbs. #1 #1 #1 #3
Myles Martin 184 lbs. #8 #10 #10 #11
Kollin Moore 197 lbs. #6 #5 #5 #6
Kyle Snyder HWT #1 #1 #1 #1

CURRENT RANKINGS - TEAM

Poll Tournament Index Dual Power Index
FloWrestling #4 #3
InterMat #5 #4
W.I.N. T-#4 #4
TrackWrestling #4 N/A
USA Today/NWCA N/A #4

STATISTACALLY SPEAKING
• The three newest members of Ohio State's line-up - Jose Rodriguez, Kollin Moore and Luke Pletcher - are a combined 44-6.
• Seven different wrestlers are averaging more than 10 points per match, led by M. Jordan, who has 247 points in just 18 matches (13.7/match).
• During Snyder's 15-match winning streak that dates back to last season, he is averaging 18.7 points per match, has scored 20 or more points seven times and has 12 wins by bonus points.
• In five duals thus far, Ohio State wrestlers have recorded 92 first-period takedowns while being taken down themselves just 10 times.
• The Buckeyes are 9-4 thus far in match-ups of top-10 ranked wrestlers. M. Jordan has a team-high four wins vs. ranked opponents.
• Ohio State has six technical falls in its last three duals, outscoring those opponents by a combined score of 120-28.

VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Ohio State is 9-6 against ranked opponents over the last three years. This weekend's duals will be the third and fourth of nine this year against Top 25 foes.

FRIENDLY CONFINES
Ohio State is 26-8 at home over the last five seasons and finished fourth in the nation in average attendance last season. It was the second time in as many years that it's finished inside the top five. It averaged over 4,000 fans/dual.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE
Wrestling fans will have more opportunities than ever to see the Scarlet and Gray on BTN this year. A total of three more duals -- two at home -- will appear on the network, including Sunday's vs. Rutgers. The Feb. 3 dual vs. Penn State at the Schottenstein Center will also appear on the network, along with Ohio State's Jan. 27 matchup at Iowa.

BTN Plus subscribers can catch Friday's dual at Wisconsin along with the Jan. 15 date against Illinois at home and duals at Nebraska (Feb. 10) and Minnesota (Feb. 12).

A CONSISTENT WINNER
Ohio State has been ranked in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll for 76 consecutive weeks dating back to the 2011-12 season. Sixty two of those weeks it has been in the Top 10, including a program-high No. 3 ranking for six weeks in 2014-15 and four weeks in 2015-16.