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Bedlam Recap: #11 Oklahoma State over #14 Oklahoma (28-9)

Coming into the season I thought Oklahoma had a great chance to get their first Bedlam win since 2014. Unfortunately for the Sooners it didn’t happen here as the Cowboys ran away with the dual. Not only did they win eight matches, they did so without two of their best wrestlers and still scored three bonus point wins. Injuries affected both teams, but OK State’s depth was shown with Reece Witcraft stepping up for a win. The Cowboys offense was apparent, as they scored the first takedown in every match outside of 197 and 285. There were plenty of things to touch on through the dual, so I tried to highlight some of the biggest ones for each team. The next Bedlam match is February 18th 2024, and the Sooners will have to make some significant changes to make the dual closer. 


  • Bright Points

While the overall score of the dual wasn’t great, there were some good takeaways for the Sooners. Willie McDougald got a gritty win over a dangerous young opponent and Stephen Buchanan won dominantly as expected. Even in losses, Conrad Hendriksen, Kaden Smith, and Cael Carlson looked solid. Hendriksen got a big ranked win against WVU, and has shown continuous development through the year. His positioning and defense keeps him in matches, and he’s starting to show more of his own offense. Kaden Smith had a tough draw, getting called to bump up and take on a top opponent in Tagen Jamison. Jamison’s injury certainly changed the match, but Smith showed some good stuff from the top position. If he continues to get matches at 141, look for him to put size on and a good top wrestler in college is dangerous. Carlson had a tough match against an excellent wrestler in Olejnik who’s on a run. Carlson didn’t get his own offense scores, but wrestled tough and came close at times. Even in a loss it was a good bounce back performance after being pinned in his last two.

  • Still struggling with consistency.

It’s still early, and the new coaching staff’s effect will take longer to have a public effect. However, the Sooners are still struggling with consistent performances. John Wiley and Tate Picklo both gave up major decisions in toss-up matches. Wiley was wrestling Teague Travis, who started the year at 149. The match was close late, until a late seven point move for Travis broke the match open for the major. Wiley seemingly has flashes in matches, and was coming off a solid win over WVU. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to get his offense going much this season. 

At 174 I had high expectations for Picklo coming into the season, but he has not looked great so far. After starting the year with mixed results, he’s hit a rough patch. Taking on a true freshman in Brayden Thompson, Picklo had no answers. Thompson had more offense, won the scrambles, and even hit a spladle for back points. When Picklo was “on” last season, he showed an ability to go with All-Americans. Unfortunately he has not shown that so far this season and with Gerrit Nijenhuis behind him could see a rotation until one of them separates….

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