PREVIEW: No. 4 Ohio State vs. Northwestern
Dec. 16, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coming off one of its most impressive showings of the season, the Ohio State wrestling team takes its show up I-71 on Sunday for a Big Ten-opening dual against Northwestern at Wadsworth High School.

THE BASICS
Northwestern at No. 4 Ohio State | Sunday, Dec. 18 | Noon | Wadsworth High School
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FOLLOW ALONG
Live, in-match updates will be available on the team's official Twitter account, @wrestlingbucks. Additionally, fans can watch the match live via Facebook by clicking here.

MATCHDAY LINKS

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BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
• With a 30-9 victory over No. 5 Missouri last Thursday, Ohio State is 4-0 on the year and ranked fourth this week in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll.
• The Buckeyes own dual victories over two ranked opponents -- No. 19 Arizona State and No. 5 Missouri -- in addition to wins against Kent State and Cleveland State.
• Five members of Ohio State's starting lineup are currently undefeated, led by 149-pounder Micah Jordan, who is 18-0 with 13 bonus point wins. Joining Jordan are Nathan Tomasello (6-0), Luke Pletcher (9-0), Bo Jordan (6-0) 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: Snyder and B. Jordan.
• The match against Missouri last Thursday was the second of nine this year against Top 25 opponents and first of four to be televised on BTN.
• The three first-year starters in Ohio State's lineup own a combined 34-4 record.

SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN
Under head coach Matt Storniolo, Northwestern is 5-1 this season with wins over University of Chicago, North Central, Cal Poly, Bloomsburg and SIU-Edwardsville. NU's lone loss this year was to 23rd-ranked North Dakota State. In their most recent outing against SIUE, the Wildcats won six of nine matches (SIUE forfeited at 197 lbs.), including three by pin. 125-pounder Anthony Rubinetti pinned 12th-ranked Freddie Rodriguez is 2:59 to give NU a 6-3 lead.

PROBABLE MATCH-UPS

Weight Ohio State Northwestern
125 lbs. #10 Jose Rodriguez (10-2) Anthony Rubinetti (7-3)
133 lbs. #3 Nathan Tomasello (6-0) Jason Ipsarides (6-3)
141 lbs. Luke Pletcher (9-0) Alec McKenna (6-5)
149 lbs. #5 Micah Jordan (18-0) Shayne Oster (7-3)
157 lbs. Jake Ryan (4-6) Anthony Petrone (0-5)
165 lbs. Cody Burcher (12-4) Ben Sullivan (4-6)
174 lbs. #1 Bo Jordan (6-0) Johnny Sebastian (9-1)
184 lbs. #5 Myles Martin (12-1) #16 Mitch Silga (9-1)
197 lbs. #6 Kollin Moore (15-2) Jacob Berkowitz (10-1)
285 lbs. Josh Fox (4-8) Conan Jennings (6-4)

LAST FIVE BIG TEN OPENERS
Ohio State is 2-3 in its last five Big Ten openers but 2-1 when wrestling at home. The three losses have come to Iowa (twice) and Penn State. Overall, the Buckeyes are 29-13 in the last five seasons vs. Big Ten competition.
12/18/2015: Ohio State 27, Northwestern 16 (at Evanston, Ill.)
1/4/2015: Iowa 18, Ohio State 14 (Columbus, Ohio)
12/15/2013: Penn State 31, Ohio State 6 (State College, Pa.)
1/4/2013: Iowa 22, Ohio State 9 (Iowa City, Iowa)
12/18/11: Ohio State 31, Indiana 9 (Columbus, Ohio)

CURRENT INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS

Name Weight FloWrestling InterMat AWN TheOpenMat
Jose Rodriguez 125 lbs. #14 #10 #11 #12
Nathan Tomasello 133 lbs. #2 #3 #2 #3
Micah Jordan 149 lbs. #5 #5 #5 #5
Bo Jordan 174 lbs. #1 #1 #1 #3
Myles Martin 184 lbs. #4 #5 #4 #7
Kollin Moore 197 lbs. #7 #6 #5 #6
Kyle Snyder 285 lbs. #1 #1 #1 #1


CURRENT TEAM RANKINGS

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

STIEBER IS WORLD CHAMP
For the second time in the last 15 months, a Buckeye can call himself a World Champion. Four-time NCAA champ Logan Stieber won four matches at the 2016 World Championship last Saturday to claim gold at 61kg. His win comes on the heels of Kyle Snyder's World title in September of 2015. Stieber needed takedowns in the final seconds in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches to make the finals, where he defeated Beka Lomtadze of Georgia 8-4.

QUOTABLE
On his gold medal match
"I wanted to be all over him. I just wasn't scoring. But I felt really good at the end of the first period. I knew it was a matter of time getting in. I knew he was dangerous with his chest lock and his fireman's. But once I shut that down, I knew I was going to get to him. He did a good rip when I laced him, and I let up for a second with the takedown that made it 8-4. But I felt comfortable."

On his matches overall
"I wrestled well. There are lots and lots of things, different areas that I can do better. I have been working on my defense and stuff with J [Jaggers] and Tervel [Dlagnev] the last three months. It takes a while. It's a learning process and I can't thank them enough for helping me get there."

STATISCALLY SPEAKING
• M. Jordan has a team-best 247 points in 18 matches this season, an average of 13.7/match. In the 14 bouts that haven't ended in pins, he's averaging 17.6 points.
• In matches featuring a top 10 opponent, Buckeye wrestlers are 9-3 this year with three major decisions. Tomasello is the latest to pick up a win in that category, defeating No. 8 Jaydin Eierman of Missouri, 12-2, last Thursday.
• Additionally, Tomasello has won 51 of his last 52 matches dating back to December of 2014.
• Five members of the starting lineup have scored first in every match this year -- B. Jordan, Martin, Snyder, Tomasello and M. Jordan.
• Through four duals, Snyder leads the Buckeyes with 22 total team points (three falls, one major decision). M. Jordan leads with 82 individual match points scored (20.5 per match).
• Six different starters are averaging better than 10 points per match. Martin is the leader at 15.1 points/match with B. Jordan not far behind at 14.5. M. Jordan, Moore, Snyder and Tomasello are averaging 14.5, 10.5, 10.5 and 10.6 points respectively.
• In four duals thus far, Ohio State wrestlers have recorded 74 first-period takedowns while being taken down themselves just nine times.

NORTHEAST OHIO CONNECTIONS
Five members of Ohio Stare's roster hails from the greater Cleveland area. On the coaching staff, assistant J Jaggers is a native of Northfield and graduate of St. Peter Chanel while volunteer assistant Anthony Ralph also wrestled and coached at St. Peter Chanel. Ralph also wrestled collegiately for Kent State.

Wadsworth High School graduate Nick Tavanello starred for the Grizzlies from 2008 through 2012, winning three OHSAA state titles while also leading Wadsworth to the team title in 2010. He amassed a 179-11 career record with 109 pins. Tavanello suffered an injury during the preseason and will miss the remainder of the season.

A CONSISTENT WINNER
Ohio State has been ranked in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll for 75 consecutive weeks dating back to the 2011-12 season. Sixty one 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.