NCAA Watch Party: Iowa/Princeton & VT/Ohio State

#7 Virginia Tech Vs #11 Ohio State: Breakdown And Predictions

#7 Virginia Tech Vs #11 Ohio State: Breakdown And Predictions

A breakdown of the biggest dual this weekend in NCAA Wrestling: #7 Virginia Tech vs #11 Ohio State.

Nov 17, 2021 by Jon Kozak
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In the biggest dual of the season up to this point, #11 Ohio State will travel to Blacksburg to take on #7 Virginia Tech this Friday, November 19th. Check out the projected lineups with a breakdown and prediction of each match in this incredible dual.

Projected Lineups

125 - #14 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) vs #8 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech)

133 - Dylan Koontz (Ohio State) vs #4 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech)

141 - #18 Jordan Decatur (Ohio State) vs #22 Sam Hillegas/Collin Gerardi (Virginia Tech)

149 - #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs #7 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech)

157 - Jashon Hubbard/Paddy Gallagher (Ohio State) vs Connor Brady (Virginia Tech)

165 - #12 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs Clayton Ulrey (Virginia Tech)

174 - #6 Ethan Smith (Ohio State) vs #3 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)

184 - #14 Rocky Jordan/Gavin Bell (Ohio State) vs #7 Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech)

197 - HM Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) vs Dakota Howard/HM Andy Smith (Virginia Tech)

285 - #7 Tate Orndorff (Ohio State) vs #16 Nathan Traxler (Virginia Tech)

If you’re keeping track, 14 of the 20 guys competing in this dual are ranked in the top 25. On top of that, there are 8 in the top 10 and 6 matches between ranked wrestlers. 


125 - #14 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) vs #8 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech)

Returning All-American Sam Latona will look to get things back on track after falling 10-8 in the finals of the Southeast Open to Columbia’s Joe Manchio. If Latona can get a win over Heinselman, it will show he’s right back to where he was last season when he placed 6th at NCAAs. Heinselman is more than capable of getting the win here and I expect this to be a close, 1-2 point match.

Prediction: Latona by decision - Virginia Tech 3, Ohio State 0


133 - Dylan Koontz (Ohio State) vs #4 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech)

Korbin Myers had a breakout year last season when took home 4th place All-American honors at the NCAA tournament. He suffered only 2, close losses to Roman Bravo-Young and Austin DeSanto at NCAAs and should be considered a huge favorite in this match against Koontz. This is Koontz first year starting for the Buckeyes and is a tough out for anyone at 133. While bonus points are a good possibility for Myers, Koontz is capable of holding this match to a decision. 

Prediction: Myers by decision - Virginia Tech 6, Ohio State 0

Myers win in the finals of the Southeast Open:

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141 - #18 Jordan Decatur (Ohio State) vs #22 Sam Hillegas/Collin Gerardi (Virginia Tech)

141 is an important match for both teams and one of the main “swing matches” in the dual. It’s unsure who Virginia Tech will send out against Decatur as Hillegas hasn’t wreslted yet for the Hokies while Gerardi placed second at the Southeast Open. Either way, expect this to be a close match and I lean slightly towards Decatur to come out on top Friday night.

Prediction: Decatur by decision - Virginia Tech 6, Ohio State 3


149 - #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs #7 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech)

This is THE feature match of the night. This match is sure to be filled with excitement considering the styles both Sasso and Andonian bring to the mat. Both aren’t afraid to mix it up in a variety of positions and usually put a lot of points on the board. While Sasso is the better all-around wrestler, Andonian is capable of going big and threatening with throws. Sasso also has the ability to put Andonian in trouble with his scrambling abilities and cradles that come out of nowhere.

