Mizzou faces off against their fifth top-ten opponent this season, #5 Iowa State, tonight at 6:30pm at the Hearnes Center. You can watch the dual on ESPN+.
With Iowa State being undefeated and Mizzou having only one conference loss, the winner of this dual will be the unofficial Big 12 Dual Champion. Iowa State is a young, ascending team led by returning national champ David Carr at 157lbs. Mizzou’s lineup is still in flux at 133lbs/141lbs, but Allan Hart should return for the Big 12 Championships. . Remember to check out Tiger Style: Wrestling 101 for a refresher on the rules and terminology before tuning in.
Can History Repeat Itself?
Last year, Mizzou beat Iowa State 31-7, winning eight of ten matches. However, this year both teams are likely to roll out a different lineup. Iowa State is much more highly-rated this year as well. Mizzou will likely have four new starters at 125lbs-149lbs, while Iowa State only returns four starters. On paper. there’s only two rematches from last year.
Pin to Win
In their past two duals, Mizzou has needed pins to pull away from their opponent in team score. Last year, Keegan O’Toole and Peyton Mocco both scored pins in the Iowa State dual. Zach Elam also pinned his opponent, who transferred from Buffalo to ISU this season. It will be a lot harder this year against an improved ISU team, but Mizzou may need at least one pin if they don’t have their typical starting lineup.
Josh Edmond’s Opportunity
Edmond has had an understandably up and down year as a freshman but has impressed multiple times this season. He gets a prime matchup here vs a former All-American to continue to make a name for himself and climb the rankings. Jarrett Degen has had some injuries in recent years but is still a top 20 wrestler for the Cyclones and placed 7th in 2019. A win from Edmond here would be significant for the team score and his future conference outlook.
Who’s at 133?
Connor Brown and Trey Crawford have both started at 133lbs this season but neither have separated much. Brown was a former 125lber who looked like he had a lot of potential last year until a significant injury kept him out of the tournament. Crawford is a talented freshman who has the typical freshman struggles in the bottom position. With this being the last dual of the year, I think it’s quite possible that whoever gets the start here will be the starter for the postseason.
At tournaments, college wrestling relies heavily on seeding, and the matchups based on that can make the difference between winning the whole thing or dropping multiple matches. With this being a conference dual, results will change the seeds at every weight, but there’s big opportunities for a handful of wrestlers. Noah Surtin wrestles Kysen Terukina, who only has one conference loss so far. A win here could give Surtin a great path to the semifinals. Keegan O’Toole will look to lock up the top seed with a win. If Zach Elam gets a win here, then I think he’d have a great chance at one of the top two seeds as well. This could give the team a lot of momentum going into the Big 12 tournament.