Ohio State kicks off the second half of the wrestling season on Friday as they travel to Wisconsin to take on the undefeated Badgers. Tom Ryan’s team is a perfect 5-0 on the young season, but the schedule gets significantly more difficult now that the competition is mostly from the Big Ten. The Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin 34-6 last season, but trail the Badgers 21-28-1 in the all-time series.
Let's take a look at what to expect when the Buckeyes travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers.
3–0 Overall, 1-0 Big Ten
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#21 wisconsin badgers
Head Coach: Barry Davis
Davis is one of the many Big Ten head coaches that wrestled for Dan Gable at Iowa before branching out to start his own coaching legacy. Davis is in his 22nd season as head coach of the Badgers and has coached a trio of NCAA champions to go along with 22 All-Americans. Davis was no slouch on the mat himself, earning a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics while a student at Iowa. In all, he was a two-time Olympian and three-time NCAA champion for Iowa under Gable. Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin), Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin), and Camden Eppert (Purdue) round out Davis’ coaching staff.
Ohioans on the Badger Roster
Eli Stickley (RS Fr, 141)- Stickley placed four times at the state tournament for St. Paris Graham and earned an individual title as a junior to go with four team titles.
Ryan Taylor (RS Sr, 133)- Taylor was a three-time state champion for Graham High School, where he was teammates with current Badgers Isaac Jordan and Eli Stickley and Buckeyes Bo and Micah Jordan. Taylor earned an All-American finish in 2015, but his career was ended by hampering injuries as a junior.
Isaac Jordan (RS Sr, 165)- Isaac is the son of two-time NCAA champion and three-time All-American Jim Jordan, who now represents Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives. Isaac is the younger brother of former Badger All-American Ben Jordan. With a family history of wrestling for the Badgers, Isaac has made his own mark in Madison with a trio of All-American finishes including a runner-up finish last season. Isaac has defeated Bo Jordan to win each of the last two Big Ten Championships at 165.
Notable Wisconsin Wrestlers
No. 3 Isaac Jordan- 165
Isaac has gotten the upper hand on his cousin Bo four straight times, including twice in the Big Ten tournament and once in last year’s NCAA tournament semifinals, but the Badger senior has yet to win an NCAA title. After beating Bo in the semis last year, Isaac had the unenviable task of facing three-time NCAA champ Alex Dieringer, who was looking to win his third straight NCAA title. Now a senior, Isaac remains an elite wrestler, but he will have to upend two-time NCAA champ Isaiah Martinez if he is going to capture a title of his own in March.
No. 2 Connor Medbery- HWT
Medbery took last season off due to an Olympic redshirt, and early returns indicate that he learned a few new tricks after spending the year as current Buckeye assistant Tervel Dlagnev’s training partner. Medbery was an All-American in 2015 and has the athleticism that is rarely seen in a man of his size. He is undefeated this season, but had to withdraw from the Midlands due to an illness. Medbery has wins over Kroells, Hall, and Walz this season, making him the clear frontrunner to face Kyle Snyder on Saturday night at the NCAA tournament when March rolls around.
|#4 Ohio State||WT||#21 Wisconsin|
|#9 JOSE RODRIGUEZ||125||JOHNNY JIMENEZ|
|#2 NATHAN TOMASELLO||133||MICHAEL CULLEN|
|LUKE PLETCHER||141||#14 COLE MARTIN|
|#5 MICAH JORDAN||149||ANDREW CRONE|
|JAKE RYAN||157||TJ RUSCHELL|
|CODY BURCHER||165||#3 ISAAC JORDAN|
|#1 BO JORDAN||174||RYAN CHRISTENSEN|
|#10 MYLES MARTIN||184||JAKE STILLING|
|#5 KOLLIN MOORE||197||#13 RICKY ROBERTSON|
|JOSH FOX||HWT||#2 CONNOR MEDBERY|
141: Luke Pletcher vs No. 13 Cole Martin
Pletcher took some lumps in his first big college competition, going 3-2 and failing to place at the Midlands. He will get a chance to rebound against fellow freshman Martin, who has some decent wins under his belt to this point. Pletcher’s Midlands performance showed that he is undersized to be at 141, but his excellent wrestling IQ keeps him in great position throughout the match. A win here would be nice to get Luke some momentum heading into Big Ten competition.
197: No. 5 Kollin Moore vs No. 13 Ricky Robertson
Robertson is competing in his third weight class in as many seasons after starting at 184 and 174 in his first two seasons. He is long and lanky at 197, which is ideal for Moore’s ankle picks. Moore is in a great position to make a name for himself in a weaker weight in the Big Ten, and he’s likely to rattle off takedown after takedown against a ranked opponent in Robertson.
184: No. 10 Myles Martin vs Jake Stilling
Martin didn’t exactly inspire much confidence last weekend at the Midlands tournament, placing a disappointing 8th with losses to Pete Renda and Jack Dechow before defaulting out of the 7th place match. Myles will face a tough schedule as the Big Ten season gets going, so he’ll be glad to see Stilling across the mat from him as his first match in 2017. Expect Myles to score points at will against Stilling.
Wisconsin has great wrestlers in Isaac Jordan and Connor Medbery, but the Buckeyes should have the edge in the other eight weight classes. The Badgers edged Indiana by just a single point early in December, but they’ll certainly find the Buckeyes far more difficult than the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes should move to 6-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten before setting their sights on a tougher Rutgers program on Sunday at home.