The West Virginia University wrestling team returns home to begin the new year inside the WVU Coliseum against Ohio on Friday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. ET.
Join us for Superhero Night in the Coliseum, as the first 250 fans through the gates will receive a WVU wrestling, superhero-themed t-shirt. The contest has also been declared a True-Blue match, with all fans encouraged to wear Mountaineer blue. It’s also the second Weekday Happy Hour of the season.
Friday’s matchup marks the 58th meeting between the two programs and fans can catch all the action on Big 12 Now. Direct links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the wrestling schedule page on WVUsports.com.
“We didn’t really wrestle well in our last dual against them, and I know a lot of the guys remember that,” WVU’s fifth-year coach Tim Flynn said. “Hopefully, our guys are fired up and excited for the opportunity to get a win because I know I am.”
West Virginia (4-1) holds a 36-20-1 advantage over Ohio (2-0) in the all-time series, which includes a 21-4 victory to lead off the rivalry in 1922.
WVU and OU have traded wins in the previous two meetings. After WVU picked up a 36-3 home win in 2021, OU responded with a 30-9 victory last season in Athens.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 12th-place finish at the 58th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, while the Bobcats have won a pair of conference duals against Edinboro (31-12), and Gardner-Webb (23-15).
In the polls, seven Mountaineers are ranked in the 12th edition of this season’s FloWrestling rankings – No. 7 Killian Cardinale (125), No. 24 Sam Hillegas (149), No. 8 Peyton Hall (165), honorable mentions Brody Conley (174), Anthony Carman (184) and Austin Cooley (197) and No. 19 Michael Wolfgram (HWT), while senior Alex Hornfeck checks in InterMat’s rankings at No. 27.
It’s the first time the program has had eight wrestlers ranked nationally at the same time since 2003, when No. 17 Seth Lisa (125), No. 14 Brandon Lauer (133), No. 13 Shane Cunanan (141), No. 7 Billy Smith (149), No. 7 Tom McMath (165), No. 1 Greg Jones (174), No. 12 Ryan Wilman (184) and No. 13 Brent Miller (HWT) made the list entering a dual against rival Virginia Tech on Feb. 9.
The 2002-03 squad eventually sent a program-record nine of 10 starters to compete at the national tournament.
A pair of Bobcats enter the dual ranked in their respective weight classes – honorable mention Alex Hagan (149) and No. 24 Peyten Kellar (157).