MINNEAPOLIS – After a 3-0 start the the campaign for the Maroon & Gold, the Gophers now hit the road once again for a meeting with the fifth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in what will be their toughest test of the young season.
It will be Minnesota’s second dual of the week following a 37-4 rout of Augustana on Thursday night inside Williams Arena, while Oklahoma State comes into the contest off a two-week hiatus, having not wrestled since November 18 where they earned a 34-3 win against Wyoming in their home opener.
The dual will take place on Sunday, December 1 at 2:00 p.m. CST inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. Fans can watch Sunday’s action live on ESPN+ or follow along with match-by-match updates on Twitter at @GopherWrestling.
Tale of the Tape – The Cowboys
Oklahoma State is led by legendary head coach John Smith, who is in his 32nd season with a career tally of 465-69-6. The Cowboys lineup features a solid mix of veteran leadership and young talent with all ten wrestlers being ranked in the InterMat polls. Three-time NCAA finalist Daton Fix leads the way for Oklahoma State, along with fellow All-Americans Dustin Plott, Travis Wittlake, and Wyatt Sheets.
Oklahoma State heads into the contest with a 3-0 record on the season with an average margin of victory of 25 points, defeating No. 22 Lehigh, Bucknell, and Wyoming on the year thus far.
The Series with Oklahoma State
Minnesota trails the all-time series against the Oklahoma State Cowboys with a record of 14-28 in a series that dates back to 1941. Oklahoma State has won the previous six meetings, which is the second-longest win streak in the series. The Golden Gophers are 3-7 in their previous ten meetings with Oklahoma State, with their most recent victory coming on Nov. 29, 2014. Minnesota’s last win inside Gallagher-Iba Arena came on December 8, 2013, where they defeated the Cowboys by a score of 16-15.
First Meeting: L, 6-18 (2/18/1941)
Last Meeting: L, 10-23 (11/20/21)
Longest Win Streak: W3 (Twice; 1/15/2006-12/6/2006, and 2/23/2014-11/29/2014)
Longest Losing Streak: L8 (2/18/1941-2/6/1992)
Current Streak: L6
Minnesota hosted the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Nov. 27, 2021, where they only took three of the ten bouts and fell by a score of 23-10. Jake Bergeland made noise in his first start as the full-time 141-pounder by defeating Carter Young by a score of 6-4. Brayton Lee dominated a battle between All-Americans as he defeated Wyatt Sheets by a score of 15-9. Top heavyweight Gable Steveson closed out the dual with a 20-7 major decision over Luke Surber.
This Sunday’s matinee between the Gophers and the Cowboys could feature up to 19 ranked wrestlers in the InterMat rankings, with ranked clashes at nine of the ten weight classes.
125 pounds will feature a top-10 rubber match between No. 4 Patrick McKee and No. 7 Trevor Mastrogiovanni, as the two split matches last season with McKee taking the most recent contest at the NCAA Championships with a 9-1 major decision.
Aaron Nagao will face the toughest test of his young career, as he will battle three-time NCAA finalist and second-ranked Daton Fix.
No. 3 Jake Bergeland aims to make his season debut in the starting lineup with a rematch against Oklahoma State’s Carter Young. Bergeland defeated Young by 6-4 decision in last season’s dual.
Another top-10 matchup could come at 157 pounds, as No. 2 Brayton Lee faces a potential matchup with top-ten foe Kaden Gfeller.
Bailee O’Reilly looks for his second upset in as many weeks, as the grad student from Goodhue, Minn., faces a top-5 opponent in No. 4 Dustin Plott.
Isaiah Salazar will look for a statement win at 184 pounds, as he is slated to compete against former All-American Travis Wittlake in a top-15 contest.
Following Sunday’s action, the Gophers will close out the non-conference schedule with a busy road trip next weekend, as they make a quick stop in Fargo, N.D., for a battle with North Dakota State on Friday, Dec. 9, before heading out west to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to compete in a triangular dual with Cal Poly and Lindenwood.
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