Wrestling Comes Home, Hosts No. 9 Missouri
Thursday, Jan. 20 / 7 p.m. CT / Norman / McCasland Field House
NORMAN – For the first time this season, the Oklahoma struggle will look to defend the friendly boundaries of the historic McCasland Field House as the No. 9 Missouri Tigers (6-2, 4-0 Big 12) come to town for the first time in five years.
Last week, the Sooners (5-2, 2-1 Big 12) traveled to Hampton, Va. for the Virginia Duals where they emerged victorious in all three of their games.
The team’s 41 points against Maryland was the most it had racked up in double action since November 2017. The result is the biggest margin of victory in four seasons and the most lopsided score against a five-to-power opponent. the Rosselli era.
Veterans Justin Thomas and Antoine Mantanona led the charge, going undefeated on the weekend with a combined 7-0 record, including four wins in the fall. Thomas now leads the team in wins with 85 and Mantanona has won by knockout in all three of his matches, moving to a tie for 13th on Oklahoma’s wrestling career leader list.
Building on his duel victory against Lock Haven, senior redshirt Jake Woodley joins his teammates Dom Demas and Justin Thomas in the club of 75 career victories.
RUN IT BACK: OUR LAST TANGO WITH THE TIGERS
On Missouri’s last trip to Norman in January 2017, the Tigers arrived as the No. 5 team in the nation and came away with a 24-18 loss to the No. 18 Sooners in Lou Rossellifirst season at the helm.
Oklahoma’s Christian Moody kicked things off with an upset 6-4 win over Missouri No. 14 Barlow McGhee. The match came down to the final bout with both teams tied at 18 with only the heavyweights left to contend. No. 19 Ross Larson won by pinfall (5:59) to cap the upset victory in spectacular fashion for the Crimson and Cream side.
BACK TO BUSINESS
Missouri’s wrestling program returned to the Big 12 this season after 10 seasons away due to the school’s move to the Southeastern Conference.
They won the conference title for all nine years of the MAC, also accumulating 40 individual conference titles.
Missouri enters this double after winning first place as a team and two individual titles at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn., defeating states of North Dakota, Michigan and Minnesota.
No. 3 Keegan O’Toole and No. 5 Rocky Elam won the title in their respective tournament weight classes, with three other Tigers advancing to the finals within their bracket.
On the season, the team is 6-2 in double action. Wins over Big 12 foes Northern Colorado, Air Force and No. 17 Northern Iowa are matched by two top-10 losses to No. 10 Virginia Tech and No. 5 NC State.
The Sooners hold a 42-11 series lead over the Tigers, with the very first game between the two programs taking place in 1923. Thursday’s duel will be the 53rd meeting between the teams.