PREVIEW: No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Nebraska, No. 13 Minnesota

Feb. 8, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 4 Ohio State hits the road for a pair of duals against top-15 opponents in a 48-hour span when it tangles with No. 6 Nebraska on Friday and No. 12 Minnesota on Sunday to wrap up the Big Ten regular season schedule.

THE BASICS
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 6 Nebraska | Friday, Feb. 10 | 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT
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No. 4 Ohio State at No. 13 Minnesota | Sunday, Feb. 12 | 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT
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BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
• Ohio State got back in the win column on Monday night with a 23-18 victory over No. 13 Rutgers to improve its overall record this year to 9-2. The Buckeyes are 5-2 in the Big Ten.
• Three members of the starting lineup remain undefeated - redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello at 133 lbs. (13-0), junior Kyle Snyder at heavyweight (8-0) and redshirt junior Bo Jordan at 174 lbs. (9-0). All three are also ranked No. 1 at their respective weight classes by InterMat.
• Led by the Tomasello-Snyder-Jordan trio, eight Buckeyes are ranked this week - six inside of the top 10. After the three No. 1s, Kollin Moore checks in at No. 4 at 197 lbs. while Micah Jordan is No. 5 at 149 lbs. and Myles Martin No. 10 at 184 lbs. Luke Pletcher is ranked No. 15 at 141 lbs. and Jose Rodriguez No. 18 at 125 lbs.
• The three new members of Ohio State's lineup this year - Moore, Rodriguez and Pletcher - have a combined record of 54-12.
• Ohio State remains steady at No. 4 in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll for the 13th consecutive week. It is No. 3 in InterMat's Tournament Power Index and No. 4 in the dual meet rankings.
• The Buckeyes haven't wrestled in Lincoln or Minneapolis since the weekend of Jan. 6-8, 2012.

SCOUTING THE CORNHUSKERS
At 12-1 overall, Nebraska already owns wins this year over five ranked opponents and most recently defeated Indiana, 31-15, in Bloomington. The Huskers' lineup has seven ranked wrestlers, six of whom are inside the top 10. At 184 pounds, TJ Dudley was an NCAA finalist last year and is currently 23-1 on the season with nine technical falls.

PROBABLE MATCHUPS VS. NEBRASKA
125: #18 Jose Rodriguez (11-6) vs. #5 Tim Lambert (25-3)
133: #1 Nathan Tomasello (13-0) vs. #5 Eric Montoya (21-1)
141: #15 Luke Pletcher (21-4) vs. #10 Colton McCrystal (25-6)
149: #5 Micah Jordan (22-2) vs. Collin Purinton (12-10)
157: Josh Powell (1-5) vs. #3 Tyler Berger (25-2)
165: Cody Burcher (15-9) vs. Dustin Williams (12-11)
174: #1 Bo Jordan (9-0) OR Justin Kresevic (8-5) vs. Micah Barnes (15-11)
184: #10 Myles Martin (21-5) vs. #3 TJ Dudley (23-1)
197: #4 Kollin Moore (22-2) vs. #6 Aaron Studebaker (23-4)
HWT: #1 Kyle Snyder (8-0) OR Josh Fox (8-11) vs. #14 Collin Jensen (23-7)

NICE TO MEET YOU
If matchups hold, the only bout between wrestlers who have faced each other before is at heavyweight, where Snyder went 2-0 against Jensen last year on his way to the NCAA title. Snyder outscored Jensen 44-18 in the two matches with a technical fall and major decision.

WEIGHT CLASSES TO WATCH
Tomasello vs. Montoya | 133 lbs.
Tomasello gets an opportunity to go against a top-five ranked opponent for the second time this season when he faces Montoya, who is a three-time NCAA qualifier. Both were All-Americans last year and Tomasello enters the bout with a 6-0 record against common opponents. Montoya's only loss this year came to Michigan's Stevan Micic, who Tomaselllo defeated at the CKLV Invitational finals.

Martin vs. Dudley | 184 lbs.
After facing the nation's No. 5, No. 2 and No. 13-ranked opponents in consecutive matches, Martin's tough slate continues with a match against Dudley on Friday. Dudley is a two-time All-American and NCAA runner-up with his only loss coming to Penn State's Bo Nickal. Friday will be Martin's ninth match against a ranked opponent at his new weight class (he's 4-4 in those contests).

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
The Gophers are one of seven Big Ten teams ranked this week by the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, checking in at No. 13. They are coming off a 27-11 loss to No. 3 Iowa but previous to that had won two straight against Purdue and Indiana. Minnesota is strong1 in the upper weights, with a pair of top-10 ranked wrestlers at 197 and 285 pounds, respectively.

PROBABLE MATCHUPS VS. MINNESOTA
125: #18 Jose Rodriguez (11-6) vs. #6 Ethan Lizak (20-4)
133: #1 Nathan Tomasello (13-0) vs. #17 Mitch McKee (17-12)
141: #15 Luke Pletcher (21-4) vs. #12 Tommy Thorn (13-4)
149: #5 Micah Jordan (22-2) vs. Brandon Kingsley (6-9) OR Carson Brolsma (12-14)
157: Josh Powell (1-5) vs. #8 Jake Short (18-10)
165: Cody Burcher (15-9) vs. #18 Nick Wanzek (21-9)
174: #1 Bo Jordan (9-0) OR Justin Kresevic (8-5) vs. Chris Pfarr (15-10)
184: #10 Myles Martin (21-5) vs. Bobby Steveson (10-13)
197: #4 Kollin Moore (22-2) vs. #2 Brett Pfarr (22-1)
HWT: #1 Kyle Snyder (8-0) OR Josh Fox (8-11) vs. #8 Michael Kroells (22-7)

WEIGHT CLASSES TO WATCH
Moore vs. Pfarr | 197 lbs.
Moore gets an opportunity to avenge one of his two losses on the season when he faces second-ranked Pfarr. The two met in the CKLV Invitational semifinals back in December with Pfarr taking a 15-7 major decision. Since losing to No. 1 J'den Cox on Dec. 8, Moore has won seven straight matches.

Pletcher vs. Thorn | 141 lbs.
Like Martin, Pletcher is in the midst of five straight matches against top-15 opponents and that continues with Minnesota's Thorn. Torn finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships last year, losing the third place match of the Buckeyes' Micah Jordan.

BACKPOINTS
• Snyder has faced the nation's No. 3 and No. 4 ranked wrestlers at 285 lbs. this year and won by a combined score of 39-17 without surrendering a takedown. Contrastingly, he's averaging 7.2 takedowns and 15.6 points/match.
• The crowd of 15,338 last Friday for the Buckeyes' dual vs. No. 1 Penn State is the fourth largest indoor attendance in NCAA wrestling history
• The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 318-156 in duals this year with bonus points in 53 percent of the matches (16 falls, 15 technical falls and 21 major decisions).
Nathan Tomasello is Ohio State's active career wins leader with 93 and has won 56 of his last 57 matches, including 22 straight in duals.