Top Five Matchup Set for Friday Night in Columbus

Feb. 4, 2015

RELATED INFO       

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fourth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team closes out the home portion of its 2014-15 regular season schedule on Friday night when it welcomes third-ranked Minnesota to The Schottenstein Center for a key Big Ten dual beginning at 7 p.m.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Friday night’s dual match can be seen on BTN Plus (subscription required) at the following link: http://www.btn2go.com/game/minnesota-at-ohio-st-on-02062015. Twitter updates will also be available at @wrestlingbucks

BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL

  • Following wins over Purdue and Rutgers last weekend, the Buckeyes maintained their fourth-place ranking in the latest USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association poll. Ohio State is one of four Big Ten schools ranked in the top five.
  • Defending national champion Logan Stieber maintains his stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking at 141 pounds this week. The redshirt senior from Monroeville, Ohio, is 18-0 on the year with all but one of his wins coming via bonus points (including nine pins). With a career record of 108-3, Stieber’s winning percentage of .973 is the best in school history.
  • A major part of the Buckeyes’ success in 2014-15 has been the contributions of true freshman Kyle Snyder (197 lbs.) and redshirt freshman Bo Jordan (165 lbs.). Snyder is 21-2 on the year and ranked No. 4 nationally. He leads the team with 13 major decisions. Jordan, who missed most of November and December with an injury, is one of two unbeaten Buckeyes this year (13-0) and current is ranked fifth nationally. He recorded two technical falls last weekend, including a key 16-0 victory on Sunday at Rutgers that began the Buckeyes’ rally from a 14-5 deficit.
  • Head coach Tom Ryan, in his ninth season at Ohio State, is 110-41 since arriving in Columbus. He previously spent 11 years at Hofstra where he won six straight conference championships from 2001 through 2006.

HONORARY COACH – JOHN SIMON
The 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, John Simon is commonly referred to as the heart and soul of the undefeated 2012 Ohio State football team. A defensive lineman from Youngstown, Simon played in 50 career games and made 37 consecutive starts before a knee injury sidelined for him the final game of his senior year, a 26-21 win over That Team Up North. As a senior, Simon showed his physical and mental toughness by playing through a variety of injuries while still racking up nine sacks and 14.5 tackles-for-loss. Selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 NFL Draft, Simon currently plays for the Houston Texans.

NOTE: It was previously announced the Ohio State QB Cardale Jones and DE Joey Bosa would be honorary captains. Jones and Bosa are no longer able to attend and will not be at Friday’s match.

PROBABLE MATCHUPS
125: #7 Nathan Tomasello (21-4) vs. Ethan Lizak (22-9)
133: #10 Johnni DiJulius (21-3) vs. #1 Chris Dardanes (18-0)
141: #1 Logan Stieber (18-0) vs. #4 Nick Dardanes (17-1)
149: Randy Languis (8-10) or #6 Hunter Stieber (1-2) vs. Jake Short (11-8)
157: #12 Josh Demas (11-3) vs. #1 Dylan Ness (23-0)
165: #5 Bo Jordan (13-0) vs. Brandon Kingsley (11-5)
174: #13 Mark Martin (14-7) vs. #4 Logan Storley (20-3)
184: #12 Kenny Courts (18-4) vs. #11 Brett Pfarr (19-6)
197: #3 Kyle Snyder (21-2) vs. #6 Scott Schiller (17-3)
285: Ray Gordon (0-6) vs. #13 Michael Kroells (18-9)

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
The Gophers, ranked No. 2 for much of the season in the USA Today/NWCA Top 25 poll, dropped a 23-12 decision to top-ranked Iowa last Friday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis and fell to No. 3. The loss to the Hawkeyes snapped a 17-match winning streak and only the second in 31 contests. Minnesota features two wrestler who are ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes – Dylan Ness (157 pounds) and Chris Dardanes (133 pounds). Other Gophers ranked in the top five include Logan Storley (174 pounds) and Nick Darbanes (141 pounds).

LAST TIME VS. MINNESOTA – Minnesota 25, Ohio State 10 (Feb. 17, 2014 – National Duals)
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Nick Roberts defeated Samuel Brancale, 9-7, in the 125-pound bout. Two matches later at 141 pounds, a Top 5 match-up ensued between Logan Stieber and Chris Dardanes. Stieber recorded an 11-0 major decision over Dardanes to lift the Scarlet and Gray to a 6-3 lead. Stieber quickly secured himself five points on a takedown and 3-point nearfall in the first period vs. Dardanes. The Monroeville, Ohio, native then opened the second period with an escape and takedown for an 8-0 lead. A final takedown and riding time of 2:19 in the third period gave the Buckeye an 11-0 win.

CLASS OF 2015
Prior to Friday’s match, the Buckeyes will honor its 2015 seniors, including:

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

  • Senior Logan Stieber has won nine of his 16 matches this year via fall. He also leads the team with five technical falls.
  • True freshman Kyle Snyder has a team-high 12 major decisions thus far.
  • The next win for redshirt junior Johnni DiJulius will be the 90th of his career.
  • The Buckeyes’ freshmen starters (true and redshirt) have combined to go 55-6 thus far (Jordan, Snyder, Tomasello) with 19 major decisions, six falls and nine tech falls.

PACKIN’ THEM IN
A total of 20,669 fans have seen the Buckeyes this season in Columbus for duals against Kent State, Missouri, Iowa, Penn State and Purdue. The crowd of 6,558 against the top-ranked Hawkeyes is the largest on record, just ahead of the 6,518 vs. Penn State in 2012. A week later, 6,109 filled the arena as the Buckeyes knocked off the Nittany Lions, 22-15.