While it was the season debut and home opener for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the reigning Olympic and NCAA champion, Gable Steveson, it was Oklahoma State who stole the show.
No. 6 Oklahoma State defeated No. 11 Minnesota with a score of 23-10. The Cowboys won seven of 10 matchups victories with the losses coming in at 141, 157 and heavyweight. Here are three takeaways from the dual.
The Cowboys didn’t lose a match in which they started a higher-ranked wrestler.
The only ranked Cowboy to drop a match was No. 14 Wyatt Sheets to No. 5 Brayton Lee 15-9. It was Minnesota that had one of their All-Americans, No. 5 Patrick McKee drop a match to OSU’s No. 19 Trevor Mastrogiovanni. No. 7 Dakota Geer had a solid takedown to finish off No. 21 Isaiah Salazar in sudden victory at 184.
The major decision victories for OSU were by No. 2 Daton Fix at 133 and No. 1 AJ Ferrari at 197. No. 6 Travis Wittlake had a convincing victory over No. 21 Andrew Sparks 8-3 at 165 and the same can be said for No. 15 Dustin Plott who defeated No. 23 Jared Krattinger 6-1 at 174.
Kaden Gfeller’s finish to the second period was dominant
Midway through the second period, it was clear that No. 26 Michael Blockhus had control of the match following a strong leg-lock takedown over No. 22 Kaden Gfeller to end the first period.
With 17 seconds remaining in the second period, just off an escape, Gfeller was down 2-1. In a scramble with Blockhus, he eventually got the takedown and proceeded to get four near fall points to end the period with a score of 7-2. Blockhus began the third period with an escape and quickly went to the offensive, but Gfeller responded with a takedown to end the third period and get additional riding time to win the match 10-3.
It was Gfeller’s first win of the young season and it should give him a boost of confidence as he’s been under pressure to perform at a higher level.
Gable Steveson is as advertised
The future WWE star had a dominant 20-7 major decision victory over OSU’s HWT Luke Surber. Surber’s seven points all came from escapes and certainly gave his best swing.
The Olympic champion had over 2:40 minutes of riding time and made it difficult for Surber to get on the offense. Steveson simply put is a freak of nature who has one of the brightest young careers in all of wrestling. Surber should not be discouraged by the loss and the experience will only benefit him. Since he’s faced the best he will see all year this early, it will prepare him for the tough road ahead in his weight class.