The Wisconsin wrestling team suffered its first home loss of the season on Friday as it fell to third-ranked Ohio State 21-13 at the UW Field House.
No. 9 UW (8-3, 1-3 Big Ten) won just four matches.
The Badgers received victories by decision from Eric Barnett (125 pounds), No. 4 Evan Wick (165), and No. 5 Trent Hillger (285).
No. 1 Seth Gross won by major decision at 133 pounds.
After winning the first two bouts of the evening, the Badgers dropped six of the final eight matches.
The Buckeyes moved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference with the victory.
Read on for some initial thoughts on the night’s proceedings.
Pletcher dominates Moran in marquee matchup
Top-ranked Luke Pletcher of Ohio State flexed his muscles (literally and figuratively) against No. 4 Tristan Moran in the most anticipated matchup of the evening.
Pletcher raced out to a 6-2 lead after the opening three minutes. That lead was extended to 8-3 after two, with the score ultimately settling in the OSU standout’s favor by an 11-3 major decision.
Five takedowns and impressive pace and tenacity lifted Pletcher to the decisive victory.
All three of Moran’s points came via escape.
Upper weights struggle
174-197 was a particularly ugly stretch for Wisconsin.
The Badgers dropped three matches, two by technical fall.
At 174, Jared Krattiger fell in a hard-fought 7-3 match against No. 8 Kaleb Romero.
Then things really went south.
Tyler Dow, once again standing in for nationally-ranked Johnny Sebastian, lost by tech fall 20-2 against Rocky Jordan.
Peter Christensen got his first starting nod since Dec. 19.
The true freshman was rudely greeted by No. 1 Kollin Moore who racked up six takedowns en route to a 21-3 tech.
Still searching for offense
For the fourth consecutive conference dual, the Badgers fell woefully short in the takedown battle.
The visiting Buckeyes held a 31-7 edge, unofficially, in that department.
Only five of Wisconsin’s wrestle tallied a takedown Friday. Only two, Wick and Hillger managed more than one.
Wisconsin has mustered a lowly 29 takedowns across its four Big Ten duals this season, while their opponents have amassed 94.
While takedowns don’t always tell the full story of a team’s offensive output. It’s hard to imagine a squad having sustained success against high-level opponents when they are being regularly beat by a 3:1 ratio in takedowns.