Location: Covelli Center- Columbus, OH
Day & Time: 17 NOV 19 at 12:00pm
Viewing: Big Ten Network
Updates: Twitter @HokiesWrestling and Trackwrestling
The Opponent: Ohio State Buckeyes
2018-2019 Season and Now
Ohio States dual record last year was 12-2 (7-2 Big 10) finishing second in the Big Ten in both regular season and conference tournament. There only dual losses last year came against Michigan and Penn St. Also, Ohio State's team would go on to finish 2nd in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes are young and in a bit of a rebuilding year, but that doesn't mean they are without a plethora of powerhouse wrestlers. Currently they have all, but two weight classes with ranked wrestler (157 and 184). Ohio State is currently 2-0 in duals with wins over Stanford and Pittsburgh.This will be the 16th match up between the Hokies and Buckeyes on the mat. The last dual was in 2014 in Cassell Coliseum where the Hokies fell 16-24, but the dual was much closer than the score indicated.
Coach: Tom Ryan
Previously coached Hofstra before taking over at Ohio State in 2006 and immediately made an impact. In his 13 seasons with the Buckeyes, he has only had one losing season (2010: 2-11), has won three Big Ten Championship (2014, 2016, and 2017) and won one NCAA National Title (2014). He has coached six individual national champions, most notably Kyle Synder (Olympic Gold Medalist: 97kg Freestyle Wrestling) and four-time national champion Logan Steiber. He has also been named NCAA Coach of the Year twice.
Before he became one of the best coaches in the nation, Tom Ryan wrestled for the University of Syracuse from 1989-1990. He then transferred to the University of Iowa where he was a two Big Ten Champion and earned All American status twice. Meaning he wrestled with former Virginia Tech coach, Tom Brands.
125lbs: #21 Malik Heinselman (SO, Castle Rock CO)
Newly ranked, even with a 5-3 record (he did avenge one of his losses). He was not the starter for OSU in 2018 and actually dropped his redshirt, but did qualify for the NCAA tournament in his first year of collegiate wrestling. His current record is 29-14
133lbs: #18 Quinn Kinner (r-FR, Mullica Hill NJ)
Kinner's current record is 5-3 as well (two losses coming against Pitt's Micki Phillippi). Originally a 141lb, which he wrestled in 2018, but has dropped weight this year. His current collegiate record is 21-6, where he earned 16 wins his redshirt year
141lbs: #1 Luke Pletcher (SR, Latrobe PA)
The reason Kinner moved down. Took the number #1 ranking from after defeating Oklahoma's Dom Demas and is currently 7-0. This is the first year he is wrestling at 141lbs. Pletcher is a three time NCAA qualifier at 133lbs, earning All-American status in two of those years. He has unfortunately not earned a Big Ten title, but has placed 4th in NCAA tournament twice. Luke Pletcher has amassed a career record of 92-20.
149lbs: #8 Sammy Sasso (r-FR, Nazareth PA)
The redshirt freshman phenom. This year's record is 7-0, and has destroyed his completion (4 by fall, 2 by technical fall, and 1 by decision). His overall record is 26-2, those two losses his freshman year only by two points, both times, against top-20 wrestlers. He placed 3rd at the Midlands last year, beating five top-15 ranked wrestlers after an opening round loss.
157lbs: Elijah Clearly (r-JR, Winter Park FL CO) OR Jaden Mattox (r-FR, Grove City OH) OR Ke-Shawn Hayes (r-SR, Kansas City MO)
Elijiah Cleary is currently 2-3 for 2019. He beat out Jaden Mattox 4-2 in TB1 during Ohio States wrestle off but has not produced greatly. He did have an injury shortened season in 2017. His overall record is 32-17.
Jaden Mattox was supposedly the next big thing, a highly ranked recruit and posting a 13-3 record where he had nine wins of tech. fall or fall during his redshirt season. He currently has leveled off a but and is 3-2.
Ke-Shawn Hayes is a name from left field, but has wrestled in three weight classes during his time at Ohio State: 141lbs freshman year, 149lbs sophomore year, and 157lbs junior year. 149lbs was his best weight, where he made his first NCAA tournament appearance and given the 5th seed. He has seemed to settle down at 149lbs for 2019, but could possible bump up again to add a spark to the line-up since he can't get past Sasso.
