Ohio (6-6, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) is coming off its first home duals since Nov. 10. The Bobcats split the weekend duals, losing to Central Michigan 25-15 on Jan. 31 and defeating Bloomsburg University 28-9 on Feb. 2. This weekend, the Bobcats face two tough opponents of Northern Illinois and South Dakota State.
Here is the information for this weekend:
Opponents: Northern Illinois | South Dakota State
Opponent Records: 9-4, 4-2 MAC | 8-5
Meet Location: The Convo
Meet Date: Feb. 9 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
How to Watch: ESPN+
What’s Happened so far:
Ohio is ranked fourth in the MAC West Division. The Bobcats have a chance to move into a tie for third if they defeat Northern Illinois. Ohio has won 11 straight duals against the Huskies.
The first dual of the day is the most important for the Bobcats, as it has implications for the MAC standings. Picking up its fifth win in its last six MAC duals would provide Ohio with some momentum coming down the final stretch.
Setting the tone for the Bobcats this season has been Shakur Laney and Alec Hagan. They will have to keep up the same for Sunday, as they have tough opponents in Anthony Gibson and McCoy Kent. If Laney and Hagan prevail, it gives Ohio the edge and it will need every break possible against Northern Illinois.
Jordan Earnest is coming off one of his best bouts of the season where he pinned his opponent, capping off the win against Bloomsburg. It was a great moment for him and the team, but he faces a solid opponent in NUI’s Max Ihry this week. Ihry is having a bounce back season, as he improved his 3-15 record to 12-9 from last season to this season respectively.
While the dual against South Dakota State is not imperative to win, it will give Ohio great experience for the rest of the season. Some of the Jackrabbits best wrestlers include Cade DeVos, who is 19-4 in the 165 pound weight class and Danny Vega, who holds a 16-7 record in the 125 pound weight class.
This weekend will be a challenge for the Bobcats but it will only help them get better. After this week, they will have a week off of duals allowing them to rest for the final stretch.