Laramie, Wyo. (Nov. 18, 2016) – As far as dual meets go, it doesn’t get much tougher than the challenge the University of Wyoming wrestling team will encounter to open the 2016-17 season. The Pokes begin the dual portion of their schedule when UW welcomes the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Laramie for a Sunday matinee.
The contest against seventh-ranked Nebraska will begin at 3:30 p.m. MT in the UniWyo Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. Fans can follow the action on Trackwrestling or watch live with a subscription to FloWrestling.
A Look at Wyoming
Junior Bryce Meredith is the lone Cowboy ranked according to InterMat’s Division I rankings. The junior is the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the 141-pound weight class, in addition to being No. 2 in the Amateur Wrestling News rankings. He is also ranked fourth in the ASICS/FloWrestling and WIN Magazine rankings. Drew Templeman is ranked No. 12 in the 133-pound weight class, according to ASICS/FloWrestling rankings.
Wyoming is coming off five individual titles at the UNC Open last Saturday. The Pokes also took home five titles from the Cowboy Open on Nov. 5. Through the two open tournaments, Cole Mendenhall and Archie Colgan have perfect records. Colgan and Mendenhall have each moved into the latest WIN Magazine rankings that were released on Tuesday.
Meredith became the seventh Wyoming wrestler to compete in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 5. He fell in extra time to Rutgers’ Anthony Ashnault. Ashnault scored a takedown in the extra period to move past Meredith, 8-6.
A Look at Nebraska
The Huskers head into the weekend ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/NWCA Top-25 Poll and open their dual season at the Devaney Center on Friday against West Virginia. The Nebraska lineup features eight ranked wrestlers, five of which are in the top-ten based on InterMat’s Division I rankings. The Husker’s top-ranked wrestlers are No. 4 Eric Montoya (133) and No. 4 T.J. Dudley (184). Tim Lambert is ranked No. 9 In the 125-pound weight class as Tyler Berger is the eighth-ranked wrestler in the 157-weight class. Nebraska’s lineup also features No. 6 Aaron Studebaker (197), Colton McCrystal and Collin Jensen are each ranked No. 15 at 141 and heavyweight, respectively. Additionally, Micah Barnes is No. 17 in the 174-pound weight class.
He Said it
“From the Cowboy Open to going down to Northern Colorado I did see some improvements,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “ I saw us finishing our takedowns a little better and being aggressive. When over a third of your wins are pins, that’s a good sign. We are getting ready to jump up to a whole different level of competition, but those are good tournaments for our guys to work on something and build confidence.”
“Nebraska is a great opponent,” Branch added. “They have quite a few seniors and guys that have been really successful. For ten-weight classes they are pretty solid. We will have to pull some major upsets and earn their respect. It is early in the season and a lot of things could happen early but we realize we need to go out and earn it. We know it won’t happen because we wish it to happen, we have to go out and make something happen.”
“We will have to bump a few guys around a little bit. I’m sure there will be match-time decisions. This week will determine a lot. What we see in practice and how we are feeling by the weekend will ultimately help us decide a few questions we have at the moment.”
The Huskers defeated the Pokes 35-4 last season in the Bob Devaney Sports Complex in Lincoln, Neb. Meredith was the lone Poke to win a match against the Huskers as he won with a dominating 13-4 major decision win over No. 8 Anthony Abidin. Meredith was then named the Big 12 Conference wrestler of the week, the first Cowboy to earn the award from the conference.
Probable matchups vs. Nebraska
133: Montorie Bridges vs. #4/4/4 Eric Montoya (NU)
141: #2/4/4 Bryce Meredith vs. #20/15/14 Colton McCrystal OR Collin Purinton (NU)
149: #20/NR/NR Cole Mendenhall vs. Jordan Shearer (NU)
157: #18/NR/NR Archie Colgan vs. #5/8/8 Tyler Berger (NU)
184: Wesley Schultz vs. #2/4/4 TJ Dudley (NU)
197: Brandon Tribble OR Cody Vigoren vs. #10/#16/7 Aaron Studebaker (NU)
HWT: Sam Eagan vs. #18/#15/14 Collin Jensen (NU)
-Rankings based on most recent Amateur Wrestling News/InterMat/FloWrestling polls.