Aug. 2, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio– Tom Ryan, head coach of the Ohio State wrestling team, revealed the Buckeyes’ 2012-13 schedule Thursday. In all, Ohio State will wrestle at least 13 dual matches with five taking place at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Five of the Buckeyes’ opponents – Penn State, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Northwestern – finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA championships, while four teams – Penn State, Pittsburgh, Hofstra and Maryland – won their respective conference tournaments. Additionally, 11 of Ohio State’s 13 opponents produced at least one All-American last season.
“We can’t wait to get the season underway,” Ryan, who is entering his seventh season as the Ohio State head coach, said. “The great Buckeye fans will get to see some great events both at home and on the road. Our schedule provides so many opportunities for our student-athletes to wrestle in some very unique environments. Finally, this schedule will provide us with the necessary challenges to harden this team, helping them attain the lofty goals we have.”
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After opening the season at the Buffalo Invitational Nov. 4, the Scarlet and Gray will jump right into dual competition Nov. 15 at Davidson. Traveling approximately 155 miles north to Blacksburg, Va., the Buckeyes will wrestle Virginia Tech the following day (Nov. 16). Ohio State handed the Hokies, who boasted two All-Americans and tied for the ACC regular-season title in 2011-12, a 21-12 loss in Columbus a season ago.
Ohio State’s first home dual match will come against Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. Nov. 18. The 2012 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Tournament Champions, Pittsburgh concluded the 2011-12 campaign with a pair of All-Americans. A season ago, the Buckeyes downed the Panthers, 22-9, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The defending Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational champions, Ohio State will seek its second-consecutive title at the two-day event starting Nov. 30.
Returning to dual action Dec. 14, the Scarlet and Gray will host Kent State at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes won a close 22-15 contest in Kent, Ohio, last season against a Golden Flashes squad that eventually produced one All-American. Two days later, Dec. 16, Ohio State will compete in the inaugural “Grapple at the Garden” at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Buckeyes will wrestle Hofstra, the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament champion, and Maryland, the ACC Tournament champion, in the historic event. The Pride finished the 2011-12 season with two All-Americans, while the Terrapins boasted an All-American as well.
“We are also excited about the MSG Duals,” Ryan said. “These types of events keep the season exciting for the team.”
With the New Year comes the Big Ten Conference portion of Ohio State’s schedule beginning with a huge match at Iowa Jan. 4. Last season, Ohio State upset the Hawkeyes, 21-9, in front of nearly 6,000 fans in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes then will make their way to Evanston, Ill., where they will face Northwestern Jan. 6. It will be the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Wildcats, who finished ninth at the NCAA championships in March thanks to two All-Americans, since Feb. 19, 2011.
Three of the Scarlet and Gray’s next five matches will take place in Columbus, including a 7 p.m. tilt vs. Minnesota Jan. 11. Ohio State dropped a hard-fought 24-13 decision to the Gophers last season. Minnesota eventually finished tied for the Big Ten regular-season title and second in the NCAA championships. The next week, Jan. 18, Ohio State will travel to Bloomington where it will wrestle Indiana. Last year, the Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers, 31-9, in Columbus in their Big Ten opener.
After they return from Bloomington, the Scarlet and Gray will host Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Jan. 20 before traveling to Oak Harbor, Ohio, where they will host Illinois at 2 p.m. Feb. 3. The Buckeyes and Badgers have not met on the mat since Feb. 13, 2011. The Illini, who garnered a seventh-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships courtesy of four All-Americans, and Ohio State also are meeting for the first time after a one-year hiatus. The Buckeyes will seek their fifth win in six matches vs. Michigan Feb. 8 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines, who had two All-Americans in the 2012 NCAA Championships and finished 11th overall, were dealt a 24-13 loss in Columbus last season. Finally, Ohio State will conclude the Big Ten schedule vs. two-time defending Big Ten and NCAA champion Penn State at 2 p.m. Feb. 10.
Before gearing up for postseason action, the Scarlet and Gray will compete in the NWCA National Duals starting Feb. 17. A year ago, the Buckeyes posted a 2-1 record at the newly formatted event, downing Boise State, 26-9, and Nebraska, 21-8, but falling to No. 1 Oklahoma State, 25-6.
The 2013 Big Ten Championships will take place March 9-10 in Champaign, Ill., while the NCAA championships will begin March 21 and will end March 23 in Des Moines, Iowa.