A Note from Sam: I just wanted to express how excited I am to have James Hackney on board and writing about wrestling for the site. As you have likely noticed, wrestling coverage has suffered at Rock M Nation as we’ve gone through these post-Bill iterations. The Beef, and BillSelfsToupee, and others always did the sport right. But they knew the sport, and were passionate about the sport. And the challenge of writing about something you don’t know well is difficult. Which is why Josh and I are so excited to have a smart and knowledgable writer here to give credit to one of the most iconic wrestling programs in the country. So welcome, James. And I hope our readership enjoys your coverage.
Five Things to Watch for Against OU
No. 9 Mizzou is wrestling (now in-conference) rival, no. 20 Oklahoma, on Thursday for the first time since 2018. In the last matchup, OU won 24-18 in Norman. Mizzou will feature nine ranked wrestlers against OU’s seven. You can watch the dual at 7PM on Bally Sports Oklahoma.
Here’s five things I’m keeping an eye on in another top dual matchup for Mizzou.
1. Could Mizzou get the shutout?
While OU is a top 25 team this season, Mizzou holds the rankings advantage in nine out of ten matches. The only match OU is ranked higher in is at 157lbs between Justin Thomas and Jarrett Jacques. However, Jacques beat Thomas 3-1 last year. If Jacques can get back to form and get this ranked win, Mizzou could sweep the Sooners.
2. Rocky’s Rematch
Last year, Rocky Elam faced Jake Woodley in the first round of NCAA’s and was upset 4-1. Rocky and Woodley both wrestled through and met again in the 5th place match, where Rocky secured a 9-3 win. This year, both wrestlers have scored top ten wins and in a stacked Big 12, this match will be very important come seeding time.
3. Demas vs Edmond
Josh Edmond has quickly become one of my favorite wrestlers to watch because he can score against anyone and usually does so in high-flying fashion. Demas is a former All-American who is known for his speed and throws. This match should not only be a good test for the young Mizzou wrestler, but also a super exciting match where someone may go flying.
4. Jacques vs Thomas
Last year, these two wrestlers were both seeded in the top 10 but failed to reach All-American status in March. This year, neither wrestler is having the same level of success but are both in the top 20. For Jacques, a win here would be his first ranked win of the season after wrestling, and losing to, five opponents in the top ten.
5. Keegan’s Hodge Run
So far this year, Keegan O’Toole is close to the top of most Hodge rankings after starting the year 13-0 with eleven bonus wins, including five pins. OU has cycled between different 165-pounders this season, but Keegan is sure to look for bonus points against either. Another bonus point win would put his bonus rate at 86% as he continues his barrage at 165lbs.