The West Virginia University wrestling team spends the weekend in Oklahoma for a pair of Big 12 road duals, beginning in Norman against Oklahoma at McCasland Field House on Friday, Jan. 20, before colliding with No. 12 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Fans can catch all this weekend’s action on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and follow along with live stats on Trackwrestling. Times announced are 8 p.m. ET on Friday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“We are just excited to wrestle two of the most storied programs in college wresting,” fifth year coach Tim Flynn said. “Oklahoma was the Big 12 Champion a year or two ago, and Oklahoma State has the most national championships in Division I history, so whenever you can compete against two great programs, it’s an opportunity to step up from where you are.”
Coming off a 22-16 win at Chattanooga, West Virginia (7-1, 1-1 Big 12) looks for its first victory against the Sooners since 2018, when it doubled up then-No. 18 Oklahoma 24-12 in Morgantown. Oklahoma (6-3, 0-1 Big 12) currently holds a 11-2 advantage in the all-time series after West Virginia claimed the first battle back in 1986.
In the last meeting, then-No. 17 Oklahoma scored a 28-10 victory in WVU’s home opener in November of 2021. A trio of WVU grapplers earned victories in the loss – junior Peyton Hall (165) and redshirt juniors Anthony Carman (184) and Michael Wolfgram (HWT). Wolfgram scored the lone win over a ranked opponent, as the York, Pennsylvania, native outlasted then-No. 17 Josh Heindselman by a 3-2 decision. Heindselman came back to defeat Wolfgram 5-4 at the Big 12 Championship in March. The pair will likely collide once more at heavyweight on Friday.
The Sooners are led by seventh-year head coach Lou Rosselli, who has guided OU to a 53-44 record and a share of the Big 12 Championship in 2021. Rosselli’s team went 3-1 at the 43rd edition of the Virginia Duals last weekend, with double-digit wins over Campbell, Ohio, and Navy.
Two days later, WVU challenges No. 12 Oklahoma State (6-1, 2-0 Big 12) in the first meeting since 2020.
Sunday’s contest marks West Virginia’s third against a nationally ranked opponent and its third Big 12 Conference matchup of the season. The Mountaineers are also in search of their first victory over the Cowboys, who hold a 15-0 record in the all-time series since 1927 when OSU competed as Oklahoma A&M.
The Cowboys are led by 32nd-year coach John Smith, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the second-winningest coach in Division I wrestling history (468), as well as the leader among active coaches with coach Flynn sitting 38th and sixth, respectively (251). Smith’s squad has jumped out to a 6-1 record, which includes a 25-6 victory over No. 14 Lehigh in their season opener.
In the polls, West Virginia moves up to No. 23 in this week’s NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll. The program made its debut in the poll last week at No. 24, which was its first appearance in the NWCA Top 25 since the midway point of the 2015-16 season (January 12, 2016).
Seven Mountaineers remain ranked in the 13th edition of this season’s FloWrestling rankings – No. 7 Killian Cardinale (125), honorable mention Jordan Titus (141), No. 22 Sam Hillegas (149), No. 8 Peyton Hall (165), honorable mentions Anthony Carman (184) and Austin Cooley (197) and No. 20 Michael Wolfgram (HWT), while senior Alex Hornfeck (157) checks in InterMat’s rankings at No. 28.
Eight Sooners enter the dual ranked by FloWrestling – No. 22 Joey Prata (125), honorable mention Wyatt Henson (133), No. 24 Mosha Schwartz (141), No. 23 Mitch Moore (149), No. 17 Gerrit Nijenhuis (165), No. 21 Darrien Roberts (174), honorable mention Keegan Moore (184), and No. 18 Josh Heindselman (HWT), while all ten probable starters for the Cowboys are ranked as well, including No. 15 Trevor Mastrogiovanni (125), No. 2 Daton Fix (133), No. 17 Carter Young (141), honorable mention Victor Voinovich (149), No. 11 Kaden Gfeller (157), No. 21 Wyatt Sheets (165), No. 5 Dustin Plott (174), No. 12 Travis Wittlake (184), and honorable mentions Luke Surber (197) and Konner Doucet (HWT).
Of note, WVU’s 7-1 overall record matches the 1950, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1972, and 1990 Mountaineer squads for the best start through eight duals.