Ohio State vs Virginia Tech is a top-ten dual matchup happening Friday, November 19. You can watch live via the ACC Network Extra through ESPN at 7:00pm EST.
Both teams have eight ranked wrestlers (by Intermat), and there will be five head-to-head ranked matchups. #8 Ohio State is the favorite dual team to win, but can #10 Virginia Tech pull off an upset?
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Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Series
The Buckeyes have a historically winning record over the Hokies, 13-3. The teams have met five times in the past ten years, and Ohio State has won five of those duals.
Virginia Tech has won the previous two dual meets, including the most recent 21-15 win in 2019. So what else can you expect from this year’s dual meet?
There will be five head-to-head ranked matchups at 125, 149, 174, 184, and 285. However, two key matches may ultimately determine the overall score. Both the Virginia Tech and Ohio State lineups are ever-changing, so you may see a few shifts this early in the season. But, you can at least expect these two big matchups.
125. Latona vs. Heinselman
At 125 lbs, #12 Sam Latona (TECH) will wrestle #14 Malik Heinselman (OSU). The pair has never wrestled in college, but Latona is the 2021 All-American and favorite to win.
Don’t count out Heinselman who is undefeated (5-0) on the season. He is quick to score on reattacks and is a driving force when he gets in on a leg. But Latona is a real scrambler and won’t easily be taken down.
Whoever wins this early matchup will give the team a bit of early momentum.
174. Lewis vs. Smith
If Ohio State and Virginia Tech would have wrestled last season, then Mekhi Lewis (TECH) and Ethan Smith (OSU) would have wrestled each other at 165 lbs. But now, they both bumped up to 174 lbs and are adjusting to the new weight class.
Mekhi seems to have recovered from his injury with two majors, a fall, and a decision en route to a Southeast Open title. The 2019 NCAA Champion is already off to a great start!
Ethan Smith is also undefeated with an Ohio Intercollegiate Open title under his belt. He also picked up an early dual win over UNC’s Gavin Kane. If he wants to beat Mekhi, he’ll need to be ready for Mekhi’s quick attacks. Also, if he gets on the leg, good luck taking him down; Mekhi has insane flexibility.
141, 157, and 285 all have possibilities for upsets in the Ohio State vs Virginia Tech dual meet. Upsets are always fun to watch live, so make sure you know the best way to watch college wrestling with and without cable.
Jordan Decatur (OSU) started out his season by bumping up from 133 lbs to 141 lbs and defeating his teammates Dylan D’Emilio and Anthony Echemendia in a wrestle off. He then battled UNC’s Kizhan Clarke to a 3-1 SV loss. He has just enough spunk to upend Tech’s #31 Sam Hillegas.
Speaking of the Ohio State vs UNC dual, if you looked at box scores you wouldn’t be shocked to see a FALL for Austin O’Connor over OSU’s Jashon Hubbard. However, if you watched the match, then you know he battled the NCAA Champ tooth and nail and even secured the first takedown.
Unless Ohio State unleashes top recruit Paddy Gallagher at 157 lbs, you can expect to see Hubbard. But, #29 Connor Brady won’t back down, considering he is a 2021 national qualifier.
Finally, the heavyweight bout also has potential for an upset with #14 Nathan Traxler (TECH) and #7 Tate Orndorff (OSU). Don’t expect this match to be a high-scoring jamboree; however, the bout will be a battle of positions. Orndorff may have placed 8th at the 2021 NCAA Championships, but Traxler finished just a round behind him.
What can you expect from this dual meet? First, expect the usuals like NCAA Finalist Sammy Sasso (OSU) and top-dog Hunter Bolen (TECH) to get their jobs done.
Second, don’t expect many bonus point matches in a top-ten matchup like this one. In my mind, Korbin Myers (TECH) has potential to earn a major decision at 133 lbs, and maybe Sasso locks up a cradle. But otherwise, this dual will go the distance.
Even with Ohio State earning upsets at 141 lbs and 157 lbs, I think Virginia Tech still finds a way to win the dual meet. My score prediction is 16-15 Virginia Tech.
You can download your own Ohio State vs Virginia Tech score sheet to predict your score for the Friday night event.