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Five Things to Watch When OSU Wrestles Lehigh and Bucknell

The Cowboys kick off their season with a pair of duals on Saturday.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

On Saturday the Cowboys wrestle an 11 a.m. dual with Lehigh and close out the day in Pennsylvania with another dual against Bucknell at 6 p.m. Lehigh should be a tough one for the Cowboys to kick off the season then they should have a bit of an edge for the nightcap vs. Bucknell. Here are the projected lineups for all three squads.

And here are five things for fans to watch here as the Cowboys look to rebuild from a tough finish last season.

1. Jalin Harper at 165

Harper’s had some starting time under his belt for the Cowboys but it’s been somewhat intermittent, and as a fill-in for other wrestlers with injuries and things of that nature. This year it looks like he’ll be the guy at 165 after emerging from the pack as the winner at the wrestle-offs last weekend. He has one ranked matchup, but both are very winnable for Harper and the match vs. Lehigh could swing the dual edge to OSU. For OSU to win the dual vs. Lehigh and for Harper to build his resume for the NCAA tournament, these are two very big matches.

2. Who comes out at 157?

At the wrestle-offs last week, Sheets and Mechler both won but did not wrestle each other. They’re both weighing in here and are listed as “or” on the depth chart. Who knows who we’ll see here?

3. Luke Surber vs. Michael Beard

This is about as tough a debut as it gets for Surber at his new weight class. He’ll be taking on All-American and Penn State transfer Michael Beard, who now wrestles at Lehigh. Beard is a very tough test for Surber. If Surber wins, then he’ll instantly vault himself into the All-American conversation at this weight.

4. Konner Doucet at HWT

This has a lot of similar nuances to the situation with Harper. Doucet will be making his first start at HWT for the Cowboys. He has two solid tests, but he’s not opening up the season against Gable Steveson. These are winnable matches that should be a sign of what OSU has with Doucet here.

5. Travis Wittlake vs. Tate Samuelson

Like Surber, Wittlake will be making his first start at a new weight. Like Surber, Wittlake has a tough test to open things. Wyoming transfer Tate Samuelson will be Wittlake’s first matchup at 184. He’s a very tough test for Wittlake at his new weight class.

This is a solid pair of duals for the Cowboys to kick the season off with. Lehigh will be on FloWrestling starting at 11 a.m. CST and Bucknell will be on ESPN+ at 6 p.m.

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