Two of the nation's top wrestling teams will be on display tonight at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota, which entered the season ranked No. 1, hosts the current No. 1 team in the country, Oklahoma State. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. For tickets, click here, or call 1-800-UGOPHER.
Wednesday’s match will mark the ninth straight dual meet between Minnesota and Oklahoma State in which the top-ranked team in the nation is represented. In five of the last eight meetings, the dual has pitted No. 1 vs. No. 2, including both meetings last season.
Oklahoma State leads the series against Minnesota by a 16-9 margin, but the Golden Gophers have won seven of the last 10 meetings, including two victories over the Cowboys last season.
The two teams first met in 1941 and ’42 but did not meet again until 1958. Seventeen of the 25 meetings have occurred since 1993.
The Last Time
A month after they snapped Oklahoma State’s 30-match winning streak, the top-ranked Golden Gopher wrestling team defeated the second-ranked Cowboys, 19-16, on Feb. 12, 2006 in Oklahoma City.
With the dual tied at 16 entering the final match, top-ranked Cole Konrad defeated two-time NCAA Champion Steve Mocco, 3-1, in overtime. Following a scoreless first period, the pair traded escapes in the second to keep the score tied at one. Konrad nearly ended the match with a takedown, but it was waved off as the third period came to an end. In overtime, Konrad countered a Mocco shot and circled around to secure the takedown 26 seconds into the extra period.
Much like the previous meeting at the National Duals, the Cowboys took an early lead with wins at 125 and 133. Fourth-ranked Coleman Scott defeated Travis Lang, 12-5, and Oklahoma State extended its advantage with a 2-1 win by second-ranked Nathan Morgan over third-ranked Mack Reiter. Just like a month earlier, it was Manuel Rivera who got Minnesota back in the match. Rivera earned a fall in 6:23 against Justin Porter at 141 pounds to tie the match at six.
The win set up a highly anticipated rematch between Dustin Schlatter and the Cowboys’ defending NCAA Champion Zack Esposito at 149 pounds. Ranked number one in the country, Schlatter matched his earlier win against Esposito with an astounding 11-2 major decision. C.P. Schlatter followed with a 7-3 decision against 15th-ranked Kevin Ward at 157 pounds to give Minnesota a 13-6 lead.
The Cowboys came back with wins in three of the next four matches to pull even at 16 apiece. Defending NCAA Champion Johny Hendricks claimed a 3-1 decision against ninth-ranked Matt Nagel at 165 pounds, and Oklahoma State kept the momentum going at 174 as ninth-ranked Brandon Mason earned a 3-1 decision against 14th-ranked Gabriel Dretsch.
With Minnesota leading 13-12, 10th-ranked Roger Kish gave the Gophers some breathing room with a 5-1 decision against Rusty Blackmon at 184 pounds before two-time NCAA Champion Jake Rosholt tied the match with a 14-2 major decision against the Golden Gophers’ Mitch Kuhlman at 197 pounds to set up the showdown between the heavyweights.
On the Air
FSN North will air the meet on tape delay on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. Highlights will be available on Gophersports.com following the match. The meet will be available in its entirety in the Gold Zone, the premium content site for Golden Gopher athletics, no earlier than 24 hours after the FSN broadcast on Dec. 11.
A Thorn In The Side
Not many teams other than Minnesota can boast a lot of success against Oklahoma State in recent years. Since the 1999-2000 season, the Cowboys have compiled a 123-13-1 dual meet record (Minnesota is 117-27). During that span, the Golden Gophers have gone 7-3 against Oklahoma State, including handing OSU its last three dual meet defeats. Here are the 13 Cowboy losses in the last seven seasons:
Oklahoma State Losses Since 1999-2000
Year Opponent (Score)
99-00 Minnesota (L, 19-15)
99-00 Minnesota (L, 16-15)
99-00 Iowa State (L, 22-10)
99-00 Iowa (L, 20-14)
99-00 Mich. State (L, 21-10)
00-01 Minnesota (L, 20-12)
01-02 Minnesota (L, 21-12)
01-02 Ohio State (L, 19-13)
01-02 Iowa State (L, 25-20)
03-04 Missouri (L, 21-17)
03-04 Minnesota (L, 17-16)
05-06 Minnesota (L, 21-14)
05-06 Minnesota (L, 19-16)
Tough to Defend
Since 1998, neither Minnesota nor Oklahoma State has been successful in defending its home arena when facing each other. The last time either team was able to defend its home arena when the other was in town was a 26-10 OSU victory in Stillwater on Jan. 31, 1997. The last time the Gophers defeated the Cowboys at home was a 23-16 victory on Feb. 5, 1994. The Gophers will try to reverse that trend on Wednesday night. Here is a look at the last eight meetings between the two schools which have been contested at their home arenas:
Date (Host) Result
Feb. 12, 2006 (at OSU) UM won 19-16
Dec. 5, 2004 (at UM) OSU won 28-10
Feb. 22, 2004 (at OSU) UM won 17-16
Jan. 3, 2003 (at UM) OSU won 26-6 (at Target Center)
Dec. 2, 2001 (at OSU) UM won 21-12
Jan. 7, 2001 (at UM) OSU won 25-12
Jan. 9, 2000 (at OSU) UM won 19-15
Nov. 29, 1998 (at UM) OSU won 21-17
*Does not include matches contested at neutral sites
U.S. Navy SEALs and Minnesota Wrestling to Launch Unique Event
In conjunction with Minnesota’s wrestling match against Oklahoma State, the U.S. Navy SEALs will be holding a unique event with an overriding goal of promoting physical fitness. The Navy SEALs will conduct a Trident Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 12 p.m.-5 p.m., at the University Aquatic Center and Field House.
The Trident Challenge is an athletic competition consisting of running, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and a swim. The Navy SEALs have the military's most successful physical training program, and it's a training program they want to introduce nationally to coaches as an athletic standard of excellence. While only men can be Navy SEALs, the Trident Challenge is open to everyone, not just those interested in joining the military. The competition is an opportunity for civilian to put themselves to the test and see how they stack up against the Navy's best.
Representatives from the Navy SEALs will be at the Minnesota-Oklahoma State wrestling match on Dec. 6 to answer questions and kick off the event.
For more information on the Trident Challenge, click here.