Prediction: Sasso by decision - Virginia Tech 6, Ohio State 6

Highlights of Sasso’s win in the NCAA Semis:

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157 - Jashon Hubbard/Paddy Gallagher (Ohio State) vs Connor Brady (Virginia Tech)

While we might see Paddy Gallagher in a Buckeye’s singlet by the end of the season, I don’t think it will be in this dual against Brady. That leaves the relatively unknown Jashon Hubbard manning the spot at 157 against Brady. Connor Brady should be considered the favorite here but don’t be surprised if Hubbard turns this into a match. Hubbard was able to get a takedown against national champion Austin O’Connor and has a past win over All-American Cam Amine.

Prediction: Brady by decision - Virginia Tech 9, Ohio State 6


165 - #12 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs Clayton Ulrey (Virginia Tech)

Although Kharchla is ranked outside of the top 10, many believe he is capable of challenging for the national title this year at 165. However, Kharchla had two, close decisions against “lesser” opponents last week at the Ohio Intercollegiate Open. Kharcla beat Bryan LaVearn from Tiffin 9-8 and Ohio’s Colt Yinger 3-1. Kharchla will be the heavy favorite against Ulrey and is capable of winning by bonus points.

Prediction: Kharchla by major decision - Virginia Tech 9, Ohio State 10


174 - #6 Ethan Smith (Ohio State) vs #3 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)

After the Sasso - Andonian match, Smith vs Lewis is the best match of the dual. Last year at NCAAs, Smith brought home 5th place All-American honors in the same bracket Mekhi Lewis had to injury default out of after losing in the quarters. It looks like Lewis is back to 100% and cruised through the Southeast Open with 4, bonus-point wins. Expect Lewis to win this match in a controlling decision.

Prediction: Lewis by decision - Virginia Tech 12, Ohio State 10


184 - #14 Rocky Jordan/Gavin Bell (Ohio State) vs #7 Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech)

While I think Rocky Jordan will take the mat against Hunter Bolen, we listed Gavin bell as an alternate because of Jordan’s 2 medical forfeits last weekend at the Ohio Intercollegiate Open. Along with the medical forfeits, Jordan was pinned in the first period by Luke McGonigal (Mercyhurst - division 2). Either way, Bolen should win this match handily and I’m predicting bonus points for the Hokies here.

Prediction: Bolen by major decision - Virginia Tech 16, Ohio State 10

Hunter Bolen’s Dominant win in the finals of the Southeast Open

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197 - HM Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) vs Dakota Howard/HM Andy Smith (Virginia Tech)

Gavin Hoffman has looked excellent so far this year for the Buckeyers at 197 and is a favorite against Dakota Howard or Andy Smith. Dakota Howard, a national qualifier last year at 174, placed second at the Southeast Open where he only lost to Princeton’s Luke Stout in the finals. Andy Smith will likely be the Hokies starter by the end of the season but we haven’t seen him yet this season. I favor Hoffman against both Howard and Smith, but if Howard takes the mat, bonus points are within reach for Hoffman.

Prediction: Hoffman by decision - Virginia Tech 16, Ohio State 13


285 - #7 Tate Orndorff (Ohio State) vs #16 Nathan Traxler (Virginia Tech)

With the swing matches throughout, this dual could go a variety of ways but I have it coming down to heavyweight. A returning All-American, Orndorff is the slight favorite here over Traxler who finished 1 match away from All-American honors last season. Orndorff will have a size advantage and is, in my opinion, just a little better in every position. 

Prediction: Orndorff by decision - Virginia Tech 16, Ohio State 16

Criteria Prediction - Ohio State wins by third criteria (Total Match Points Scored).


So there it is - Ohio State wins by criteria! This is a fantastic early season dual and could go either way Friday night in Blacksburg. The big swing matches are 141, 149, 174, and 197. I have Ohio State winning 3 out of 4 so if Virginia Tech is able to split the swing matches, they should win the dual. You can watch this live at 7pm (ET) on the ACC Network/ESPN Plus and follow along with the FloWrestling team as we watch and give live updates during our Friday night NCAA Watch Party.