165lbs: #21 Ethan Smith (r-SO, Sparrows Point MD)
Also newly anointed in the rankings with a 5-3 record. Started at 184lbs in 2017, where he wrestled unattached. Last year he cut to 174lbs and did not start initially, but took over in the middle of the season. He then made the NCAA tournament as a r-FR, finishing in the round of 16 . Now at 165lbs, he did lose his OSU wrestle off, 3-2, but his opponent is wrestling unattached (Carson Kharchla: National Highschool Wrestler of the Year). Smith's career record is 45-23.
174lbs: #20 Kaleb Romero (r-SO, Mechanicsburg OH) OR Rocky Jordan (r-FR, St. Paris OH)
Romero has seemingly locked down the 174lbs spot securing a 7-0 start to this season. He did wrestle in a few duals for the Buckeyes last year, but did not participate in the Big Ten Tournament. His complete record is 30-7
Jordan is no slouch either, so far going 7-2 this season and has been hinted that he could start, having beaten Romero in a wrestle off. He took a redshirt last year due to an injury before the season started.
185lbs: Gavin Hoffman (r-FR, Montoursville PA) OR Zach Steiner (r-SO, Creston OH)
Hoffman is currently 5-3 for the 2019 season, but is a wrestler that is known to wrestle to seed. He went 22-3 during his redshirt year, bringing his overall record to 27-6.
Steiner is only 1-0 this year, but that win came against Stanford in Ohio State's first dual. His overall record is 12-9, having wrestled at 184lbs all three years in Columbus.
197lbs: #1 Kollin Moore (r-SR, Burbank OH)
The other #1 ranked wrestler for the Buckeyes and also 7-0. Moore is the favorite to win the 197lbs NCAA Championship. He was a Big Ten Champion in 2016 and 2017. Has qualified for the NCAA tournament the previous three years while also earning All-American during those years. He only had two losses last year, both to eventual 197lbs national champion, Bo Nickal of Penn State. Kollin Moore's overall record is 111-15
HVY: #11 Chase Singletary (r-SO, Naples FL)
Only 1-0, but Singletary got his first win on Friday night against Pittsburg after healing up. He qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, during his first valid season. His overall record is 43-12.
There is some potential for line-up changes, even some leaked news might have been used as psychological warfare. For example, Ohio State released a probable line-up card that had 149lbs: Brent Moore OR Jake Hart. Unless the Ohio State wrestling staff knows something, I don't see this happening at all. Virginia Tech has five wrestlers that use to call Ohio their home, most notably the Moore brothers, and coach Ty Walz.
Virginia Tech goes into this match with five ranked wrestlers of their own: #13 Collin Gerardi (133lbs), #18 Mitch Moore (141lbs), #13 BC LaPrade (157lbs), #4 David McFadden (165lbs), and #9 Hunter Bolen (183lbs). Key match ups to watch are the three lower weights and the HVY weight. Ohio State wrestling is known for points, they are good at getting takedowns near the end of the period and not settling for ride outs. Coach Robie talked after the Northwestern meet about how his boys can't give up in the 2nd or 3rd periods. This is especially important for Sunday, in preventing the Buckeyes from getting bonus points. Losing by 6 or 7 is ok, but don't let your opponent sneak by with 8 or 9 point victories
125: Prata dec. #21 Heinselman (3-0 VT)
133: #18 Kinner dec. #13 Gerardi (3-3 TIE)
141: #1 Pletcher maj. dec. #18 M. Moore (3-7 anOSU)
149: #8 Sasso tech. fall B. Moore (3-12 anOSU)
157: #13 LaPrade dec. Clearly (6-12 anOSU)
165: #4 McFadden maj. dec. #21 Smithh (10-12 anOSU)
174: #20 Romero dec. Hughes (10-15 anOSU)
184: Bolen maj. dec. Hoffman (14-15 anOSU)
197: #1 K. Moore tech fall. Smeltzer (14-20 anOSU)
285: Singletary dec. Borst (14-23 anOSU)
Most are saying 133lbs will be the closest match, but I think 125lbs is the best match up for VT to steal points. Prata is starting to gett comfortable with low scoring, grind outs. For 141lbs, it's not gonna end up in a decision. I can see Mitch Moore hitting a big move or getting stuck himself. Some may say I'm being to harsh on Brent Moore and Smeltzer by predicting tech falls. It's not cause I don't think they are capable wrestlers, its just their competition is that good. Lastly, heavyweight is gonna be tough to predict, but I'm gonna go with the more experienced wrestler with Singletary. Unfortunately this means Virginia Tech loses 14-23, but if they can pull off two upsets, it will be closer than most expect.