LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After a brief home stand the No. 20 University of Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team (7-3 overall) hits the road facing off against a pair of the NCAA’s most historic wrestling programs in Oklahoma and No. 7 Oklahoma State.
The Pokes open Friday’s action at Oklahoma for a 2 p.m. MT start in McCasland Field House. The Cowboys then head north to Stillwater for a 6:30 p.m. MT dual against No. 7 Oklahoma State.
A Look at Wyoming
Ranked 20th in the nation, the Pokes rank in the top-20 for the fourth-consecutive week. The Pokes split a pair of Western Wrestling Conference duals last weekend. UW defeated South Dakota State 32-10 before falling to North Dakota State 22-21. The Bison earned a point on criteria for having more pins than the Cowboys.
The Pokes feature five ranked wrestlers with senior Andy McCulley being UW’s highest ranked grappler ranked No. 14 at 174 pounds. Fellow senior Shane Woods comes into the weekend ranked No. 15 in the nation at 197 pounds. He leads the Cowboys in wins this season with an impressive 24-3 record. Senior Tyler Cox is ranked No.15 in the nation at 125 pounds.
A Look at Oklahoma
The Sooners head into Friday afternoon’s matinee with a 6-7 overall record. Last weekend, Oklahoma dropped a pair of contests to No. 8 Iowa State 26-18 and No. 20 Oregon State 20-17. The Sooners sport five ranked wrestlers and are led by redshirt junior Cody Brewer, who heads into the dual ranked fifth in the country at 133 pounds.
A Look at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys sit at 6-3 overall on the season. Oklahoma State was last in action Jan. 23, falling to No. 3 Missouri 22-10. The Cowboys responded with a 20-15 win on Jan. 25 over rival Iowa State. OSU features seven ranked wrestlers including the nation’s best at 165 pounds in Alex Dieringer, who was the NCAA Champion at 157 pounds last season.
He Said It
“There is a lot of opportunity this weekend to face some ranked guys,” head coach Mark Branch said. “It helps to continue the process to the NCAA Championship and it will be a tremendous test for us with two duals in one day.
“We are looking for improvement and we are also looking for toughness and for our guys to go out there and believe in themselves,” Branch said. “We want to assert ourselves as a program wrestling at a high level and we just want to go out there and wrestle our match.”
Last Meeting/Series History
The Pokes are 2-15-2 in the all-time series against Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cowboys 33-9 last season in the Arena-Auditorium. The last time the two teams meet in Norman, the Pokes came out victorious 25-13 on Dec. 7, 2012.
Wyoming trails the all-time series against Oklahoma State 0-17 in series that goes back to 1956. Oklahoma State defeated the Cowboys 30-6 last season on Dec. 14, 2013 in Laramie.
The Probable Lineup
133: Drew Templeman vs. 5/11/5 Cody Brewer
141: Cole Mendenhall vs. Trae Blackwell
149: Austin Breckenridge vs. Shayne Tucker
157: Archie Colgan vs. 15/18/20 Justin DeAngelis
165: 20/NR/19 Dakota Friesth vs. NR/NR/20 Clark Glass
174: 14/16/17 Andy McCulley vs. 17/NR/NR Matt Reed
184: 19/NR/NR Benjamin Stroh vs. Brooks Climmons
197: 18/19/15 Shane Woods vs. Andrew Dixon or Brad Johnson
Against Oklahoma State
133: Drew Templeman vs. Gary Wayne Harding
141: Cole Mendenhall vs. 16/16/16 Dean Heil
149: Austin Breckenridge vs. 4/4/5 Josh Kindig
157: Archie Colgan vs. Anthony Collica
165: 20/NR/19 Dakota Friesth vs. 1/1/1 Alex Dieringer
174: 14/16/17 Andy McCulley vs. 10/10/11 Kyle Crutchmer
184: 19/NR/NR Benjamin Stroh vs. 16/14/9 Nolan Boyd
197: 18/19/15 Shane Woods vs. Luke Bean