NORMAN – Oklahoma wrestling is slated to take on No. 7 Arizona State and Big 12 foe Northern Colorado on the road this weekend, with the match in Tempe, Ariz., set for 8 p.m. CT and the match in Greeley, Colo., scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.
LAST TIME OUT
Oklahoma traveled east to take on West Virginia to open up their 2021-22 dual season. The Sooners came away with a 28-10 victory over the Mountaineers, making it the second straight season the reigning Big 12 champs have started conference action with a win.
Rosselli’s squad won seven of the ten matches, taking a 20-0 lead after winning the first five matches. Mitch Moore added his third pin of the season, Jake Woodley earned a win via tech fall, Tony Madrigal and Jacob Butler claimed major decisions to earn bonus points for the Sooners.
OUR LAST DUAL AGAINST THE SUN DEVILS
The Sooners last faced Arizona State on Jan. 8, 2021 in the opening match of the season. It was the first time Oklahoma had hit the mat since the pandemic shut down competition in March of 2020.
On that day, Arizona State won 20-12 over the Sooners. The two teams were separated by two points going into the final two matches, but a marathon match between Jake Woodley and ASU’s Kordell Norfleet went the way of the Sun Devils. Four wrestlers made their OU debut in that match, including Mitch Moore and Josh Heindselman.
SERIES HISTORY: ARIZONA STATE
Friday’s dual will be the 46th meeting between the Sooners and Sun Devils with the two sides first squaring off in 1966.
The Sooners last traveled to Tempe in 2009 when they came home with a 36-7 victory. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 29-15-1.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
Arizona State is the reigning Pac-12 champion, winning four of the last five conference titles. Five Sun Devils claimed individual conference titles last season, including returnees Brandon Courtney (125), Jacori Teemer (157), Anthony Valencia (165), Kordell Norfleet (197) and Cohlton Schultz (285). They boast eight ranked wrestlers, seven of which sit inside the top-10 in both Flo and Intermat.
The Sun Devils are led by Zeke Jones, who is in his eighth year at the helm of the program. Jones, a three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, 1988 national champion and three-time All-American at ASU, has turned the Sun Devils’ program into one of the best in the country.
OUR LAST DUAL AGAINST THE BEARS
Oklahoma last squared off with Northern Colorado on Jan. 21, 2018 in Norman. The Sooners triumphed over the Bears 28-10 thanks to wins in seven bouts. Mike Longo (141) secured a pin and Christian Moody (125) and Davion Jeffries (149) won via tech fall to help the Sooners to victory.
Justin Thomas is the only Sooner from the match that is still on the team today. Thomas won in a 10-4 decision.
SERIES HISTORY: NORTHERN COLORADO
Sunday’s dual marks the sixth all-time meeting between the Sooners and the Bears, with the first meeting coming in 1971.
The Sooners last traveled to Greeley, Colo., on Jan. 29, 2017 when they earned a 35-6 win over UNC. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 4-1.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Northern Colorado is coming off a 4-2 2021 season in which they finished 7th at the Big 12 championships and had three NCAA qualifiers, including returners Mosha Schwartz and Alan Clothier.
The Bears have already amassed a 4-1 dual record, defeating Northwest Kansas Technical College, North Idaho, Doan, and Utah Valley Nov. 7 to open the season. Their lone loss came at the hands of No. 3 Missouri, 38-3.
Troy Nickerson is in his eighth season leading the Bears. He has sent 24 wrestlers to the NCAA championships while helping the program earn its first NWCA Top-25 ranking in 51 years when they climbed as high as No. 17 last season.
SOONERS IN THE RANKINGS
Oklahoma comes into this weekend of dual action as the No. 17-ranked team in the country according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
The three primary wrestling rankings (Flo/Intermat/OpenMat) selected a host of Sooners in their rankings once again this week. FloWrestling tabbed eight Oklahoma starters as top-25 wrestlers in their respective weight classes, with one more as honorable mentions, while Open Mat selected seven Sooners inside of its top 33.
For the second straight week, Intermat has a Sooner ranked in all 10 of the weight class divisions. It is only the second time Oklahoma wrestling has accomplished this in the last seven years.