Mizzou Wrestling continued to destroy all competition in their path with yet another comfortable victory, this time 38-3. Air Force was never able to get off the tarmac in this match, with the exception of a (minor) upset victory by Sam Wolf over Clayton Whiting.
Mizzou: 5 - Air Force: 0
125lbs: #10 Noah Surtin (MIZ) vs. HM Tucker Owens (AF)
Surtin opened up the scoring with a takedown just over a minute into the first period then went to work on top, getting a two-point nearfall and some good riding time. After an Owens escape, he scored his second takedown and then another nearfall, this time for four points. Surtin ended the first period up 13-1 after Owens was called for stalling and already reached the one minute threshold for riding time.
Starting on bottom in the second period, Surtin escaped after a little under 30 seconds before getting around on Owens for his final takedown 51 seconds into the period to finish up the 17-1 tech fall. This was exactly what you were hoping to see from Surtin after breaking into the top-10 with his victory over Jore Volk, making a win over someone knocking at the door of the top-25 look easy. Momentum is building for a potential All-American season.
Mizzou: 9 - Air Force: 0
133lbs: NR Kade Moore (MIZ) vs. NR Gavin Caprella (AF)
After getting the start and the win last time out against Wyoming, Brian Smith decided to give Moore another chance in the lineup. Moore got a couple of nice shots in to start the first period, finally scoring his first takedown off an ankle pick and ending the first period up 3-1.
Starting on bottom in the second period, Moore got up quickly before being slammed back to the mat by Caprella, but Moore somehow managed to turn this into a reversal for a 5-1 lead less than 10 seconds into the period. Moore added on some riding time before a Caprella escape made the score 5-2. Going back on the offensive, Moore added two more takedowns by shooting for the ankle and then getting around on Caprella to end the period up 11-3.
Moore rode out the entire third period on top, looking for a cradle but not able to convert. He ended the match with the 12-3 major decision, getting the bonus point for riding time. Smith’s decision to keep Moore in the lineup paid off big, as he was effective on offense throughout the match. Moore might just be earning himself a permanent spot in the rotation, and he’s wrestling really well right now.
Mizzou: 12 - Air Force: 0
141lbs: #20 Josh Edmond (MIZ) vs. NR Garrett Kuchan (AF)
Back on the mat after missing the last dual with an illness, Edmond had an up-and-down start to the match. He tried to use power and get takedowns early on, getting Kuchan to the mat twice, but he ended the first period down 3-1 as Kuchan was able to get around on Edmond for a takedown the first time he was thrown to the mat.
Starting on top, Edmond continued as the aggressor by letting Kuchan up in the first 10 seconds to trail 4-1. He quickly tied it up by getting hold of Kuchan’s leg and getting around for the takedown before letting him up after adding a little bit of riding time, 5-4. He took his first lead of the match with another shot to the leg leading to a takedown with a little under 30 seconds to go, riding out the rest of the period for a 7-5 lead and just under a minute in riding time.
Starting on bottom, Edmonds was let up by Kuchan less than 10 seconds into the match as he needed points to come back, 8-5. However, it was Edmonds instead who added to his total as he ducked under Kuchan for his final takedown of the match, ending with an 11-6 decision as he barely missed out on the extra point for riding time at 59 seconds. Edmonds made a great in-match adjustment on offense by shifting to a more finesse-based attack after beginning the match using his power but failing to score any takedowns.
Mizzou: 16 - Air Force: 0
149lbs: #22 Logan Gioffre (MIZ) vs. NR Joe Fernau (AF)
Gioffre returned to the lineup with a bang, scoring his first takedown off an ankle pick roughly 45 seconds into the period and riding until there was under a minute remaining, finishing the first period with a 3-1 lead and well over a minute in riding time. Starting on top in period two, Gioffre let Fernau up after about 20 seconds but wasn’t very aggressive. He played good defense in the second period, countering all of Fernau’s shots to head into the final two minutes of action up 3-2.
Starting on bottom, he scored the quick escape before another lull in the action, 4-2. Gioffre finally added another takedown with under thirty seconds to go, 7-2, and this is when the match finally started to pick up. He cut Fernau with about 16 seconds left, 7-3, looking for one final takedown and the major decision. Shifting to offense, he scored the takedown he was looking for with only a few seconds left to get the 11-3 major decision with the extra point for riding time.
Mizzou: 21 - Air Force: 0
157lbs: #9 Brock Mauller (MIZ) vs. NR Brooks Gable (AF)
Mauller controlled this match from the very beginning, scoring his first takedown less than a minute into the match and then adding a (switches to BBC nature documentary narrator voice) rarely seen, elusive, exotic three-point nearfall. Seeing a three-point nearfall this year for Mizzou wrestling has kind of been like seeing a good ku football season: it almost never happens, and when it does you’re probably not going to see another one for a very, very long time.
