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NCAA Wrestling: Mizzou Home Dual Breakdown

The Tiger Style Wrestling team has released its home opponents for the coming 2023-24 season. Here we break down some history between these programs and potential bouts to be had.

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Mizzou Wrestling recently released their home dual schedule for the 2023-24 season. With no scheduled dates for these contests, we will still be in wait-and-see mode in the coming future to mark them on the calendars. Until that time, let’s take a quick look at the potential match-ups we may see inside the Hearnes Center for the coming NCAA Wrestling season. Brian Smith and Company will welcome the following programs to Columbia for his twenty-fifth consecutive season with the Tigers.

Mizzou vs. Air Force

The all-time series between these two Big 12 programs only runs as deep as two contests in the history of the programs. Both meets, during the Brian Smith Era, have gone in favor of the Tigers with them coming out on top by more than a twenty-five-point margin. These two programs have played host to one another in the past two consecutive seasons with the third match-up taking place back in the Show-Me State. Out of the ten bouts to be featured in this contest, all but two of them will be first-time head-to-head matches between these two programs. The Tigers will once again look to control the narrative in this meet as they are the far superior team.

Most Anticipated Bout:

This contest will come down to the big guys in the 285lbs weight class, #6 Zach Elam vs #2 Wyatt Hendrickson. There has only been one prior bout between these two returning NCAA All-Americans. During the previous season, Hendrickson took down Elam (17-8 Maj. Dec.) in the quarterfinals during the NCAA Championships. Hendrickson then continued on his path only losing to eventual finalist Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) before capping off his season with a third-place medal. Elam on the other hand battled through the consolation and ended up walking home with his first sixth-place AA medal.

Potential Ranked Bouts:

We have just two potential ranked bouts to watch for out of the rest of the meet. Our first one comes from the opposite end of the weight divisions from the heavies. At 125lbs, #17 Junior Noah Surtin will look to take on #21 Sophomore Tucker Owens for the first time in his collegiate career. Both wrestlers return to the mats as NCAA Qualifiers from the previous season with both being eliminated in the consolation wrestle backs.

Our second-ranked match comes to us from the 174lbs weight class as #7 Senior Peyton Mocco will be taking on #14 Senior Sam Wolf for the first time in his career. Mocco will be stepping on the mat this season after capping off the 2023 season with his first All-American medal (8th). Sam Wolf returns after successfully reaching the NCAA Championships for the first time during his career with the Falcons.

Mizzou vs. Oklahoma

Our next contest belongs to a long-time Big 12 foe in the Oklahoma Sooners. The overall series between these two programs sits very lopsidedly in favor of OU at Mizzou 14 and Oklahoma 42. During the Brian Smith era, the tide has turned just slightly with the Tigers taking a 13-9 overall record while going 6-3 on his own turf. Over the course of those twenty-two meets, the average margin of defeat was nearly thirteen team points with Mizzou outpacing the Sooners 400 to 392.

Most Anticipated Bout:

Our most anticipated bout of the evening will belong to three-time All-American #4 Rocky Elam and two-time All-American #3 Stephen Buchanon at the 197lbs weight class. Rocky Elam will be stepping onto the mat to a familiar foe having faced off against him four times during his career with the Tigers. Buchanon, the Wyoming transfer, currently leads the series with a 3-1 record over Rocky with all contests decided by less than a four-point decision. The last contests between these two came during the 2022 NCAA Championships where they faced off twice, in the quarterfinals and third-place match. Buchanon took the victory during both match-ups by a 4-0 Decision and a 1-0 Decision.

Potential Ranked Bouts:

The potential of ranked bouts climbs up to six for this conference battle. We have already discussed the highlighted match of the night in the prior paragraph. Falling behind that, we have potential ranked opponents facing off at the 141, 149, 165, 174, and 285lbs weight classes.

Starting from most thrilling to least, we begin at the 141lbs weight class with the return of Josh Edmonds back to the lineup. After a season hiatus, #15 Edmonds will look to slide in at 141 for the Tigers and will have the chance to take on top talent in #14 and 2x NCAA Qualifier Mosha Schwartz. Continuing through the roster both Peyton Mocco (#7) and Zach Elam (#6) will look to continue their undefeated streaks against common opponents, #11 Tate Picklo (174) and #14 Josh Heindselman (285), both of whom are returning NCAA Qualifier from the previous season.

Rounding out the remainder of notable matchups, both Brock Mauller and Keegan O’Toole will be getting opportunities to take down ranked opponents as well, facing #17 Willie McDougald (149) and #23 Gerrit Nijenhuis (165). Then we finally come to make your name matches for the new faces inside the lineup for the Tigers. Zeke Seltzer will be taking on #20 Wyatt Henson at 133 and Cameron Steed will be looking across the mat at #22 Jared Hill, both of which are returning NCAA Qualifiers

Mizzou vs. Wyoming

Our next contest brings us to the Wyoming Cowboys. Mizzou currently holds the lead in the all-time series when facing the Cowboys at 7-2. During the Brian Smith Era, Tiger Style has only taken one “L” which came during his first season at Mizzou in 1998. Since then, Coach Smith has fired off six straight wins tallying 178 total team points, averaging nearly 30 per dual, and going 2-0 inside Mizzou walls.

Most Anticipated Bout:

The bout putting fans on the edge of their seats belongs to the only potentially ranked contest of the evening, #17 Noah Surtin will be taking on #16 Jore Volk. After being handily defeated in the prior season by an 11-1 Major Decision, Surtin will be looking for his get-even match against the returning NCAA Qualifier.

Beyond this matchup, the Tigers will look to handle the Cowboys once again with ease as they should be heavily favored in a majority of the bouts.

