No. 5 Ohio State went two for two and captured team wins this weekend against its rivals in the north: at No. 3 Michigan and versus Michigan State.
Ohio State (11-1, 5-0 Big Ten) fended off Wolverines (9-2, 4-2 Big Ten) comeback attempts en route to a 23-15 victory, its first in Ann Arbor since 2018. Michigan State (8–5, 1–5) didn’t seem to have an answer for the Buckeyes, and Ohio State capped its weekend with a 36-3 thumping of the Spartans.
Associate head coach J Jaggers said he knows the importance of rivalry competition but understands that it is just another match.
“Once we got back from Maryland we put Michigan up on the clock, we focus on one game at a time,” Jaggers said.
Michigan State looked to try and capitalize on its first Big Ten win of the season after defeating the Terrapins Friday. However, the Spartans could not keep up with the Buckeyes at the Covelli Center, as Ohio State had nine individual victories to prevail 36-3.
Freshman 133-pounder Jesse Mendez started the Buckeyes off hot with three takedowns coupled with escapes and a penalty. He quickly won his match 9-2.
Mendez is now 11-1 in his Buckeye career and has earned praise from his coaches.
“Jesse is a competitor and is excited for any challenge,” Jaggers said. “He does not get tired. He has good technique and is trusted and respected by his teammates and coaches.”
Redshirt junior 141-pounder Dylan D’Emilio and redshirt senior 149-pounder Sammy Sasso got pins in their matchups. D’Emilio had multiple takedowns before going into the third period, where he was able to pin Spartans redshirt junior Jordan Hamdan and get the win.
Carrying the momentum he’s had all season, Sasso performed well in his weekend performances. He led 11-1 after securing three takedowns and a near fall, then pinned Michigan State redshirt junior Peyton Omania for the victory.
After three uneventful periods leading to sudden victory, junior 157-pounder Isaac Wilcox found himself in an overtime situation. Wilcox beat Spartans freshman 174-pounder Ceasar Garza and wrestled him to the ground, getting the takedown and winning in overtime.
Wilcox moved to 4-0 in Big Ten play while not wrestling in his weight class.
Ohio State took down Michigan in Ann Arbor for the first time in nearly five years.
Jesse Mendez had a key, momentum-swinging victory after beating Michigan redshirt sophomore 133-pounder Dylan Ragusin in sudden victory. Wilcox said he learned the potential Mendez had when the freshman arrived at Ohio State last year.
“I saw him in the summer, watched him and thought, ‘Who is this guy?’” Wilcox said. “I knew he would be good the moment I saw him.”
Sasso won by technical fall, grabbing four takedowns and a four-point near fall that allowed him to win 20-5.
Ohio State will be back at the Covelli Center Friday to host No. 1 Penn State beginning at 7 p.m.
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