Mauller continued to ride on top, adding a four-point nearfall and a two-point nearfall to take a 12-0 lead and over a minute in riding time into the second period. Starting on bottom and getting his usual quick escape, he finished off his masterpiece with one final takedown 31 seconds into the period for the 16-0 tech fall. I’m loving the new, more aggressive version of Brock Mauller as he continues to maul (I’m sorry, I had to use this pun at some point*) every opponent in his path. *Editor’s Note: I too love a good pun, so I’ll allow it
Mizzou: 25 - Air Force: 0
165lbs: #1 Keegan O’Toole (MIZ) vs. #17 Giano Petrucelli (AF)
This match started out as usual, with O’Toole up 6-2 with two takedowns at the end of the first period. O’Toole went hunting for a pin after each of the takedowns, but wasn’t able to get a cradle either time. Starting on bottom in period two, he escaped in the first 10 seconds of the period before adding another two takedowns for a 13-3 lead heading into the final two minutes.
Letting Petrucelli up to start the action, he quickly scored his fifth takedown of the match before again cutting Petrucelli to go for the tech fall, 16-5. Then, something happened that we really haven’t seen this year. Petrucelli scored two takedowns in the third period, although O’Toole was able to add another takedown and a reversal in response to finish with the 23-12 major decision with the extra point for riding time. O’Toole had to play defense for the first time in a while during this match. He went searching for a pin after his takedowns early on, an approach that has been highly effective for him recently but just didn’t work out today.
Mizzou: 30 - Air Force: 0
174lbs: #9 Peyton Mocco (MIZ) vs. NR Drake Buchanan (AF)
Mocco unleashed pure aggression from the very start of this match, scoring a takedown in the first five seconds of the match and then looking for a pin. When he wasn’t able to get Buchanan on his back, he let him up and quickly got another takedown for a 6-2 lead after again letting Buchanan up, already going for the tech fall. After a brief pause in the action because one of Mocco’s legs was injured as Buchanan was going for a takedown, Mocco started on top and rode out the rest of the period for a 6-2 lead and nearly two minutes of riding time.
Starting on bottom, Mocco escaped just over 30 seconds into the second period and quickly took advantage by getting around for another takedown to end the period with a 10-2 lead and over two and a half minutes of riding time. Heading to the third period, Mocco finished out the match with a takedown and four-point nearfall to earn the 17-2 tech fall. In addition to practically scoring at will throughout the match, he was able to counter Buchanan’s shots and play effective defense when needed.
Mizzou: 30 - Air Force: 3
184lbs: #7 Clayton Whiting (MIZ) vs. #10 Sam Wolf (AF)
In the biggest match of the day, Whiting got a couple of good shots in during the first period but Wolf was able to play good defense and narrowly avoid multiple potential takedowns to end the first period with a 0-0 tie. Whiting started on top in period two, riding for 54 seconds as Wolf put together several good moves to try and escape but Whiting kept control for almost a minute. This would be key later on in the match, as Whiting came close to reaching the one minute mark in riding time but never got there.
Starting on bottom and down 1-0 after the second period, Whiting tied the match up by rolling out for an escape less than five seconds into the period. Whiting continued to take shots in the third period as Wolf was content to play defense and try to turn his counters into offense of his own. Whiting nearly scored a takedown off of a great shot with about 30 seconds left in the period, but Wolf just barely avoided it and got the action to stalemate.
Heading into overtime, Wolf started to attack more as both wrestlers got their shots in. However, it was Wolf who was able to convert as he got hold of Whiting’s leg and powered him to the mat for a takedown and sudden 4-1 victory with less than 30 seconds left. This was a very evenly-matched battle as Whiting picked up his first loss of the season.
#8 Sam Wolf over #6 Clayton Whiting 4-1 in sudden victory. pic.twitter.com/H1AdZyEZid— James Hackney (@FFJames94) December 17, 2023
Mizzou: 33 - Air Force: 3
197lbs: NR Colton Hawks (MIZ) vs. NR Calvin Sund (AF)
Wrestling up a class, it took a while for Hawks to settle in as both wrestlers received stalling warnings in the first period. Starting on bottom in the second period, Hawks escaped just over a minute into the period to prevent Sund from reaching the threshold for the extra point. Getting a hold of Sund’s ankle with 20 second left in the period, he scored his first and only takedown of the match in the final seconds of the period to head into period three with a 4-0 lead.
Starting on top in the final period, Hawks rode strong for over a minute as Sund only escaped with roughly 40 seconds left. With Sund desperate for a takedown to tie the match, Hawks was able to play just enough defense to hold him off and finish with the 4-1 decision.
Mizzou: 38 - Air Force: 3
285lbs: #5 Zach Elam (MIZ) vs. NR Antonio Ramos (AF)
Elam must be a Seinfeld fan, because he displayed some impressive feats of strength with less than a week before Festivus (for the rest of us) in this match. Opening the match with a powerful takedown less than five seconds into the action, he went to work on top and added two four-point near falls. Elam rode out the entire rest of the period to head into the second period with an 11-0 lead and an absurd 2 minutes, 55 seconds of riding time.
Starting on bottom, he scored the quick escape for a 12-0 lead but was unable to get anything else going as Ramos avoided or countered several shots by Elam throughout the rest of the period to survive and head to period three.
Starting from neutral, Elam got a hold of Ramos’ leg and just missed a takedown before a pause in the action as Elam looked like one of his legs was injured. He was able to get up and head back to finish off the match, finally scoring the final takedown he needed to clinch the 15-0 tech fall.
This team continues to set an unbelievably high bar for itself, and it’s incredibly impressive that victories like this have become the norm, not the exception. They will look to continue their string of dominance when they face Illinois in Braggin’ Rights: Wrestling Edition at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis on Thursday night.