#5 Oklahoma State 35 Little Rock 6
My original prediction had OSU winning all 10 matches and scoring 42 points. That prediction came close to fruition, but unfortunately due to COVID issues, it did not happen. Kaden Gfeller was replaced by Joey Sanchez and Dustin Plott was replaced by Jalin Harper, who bumped to 174lbs from 157lbs. These are two of the stronger weights for Little Rock as well, so it was tough outs for both wrestlers. For the most part, the matches went how I expected with OSU looking dominant in front of 1,524 fans, a new attendance record for the young Little Rock program.
125lbs: #9 Trevor Mastrogiovanni over Jayden Carson (Dec. 8-3)
Coming into this match, Carson had four losses by bonus points, including a recent tech fall against Mastrogiovanni’s backup Reece Witcraft. This match started off bad for Mastrogiovanni as he gave up a quick takedown then wasn’t able to get away until over a minute of riding time had accumulated for Carson. He did well to not get turned in that time, but his bottom wrestling, which looked much improved to start the season, had some worrisome moments in this match. Mastrogiovanni did a good job once he did get away however, racking up three takedowns and two escapes. I thought towards the end Mastrogiovanni could have pushed for the major, but it was a dominant win regardless.
133lbs: #2 Daton Fix over Jaylen Carson (TF 17-2 5:34)
This was another dominant match to give Fix a 75% bonus rate and continue his Hodge argument. Of the two points Carson scored, one came after Fix appeared to hit an illegal cutback from top and the other was an escape. Fix scored multiple takedowns and turns, and finished off the tech with an assassin that almost turned into a pin.
141lbs: #20 Carter Young over Conner Ward (Maj. 14-4)
Young is now on a five match win streak including three majors after making his collegiate debut. His mat wrestling has seemingly improved every match as well. In this match he was able to rack up 3:25 of riding time and threatened turns frequently. Young’s going to be able to score from neutral against most guys, and if he can keep improving on top, he’ll start threatening higher ranked wrestlers.
149lbs: Joseph Bianchi over Joey Sanchez (Dec. 5-0)
With no Gfeller, Joey Sanchez got the start for a rematch against Bianchi. This match ended up being more one sided than their 4-2 Scuffle match as Bianchi scored a takedown, nearfall, and a riding time point. OSU has good depth at this weight with Voinovich and the younger Mastrogiovanni, but both are redshirting so it’s not too surprising to see Sanchez here. Long term, Gfeller should be back, but I don’t know the exact timeline.
157lbs: #13 Wyatt Sheets over Austin Keal (TF 15-0 5:56)
After a scoreless first period I thought this match may end up surprisingly close. Then Sheets found his offense and scored three takedowns with two four point turns and an escape to get the one sided tech. The first period had some very long scrambles with neither guy ending up on top. It would have been nice to see Sheets score more points early, but he was relentless on top once he got there.
165lbs: #5 Travis Wittlake over Tyler Brennan (Dec. 9-4)
Wittlake almost proved me wrong and got the major at the end, but Brennan ended up scoring one of the weirder go behinds I’ve seen to finish the match on top. Wittlake still scored three takedowns, an escape, riding time, and a stall point to finish the match. Wittlake was never in any danger, but I’m still looking for him to find some more success in turns from the top position.
174lbs: Triston Wills over Jalin Harper (Dec. 7-1)
After making the podium at the Scuffle, Harper bumped up two weight classes to face Triston Wills, who’s bounced in and out of the rankings this season. Harper wrestled well, keeping it scoreless until late in the second when Wills scored a reversal straight into back points. After that, Wills was looking for bonus, but Harper did a good job not giving up any extra points. As long as Plott comes back soon, I don’t think the Cowboys have anything to worry about here. Harper wrestled well given the circumstances.
184lbs: #11 Dakota Geer over Tanner Mendoza (TF 18-0 2:17)
It’s hard to write too much about a first period tech aside from a quick compliment on the dominance. Geer scored a takedown early off a single leg, and immediately got a leg turk for four. From there, he went with three tilts to get 12 points and rack up the tech. With Geer’s style and top dominance, his matches can get out of hand quickly.
197lbs: #1 AJ Ferrari (7-0) over Brooks Sacharczyk (Fall 2:39)
Ferrari was dominating in the first period resulting in his first pin of the season. Ferrari scored three takedowns and a two point nearfall before catching Sacharczyk in a leg turk and getting the pin. The two-point nearfall was impressive, as he just wrenched Sacharczyk over with a two on one tilt.
285 lbs: #31 Luke Surber (5-2) over Josiah Hill (Maj. 10-2)
Surber wrestled really well in another match where he was clearly undersized. He moved Hill around a ton using underhooks and scored four takedowns, an escape, and a riding time point for the major. Surber’s pace and speed will give a lot of heavyweight’s problems, and he showed that here. He also did a good job of staying on top and getting plenty of riding time.
With this dual being so one sided there is not too much to take away as for the most part all the starters looked dominant. Oklahoma State heads to Morgantown next for a tri-dual against West Virginia and Columbia. Neither team is ranked, but this contest could potentially feature a combined six ranked wrestlers. All three teams have had some COVID/injury issues, so fingers crossed everyone is healthy for these duals. OSU will look to go 10-0 and 4-0 in conference duals.
*Rankings provided from Intermat