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Wrestling: No. 5 Ohio State looks to stay undefeated in Big Ten play against No. 1 Penn State, No. 14 Northwestern

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Ohio State faces a major test this weekend as it takes on top-ranked Penn State and No. 14 Northwestern this weekend. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor

A top-ranked, home matchup headlines Ohio State’s latest weekend matchups on the mat this weekend.

The No. 5 Buckeyes will take on No. 1 Penn State (11-0, 4-0 Big Ten) Friday and No. 14 Northwestern (5-2, 4-2 Big Ten) Sunday and put their unblemished record in conference play thus far on the line.

The Buckeyes (11-1, 5-0 Big Ten) aim to knock off the top-ranked Nittany Lions at home in the Covelli Center to move their win streak to seven duals. Ohio State will try not to overlook Northwestern on the road in Evanston, Illinois, as the Wildcats are undefeated at home with a 3-0 record this season.

Fans at the Covelli Center Friday, which will be a sellout according to Ohio State athletics , have been encouraged to wear black. The Buckeyes have not defeated Penn State since January 2015.

No. 10 senior 125-pounder Malik Heinselman, No. 9 freshman 133-pounder Jesse Mendez, No. 19 redshirt junior 141-pounder Dylan D’Emilio and No. 3 redshirt senior 149-pounder Sammy Sasso all look to score points early for the Buckeyes. Though, it will be a challenging task as Penn State has only one wrestler, 125-pound redshirt freshman Gary Steen, in the 10-man lineup who is not ranked.

Ohio State looks to steal some points in the later matches, but in the 174-, 184- and 197-pound weight classes Penn State has three 2022 NCAA national champions: No. 1 junior Carter Starocci, No. 1 senior Aaron Brooks and No. 4 senior Max Dean, respectively.

No. 5 redshirt senior 184-pounder Kaleb Romero will try to score an upset against Brooks in their matchup, Ohio State will need high-level performances to swing the momentum in its favor against Penn State.

The Buckeyes will have more to contend with than just Penn State, as Ohio State will travel to No. 14 Northwestern two days later and try to hand the Wildcats their first home loss this season.

In the 125-, 133-, 141- and 149-pound classes, Northwestern has all four players ranked in the top-15: No. 8 redshirt senior Michael DeAugustino, No. 13 redshirt junior Chris Cannon, No. 8 redshirt sophomore Frankie Tal-Shahar and No. 4 graduate Yahya Thomas, respectively.

Ohio State most recently prevailed over Northwestern 28-10 in a home dual during the 2019-20 season.

The Buckeyes will contest the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. Friday on Big Ten Network and will be away to face Northwestern Sunday at 3 p.m., which will broadcast on BTN+.

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