Minnesota Prepared for Oklahoma State Dual

The Gophers head down to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the program’s rivalry dual against No. 11 Oklahoma State.

The Gophers are coming off a weekend that featured both a dual against Rider as well as the Daktronics Open. Seven Maroon and Gold grapplers found themselves at the top of their weight classes at Sunday’s open with Pat McKee, Mitch McKee, Baylor Fernandes, Bailee O’Reilly, Owen Webster, and Bobby Steveson all winning their brackets while Devin Skatzka won the 174-pound round-robin.

Scouting the Cowboys
A perennial Big 12 and NCAA contender, the Cowboys are once again a force this season. Coach John Smith’s squad enters the dual ranked 11 by FloWrestling after a surprising loss to No. 10 Lehigh last weekend.

The Cowboys have two returning All-Americans after a third-place finish last season at the NCAA Championships. Both 125-pound Nick Piccinni and 197-pound Dakota Geer return after placing last season. The Cowboys have five ranked wrestlers as led by No.4 Piccinni.

The Gophers and Cowboys have met every season except for one since 2008. The Gophers last defeated the Cowboys in 2014 behind victories from the likes of Logan Storley and Brett Pfarr.

The Gophers fell to the Cowboys 23-9 last season at Maturi Pavilion.

Probable Starters
Gophers:
125: Pat McKee (7-1) OR Jake Gliva (2-3)
133: Brent Jones (5-3)
141: No. 4 Mitch Mckee (10-0)
149: No. 10 Brayton Lee (8-0) OR Jake Bergeland (5-3)
157: Carson Brolsma (4-4)
165: Bailee O’Reilly (8-1)
174: No. 10 Devin Skatzka (9-1)
184: Owen Webster (8-1) OR Hunter Ritter (7-1)
197: Dylan Anderson (5-3) OR Garrett Joles (5-4)
285: Bobby Steveson (3-1)

Cowboys probable starters TBD

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Daktronics Titles
The Gophers put their best foot forward at the Daktronics Open last weekend in Brookings, South Dakota. Pat McKee, Mitch McKee, Baylor Fernandes, Bailee O’Reilly, Owen Webster, and Bobby Steveson all ran through their brackets. Plus, Devin Skatzka won the 174-pound round-robin.

Fernandes, a freshman, was the only unattached wrestler at the event to win a title.

In the team race, the Gophers finished atop the eight other groups with the Gophers unattached wrestlers finishing comfortably in second place.

McKee Dominance
Both Patrick McKee and Mitch McKee have found success this season at their respective weight classes. At 141-pounds Mitch is undefeated with five pins and only one non-bonus point victory. Between Nov. 9 and Nov. 17 McKee recorded those five falls consecutively, good for sixth place in program history.

Down at 125-pounds, Pat is having a strong start to his freshman season. With only one loss on his record, McKee has a pair of Open titles under his belt from both the Bison and Daktronics. In his eight matches, the youngest McKee has already accumulated four pins.

Next Up
After a weekend off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Gophers head west to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on the first weekend of December. Minnesota then closes out the non-conference portion of their schedule against South Dakota State and at the South Beach Duals in late December.

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