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The Beef - The Tigers travel to Stillwater this weekend to call upon an old Big 8 foe. The Cowboy lineup appears to be pretty stacked these days, so let’s start to break down whether or not we expect the Tiger dual streak to make it to 38 straight
Shaffe - I think this one is probably big enough to warrant a weight by weight breakdown, so how about we get things started at 125?
Going by Intermat rankings as of Monday afternoon we see #11 Barlow McGhee taking on #5 Eddie Kilmara. Not to spoil anything, but if Mizzou hopes to keep their dual winning streak going they're going to need an upset or two and this is one of a few matches I have marked as a possibility. However, despite McGhee looking good in the third period against an overmatched opponent from Central Michigan I just don't have a lot of confidence in him taking this match. I do think he'll limit the damage enough to not give up a major decision.
BST - McGhee has faced Kilmara twice, both times in 2014, and lost by a MD and decision. I hope that McGhee has improved more than Kilmara in that time, but I would agree with Shaffe and don't think it'll be enough for a win. If Barlow keeps it closes, and limits the damage to just 3 team points, I'll be happy with the results.
The Beef - I agree with you both, though I will say I think McGhee has what it takes to beat Klimara to the point that I was not worried about Klimara scoring a major here.
On to 133 where Synon has faced Crutchmer twice and decisioned him twice. It is going to need to be a third win over here if the Tigers want to win this dual.
Shaffe - Absolute must-win for the Tigers to have any chance, and I do think Synon comes through. I see a 3-3 team score after two weights.
BST - Yeah, this is the kind of individual match that can turn the tide for Okie State. Synon has to get his 3rd win over Crutchmer. I think Zach needs to come out firing here and not just look for the win, but try and get those extra team points. Synon has had 2 losses to top 10 opponents since he Pinned DiJulius in the Ohio State dual, so I really wanna see him get back on the winning side.
The Beef - On to 141 where Matt Manley certainly has a tall order against one of the THREE #1 ranked wrestlers Okie State has. Manley has never faced Heil and they don’t share a ton of common opponents, but I am thinking this will be more about result control than anything. However, Heil does not crush people like other #1 ranked wrestlers do, so maybe a glimmer of hope?
Shaffe - I had mentioned before that there were a handful of matches that Mizzou could hope to steal if they wanted to win the dual - this is not one of them. Manley has had a very pleasantly surprising year but I just don't think he's got what it takes to knock off Heil. I actually think it's far more likely Heil picks up the major decision for Oklahoma State.
BST - Beef is right, Heil does not really crush people, and we can only hope that continues to be the case. Manley needs to at the least, keep this one close and not give up team points. That could be Brian Smith's dual streak mantra.
The Beef - Moving to 149, is this the dual where Mayes really looks the part of the number three wrestler in the country?
Shaffe - I sure hope so. Mizzou might need to steal a major decision or two somewhere if this thing comes down to a 5-5 split and Mayes is one of their best shots at it. His opponent is slated to be Anthony Collica who actually won their last head to head meeting, although it was nearly two years ago. I think there's a decent chance the dual is tied up after four weights as Mayes takes out Collica.
BST - I think Mayes comes out and looks to get things going for Mizzou in the right away after a rough start to the dual. He has all the tools to score points in bunches, and maybe a big time stage is the place for him to do it.
Shaffe - He did put forth probably his best performance of the year last year on a huge stage at Carver-Hawkeye, and this is going to be one of the biggest stages for this regular season, so...
The Beef - Well, I agree that we will really need Mayes to show up and show out to potentially have a good shot at taking this dual home. Considering he has both pinned and been pinned by Collica, chances are this match could have some volatility to it.
Alright, on to 157, where Barnes has been holding down the fort fairly well considering the size mismatch he faces in pretty much every bout. Joe Smith is a nicely ranked wrestler from Okie State, but he and Barnes have only two common opponents. Smith defeated Luke Smith of CMU 5-4 before the holidays, while Barnes just fell to him 3-2. The only other they share in common is Ian Brown of Lehigh, who Smith beat at the Scuffle a few weeks ago by a score of 12-6. Barnes faced Smith last season and actually majored him. On paper, this is probably another case where we likely need to control the outcome, but do you guys sense anything different here?
Shaffe - Unless Joe Smith has been completely misjudged in talent I think the best outcome for the Tigers is Barnes keeping this matchup to a close loss. Personally I've got this one penciled in as a major decision for the Cowboys - which is no disrespect to Barnes but a nod to the quality of the freshman on the other side.
BST - I guess Barnes may have a bit of an edge being the elder statesman here, but I really have zero clue how this one might go down. I'd say if Barnes wins we jump to better than 50/50 odds of taking the dual. If Barnes loses by decision, its not the end of the world, but not great either.
The Beef – Alright everyone, let’s take the intermission like they do in the dual and come back tomorrow to finish it all off, replete with full dual predictions.