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Wrestling: No. 6 Ohio State puts winning ways on the line in rivalry showdown at No. 3 Michigan

The Lantern
The Ohio State wrestling team will take on rival Michigan this weekend. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor

The No. 6 Buckeyes know what to expect in a rivalry meeting on the mat against a team like No. 3 Michigan, and this time the stakes are high in a top-10 showdown.

Last season, Michigan (8-1, 3-1 Big Ten) took care of the Buckeyes at the Covelli Center 29-6. Ohio State looks to change its fortunes this time around.

This will be the first matchup between the Buckeyes (9-1, 3-0 Big Ten) and Wolverines this season. Ohio State goes to the Crisler Center with all 10 starters on the floor, and senior 125-pound wrestler and four-time NCAA qualifier Malik Heinselman said he knows the expectations, and the Buckeyes are focused on the basics.

“Every match is just a match. It is what it is, don’t make it more than it must be,” Heinselman said. “It’s a match, if we wrestle the way we have been practicing, then we can win.”

Head coach Tom Ryan said he knows what his team is capable of in high-stakes scenarios. In Ryan’s eyes he said he knows that his guys are passionate about getting what they desire.

“Consistency, habits, trusting your training, trusting your coaches, and being excited about it,” Ryan said. “I know that my players are capable, we don’t need anything more than that.”

With experience under its belt, this season’s Ohio State squad looks to cement its contender status against the Wolverines.

The Buckeyes have won the past four duals, with the most recent three coming against the Big Ten competition. Redshirt senior 149-pounder Sammy Sasso has picked up three wins in Big Ten competition and as many major decisions in his past four dual bouts.

Ohio State will contest the Wolverines at 6 p.m. Friday on Big Ten Network, and will be back home to face Michigan State Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Covelli Center.

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