No. 20 Cowboys Set for Non-Conference Duals at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

Feb. 4, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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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 Details

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

Against Oklahoma

125:15/16/15 Tyler Cox or Gunnar Woodburn vs. Ryan Millhof

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

285: Tanner Harms or Leland Pfeifer vs. 11/9/9 Ross Larson

Against Oklahoma State

125:15/16/15 Tyler Cox or Gunnar Woodburn vs. 9/11/11 Eddie Klimara

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

285: Tanner Harms or Leland Pfeifer vs. 5/5/5 Austin Marsden