On Western Night, it was the animals that got the best of the Cowboys as Mizzou roped Wyoming 40-6. “We had a really serious sit down on Monday just about little things and how we have to be doing the little things right in these matches to win big, and it was good to see,” head coach Brian Smith said about the victory tonight. The Tigers won nine of the 10 matches in this meet and scored a couple of quality upsets in the process.
Mizzou: 3 - Wyoming: 0
125lbs: #17 Noah Surtin (MIZ) vs. #10 Jore Volk (WYO)
Surtin entered this match highly motivated after losing an 11-1 major decision to Volk in their match last season. Volk struck first with a takedown before Surtin nearly scored a reversal, but it took place too close to the edge and was just a plain old escape.
Trailing 3-1 to start the second, Surtin started on bottom and inched closer with a quick escape, 3-2. Volk did a good job of avoiding takedowns for most of the match, and his tactic of moving the action towards the edge was a big reason why.
Surtin started on top in the third period and took his first lead of the match with a two-point nearfall before an escape from Volk to tie it up at four apiece, forcing an overtime period. Surtin forced Volk to the ground quickly and hunted for the escape, but the top-10 wrestler turned it around and got Surtin on his back. In a precarious situation, Surtin managed to escape and get around on Volk for the takedown and a sudden victory, 7-4.
“He wants to be really good and it’s fun to coach a kid like that, that brings the energy and can adapt in a match. And he did, that kid beat him 11-1 last year. So that’s a good flip of the switch there,” Smith said.
Mizzou: 6 - Wyoming: 0
133lbs: NR Kade Moore (MIZ) vs. NR Cooper Birdwell (WYO)
Moore scored the first blow with a takedown during the period’s first minute and got in some solid riding time before Birdwell finally escaped with under 20 seconds left. Moore, making his first start of the season, finished the opening period with almost two minutes of riding time.
Starting on bottom, he added to his lead with a quick escape, 4-1. Moore added another takedown to his tally by avoiding a shot from Birdwell, spinning around and converting to power for the 7-2 lead at the end of the period.
Starting on top, the only point scored in the third period was on Birdwell’s escape roughly thirty seconds into the action. Moore earned the 8-3 decision (extra point for riding time) with excellent defense throughout.
Mizzou: 6 - Wyoming: 6
141lbs: NR Owen Uhls (MIZ) vs. NR Cole Brooks (WYO)
Starting for Josh Edmond (out with the flu), Uhls started out strong with a takedown before a reversal from Brooks, 3-2. Brooks went to work on top and got the pin as the end of the first period approached for the victory, tying the meet up in the process.
Mizzou: 10 - Wyoming: 6
149lbs: NR Nate Pulliam (MIZ) vs. #23 Gabe Willochell (WYO)
Willochell came out very aggressive, a strategy Pulliam used to his advantage for a 10-7 lead at the end of the first period. Saving a horse, he instead rode the Cowboy Willochell for the entire second period to finish with a 1:48 advantage in riding time. Starting on bottom in period three, he escaped and converted on a takedown in the first 15 seconds of action to take a 14-7 lead.
Pulliam started to go on the offensive at this point, scoring two more takedowns for a 21-10 major decision with the extra point for riding time (2:37 by the end of the match). All three main Mizzou wrestlers at 149lbs now have ranked victories, depth most programs can only dream of.
Mizzou: 15 - Wyoming: 6
157lbs: #9 Brock Mauller (MIZ) vs. NR Cooper Voorhees (WYO)
Mauller continued to take the offensive with two takedowns in the first period, leading 6-1 and adding over a minute in riding time. Starting on bottom in the second period, he extended the lead to six with a characteristically fast escape and ended the period with a 13-2 lead after two more takedowns.
Clearly aiming for a tech fall from the very beginning of the third period, Mauller finished off Voorhees with his final two takedowns, 19-4. Mauller showed a good balance of power and finesse on offense during the match, digging into his toolkit and controlling the action from start to finish.
Mizzou: 21 - Wyoming: 6
165lbs: #1 Keegan O’Toole (MIZ) vs. NR Brett McIntosh (WYO)
O’Toole started off the action with a quick takedown, 3-0. Then, he just decided to go straight for the pin, adding another six points to the Tigers’ total in an absurdly quick 35 second match.
Mizzou: 27 - Wyoming: 6
174lbs: #9 Peyton Mocco (MIZ) vs. NR Riley Davis (WYO)
Mocco scored first with a takedown before riding out the rest of the period for a 3-0 lead and nearly two minutes in riding time. He opened up a huge lead in the second period via an escape after starting on bottom, two takedowns, and a four-point nearfall to head into period three with a 14-1 lead.
Heading into the third period, Surtin could have just looked for one more takedown to finish up the tech fall. Instead, he pinned Davis seven seconds into the period for a victory by fall. This is just about the most disrespectful way I can think of to beat your opponent, worthy of Josh Matejka’s Disrespectful Play Index, and I’m here for it. Absolutely phenomenal work from Mocco tonight.
“Since I only needed one more takedown for the tech, I was really hoping that he would step up and everything, so when he did I just kind of executed on it. Otherwise if he didn’t, I was just gonna get that last takedown and get off the mat,” Mocco said.
Mizzou: 31 - Wyoming: 6
184lbs: #7 Clayton Whiting (MIZ) vs. NR Quayin Short (WYO)
Whiting kicked off the scoring by lifting Short off the ground and slamming him back to the mat for a takedown, my personal favorite way to score a takedown. Heading into the second period up 3-1 and starting on top, he saw his lead cut to one after an escape by Short but ended the period with over a minute in riding time.
Starting on bottom, Whiting had possibly the quickest escape I’ve seen before closing out the 12-4 major decision with two takedowns. The final takedown, which gave Whiting the major decision along with the extra point for riding time, occurred extremely close to the edge. The call was confirmed after a review but coach Mark Branch was absolutely incensed, adding some late tension and drama to a blowout win.
Mizzou: 34 - Wyoming: 6
197lbs: #7 Rocky Elam (MIZ) vs. #18 Joey Novak (WYO)
Rocky made his return to the Hearnes Center in this match, and the music guy at the arena made the most of it by playing the Rocky theme and We Will Rock You before and during his match. Elam took control early on, scoring a takedown and riding out the rest of the period to head into period two with 2:21 of riding time.
Starting on bottom, he got a quick escape to take a 4-0 lead. Elam came close to adding to his total when he got a hold of Novak’s leg and got a takedown right at the edge of the mat, but the call was reviewed and overturned.
Rocky was aggressive early in the third period as they started from neutral, a strategy that backfired as Novak got Elam on his back. Rocky was able to avoid the pin, but Novak had the upper hand during this period. The 18th-ranked Cowboy scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds of the match, but this wasn’t enough as Elam took the 5-3 decision after the extra point for riding time.
“His confidence is coming back. When you come off an injury, it’s hard to have that confidence, there’s... usually something holding you back. He’s just got to get through that, and he is. Today he definitely had some more breakthroughs,” said Smith.
Mizzou: 40 - Wyoming: 6
285lbs: #6 Zach Elam (MIZ) vs. NR Mason Ding (WYO)
Elam must have been watching Keegan O’Toole’s match earlier intently, because he came about as close to recreating it as possible. Getting around on Ding for an early takedown, he quickly moved in for the pin to win by fall 41 seconds into the first period. Elam is obliterating anyone he faces right now, and he keeps looking better and better.
This team continues to stand on business and earn their lofty #3 ranking. Mizzou will look to add another victory against a school located at a high altitude when they take face Air Force on December 17 at the Hearnes Center.