Mizzou vs. Virginia Tech

Our next home contest comes in from Blacksburg Virginia for its seventh matchup with the Tigers during the Brian Smith Era. Coach Smith currently holds a 4-3 all-time record against the Hokies and will be looking to get back in the win column after taking a loss over the past three meetings.

Most Anticipated Bout:

ALL OF THEM! The entirety of this dual is going to be electric and one to pack the house for. Virginia Tech has a loaded roster for the coming season and could be a team that will be looking to push for a team trophy when it comes to National Championship time. There will be multiple headlined matches in this contest and all will be just as exciting as the next. Below is the list of potential head-to-heads that Tiger Style fans can look forward to!

  • #17 Noah Surtin vs #4 Eddie Ventresca (1x AA) - First contest among wrestlers
  • NR Zeke Seltzer vs #4 Sam Latona (3x NQ, 2x AA) - First contest among wrestlers
  • #15 Josh Edmonds vs #17 Tom Crook (1x NQ) - First contest among wrestlers
  • #6 Brock Mauller vs #5 Caleb Henson (1x AA) - Series tied at 1-1, both by 2pt Dec
  • NR Cameron Steed vs #6 Bryce Andonian (3x NQ, 2x AA) - First contest among wrestlers
  • #1 Keegan O’Toole vs #24 Connor Brady (3x NQ) - O’Toole leads 1-0
  • #7 Peyton Mocco vs #3 Mekhi Lewis (4x NQ, 2x AA, 1x Nation Champ) - Lewis leads 2-0
  • #11 Colton Hawks vs #16 Sam Fisher (1x NQ) - First contest among wrestlers
  • #4 Rocky Elam vs #22 Andy Smith - Rocky leads 1-0
  • #6 Zach Elam vs #18 Hunter Catka (2x NQ) - Elam leads 1-0

If I were to pick specific bouts that could give the most excitement then I will roll with Mocco vs Lewis and Mauller vs Henson. Both of which have given us some fireworks over the past seasons. This contest also poses some extreme breakout potential which could be Zeke Seltzer’s time to show the world that he can hang with some of the elites!

Mizzou vs. Arizona State

The all-time series record between Arizona State and the Tigers sits at 2-4 in favor of the Sun Devils. During the Brian Smith era, the record holds still at 2:2 all. After falling in the prior season 19-17, Mizzou will look to put Coach Smith back on top and above the .500 line.

Most Anticipated Bout:

There are two headlining matchups inside the Sun Devil dual. The first one comes to us from the 149 weight class with #6 Brock Mauller taking on 3x All-American, #4 Kyle Parco for the fourth time during his Tiger career. Parco holds on to the lead 2-1 with the most recent match coming in the 2023 NCAA Championships. Parco defeated Mauller in the quarterfinals over the final twenty seconds by a 4-3 Decision. All three contests between these two have been decided by three or fewer points.

Our second headliner belongs to the heavies at 285. #6 Zach Elam will look for his first victory over 3x All-American and #5 Cohlton Schultz. Schultz currently claims a 2-0 advantage on Elam with the most recent contest coming from the previous season’s meet where Schultz grabbed a dominating 12-4 Major Decision victory.

Potential Ranked Bouts:

Other bouts that will have Tiger fans eager to watch are #17 Noah Surtin taking on #3 Richard Figueroa and #11 Colton Hawks facing #22 Anthony Montalvo. Surtin will be looking for another get-even match after falling to the Sun Devil by a 6-4 Decision in their lone match during the previous season. Hawks on the other hand will be taking on the Oklahoma State transfer Montalvo for the first time.

Mizzou vs. Oklahoma State

To say that Oklahoma State has Mizzou’s number over its collegiate history is an understatement. The Cowboys have a demanding 44-8 winning record over the Tigers. During Coach Smith’s time with the Tigers, the record has continued on the same path although he is responsible for all eight of the victories in the all-time record. The most recent meet between these two programs came last season where the Tigers fell short 17-16 in Stillwater.

Most Anticipated Bout:

There are numerous evenly qualified contenders in this meet for most anticipated, but to me, this dual continues to be the mountain for Peyton Mocco to climb. For the fifth time in his career, Mocco will be tasked with knocking off what can be assumed his ‘rival’ opponent inside the Big 12, Dustin Plott. #6 Dustin Plott is a 3x National Qualifier and a 2x All-American. He currently holds a 3-1 advantage over Mocco in matchups over their careers. The most recent contest saw Plott take a 5-3 Decision over Mocco during the 2023 Big 12 Championship finals bout.

Potential Ranked Bouts:

As for the other matches that will have fans on their feet are as followed:

#15 Josh Edmond vs #20 Carter Young (2x NQ) - First contest among wrestlers

#1 Keegan O’Toole vs #6 Izzak Olejnik (3x NQ, 1x AA) - O’Toole leads 2-0

#11 Colton Hawks vs #10 Travis Wittlake (2x NQ, 1x AA) - Wittlake leads 3-0 (all by Decision)

#4 Rocky Elam vs #11 Luke Surber (2x NQ) - Surber leads 1-0, Rocky redemption bout

#6 Zach Elam vs #22 Konner Doucet (1x NQ) - Elam leads 2-0

Once again the Tigers will have an eventful home schedule coming into the new season. With new faces showing up within the starting lineup, we can expect the veterans of the team to push the young guys along and motivate them to reach their full potential. Head Coach Brian Smith and his Tiger Style squad deserve full stands and packed houses for every meet. From top-ranked matches to inferior ones, no one should be overlooked and we can expect the black and gold to represent once again!

*Rankings via FloWrestling & InterMat
*Rankings subject to change / all preseason ranks