UCO wrestled in the Midwest Duals at Kearney, Nebraska this weekend. The Bronchos wrestled NEO, Western Colorado, and Central Missouri. In all of that there was plenty to digest, so here are five of my thoughts on their Saturday performance.
1. Take Notice of TJ Long
I’ve already written about it this season, but TJ Long should be putting the Division 2 wrestling world on notice. 133 was a bit of an unknown for UCO heading into this season as last year’s starter was gone, but Long looked good in the first few duals and here may have had his most impressive moment.
Long took a forfeit vs. Central Missouri, picked up a pin vs. NEO, then wrestled Patrick Allis from Western Colorado. Allis finished second at his NCAA regional last year and was the #5 seed heading into the NCAA tournament before it was canceled. Long dominated Allis 13-4. Long’s setups, shots, and just about everything else in this match were great. He absolutely picked Allis apart to win by a major decision here. I don’t know where he’ll jump to in the rankings, but it would be hard to argue that he doesn’t have All-American potential with what we’ve seen so far.
2. Is Paxton Rosen emerging as the starter at 125?
At 125 Garrett Steidley got the first few starts for UCO, then Rosen took over for the Newman dual and has dominated every match we’ve seen him in. He picked up a 14 point win over Newman and two techs and a pin this weekend. In Rosen’s starts he’s been great, but Steidley was no slouch in his starts as well. And we’ve still not seen Tanner Cole, who was projected by many to be the starter at 125 this year.
3. It would’ve been nice to see UCO and host UNK wrestle
UCO and Nebraska Kearney are the #2 and #3 teams in the country and as enjoyable as it’s been to watch UCO roll over most of their competition so far, it would have been nice to see a big matchup this weekend. UNK is scheduled to come to Edmond in two weeks and we “should” eventually see this matchup. But as we all know COVID can throw a wrench into things at times, and always has the potential to keep this match from happening.
4. Dayton Garrett returns at 165
Dayton Garrett was a force last year at 165 before an injury ended his season and for the first time this season we’ve seen him back in the lineup as a starter.
Anthony DesVigne beat Garrett at the bronze and blue dual in sudden victory, but Garrett got wins over both Central Missouri and Western Colorado here while DesVigne got a win over JUCO All American Jayden Smith in their dual with NEO.
DesVigne won the original ranking match by a razor thin margin, which makes one wonder if the starting job could still be up for grabs here and both guys are still fighting to secure it?
5. Wyatt Jordan is hammering people
Wyatt Jordan had two techs and a pin on Saturday. In the first three duals he had a tech, a pin, and a major. None of the wrestlers he’s beaten so far are ranked but picking up bonus point wins in every single match is certainly a good sign.
He’ll get some tougher tests in a few weeks when UCO wrestles Nebraska Kearney and Fort Hays State.