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Oklahoma State wrestling: 5 things to watch for No. 10 Cowboys vs. Oklahoma

The Cowboys seek their 11th straight Bedlam dual win.

2019 NCAA Div I Wrestling Championships Session One Photo by Hunter Martin/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The No. 10-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team hosts Bedlam rival Oklahoma for the Cowboys’ home dual finale Sunday at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The Cowboys (12-2, 7-1 Big 12) are coming off a doubleheader sweep with a 37-3 win at Air Force and 25-7 victory at Wyoming. OSU lost three matches during the weekend, including both heavyweight bouts and No. 14 Dakota Geer’s 8-6 loss to Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan at 197 pounds.

OU (4-6, 2-5) used three major decisions to defeat Air Force 24-10 on Friday in Norman. The Sooners dropped matches to the Falcons at 149, 165 and heavyweight.

The Bedlam dual will be nationally televised on ESPNU and will have a raised mat. It’s the second straight year the Cowboys will have a raised mat in their home finale after doing so in their 27-12 win against rival Iowa.

Series history

The Cowboys won their 10th consecutive Bedlam dual by winning seven matches for a 23-9 victory Dec. 15 in Norman. True freshman Reece Witcraft’s 6-5 upset win against OU’s Anthony Madrigal was the highlight of the dual.

Sooners coach Lou Rosselli is 0-5 against OSU since he took over the OU program. Sunday will be the 179th meeting between the two storied programs, with OSU holding a 142-27-10 all-time lead in the Bedlam series.

5 things to watch

Witcraft vs. No. 15 Madrigal: Part II

As mentioned above, Witcraft won the first match against Madrigal in an action-packed contest. Witcraft has grown a lot since then and doesn’t rely as much on his throws, though he’s not afraid to use them. He’s quicker on his attacks and his coming off the biggest win of his career with a 3-1 win in sudden victory against 2018 All-American Montorie Bridges of Wyoming. Madrigal 6-1 since the loss to Witcraft, including ranked wins against Northern Iowa’s Jack Skudlarczyk and Iowa State’s Todd Small. Madrigal’s lone loss in that stretch was against a ranked opponent in North Dakota State’s Cam Sykora, 6-4.

Avenging OSU losses from last Bedlam

OSU lost three matches in the first Bedlam dual this season at 141, 157 and 174. The first two matches will happen again, but the 174 match won’t as No. 10 Joe Smith has taken over the spot from Andrew Shomers, who fell 10-8 in sudden victory to No. 17 Anthony Mantanona.

Hone faces OU’s best wrestler in No. 5 Dom Demas at 141. Hone gave Demas a tough match before falling 6-4. Wyatt Sheets and No. 20 Justin Thomas have split their two career matches with Thomas winning the last one, 5-3.

No. 14 Dakota Geer vs. No. 19 Jake Woodley: Part II

In the first Bedlam dual this match at 197 was a top-10 showdown, but both wrestlers have taken their lumps since then. Geer’s performance on top and a takedown led to a 4-2 win in December to seal the dual.

Geer has racked up a 12-4 record after the win against Woodley, including a six-match winning streak that ended with a loss at Wyoming. Woodley, meanwhile, has only wrestled six matches since the loss and is 4-2 in that stretch with setbacks against ranked opponents in West Virginia’s Noah Adams and South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan. Geer was pinned by Adams in 1:07 and won by injury default against Sloan.

Who goes at heavyweight for OSU?

Cowboys coach John Smith has split starts between Austin Harris and Cornelius Putnam during the second half of the season. Brock Martin still hasn’t competed and wasn’t listed as a probable starter for OSU. In the first Bedlam dual this season, Harris defeated OU’s Josiah Jones, 6-2.

Setting up for No. 1 Iowa

OSU is a heavy favorited in Bedlam, but its season finale at No. 1 Iowa will be quite the opposite. The Cowboys will want to dominate the Sooners to build confidence ahead of Iowa, most notably No. 4 Nick Piccininni, No. 6 Boo Lewallen and No. 10 Joe Smith, who all have matches against opponents ranked in the top-two at their respective weight class.

Lineups: No. 10 Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma

125: No. 4 Nick Piccininni (22-1) vs. Christian Moody (6-14)

133: Reece Witcraft (15-7) vs. No. 15 Anthony Madrigal (18-7)

141: Dusty Hone (18-6) vs. No. 5 Dom Demas (21-3)

149: No. 6 Boo Lewallen (17-1) vs. Jacob Butler (12-13)

157: Wyatt Sheets (16-6) vs. No. 20 Justin Thomas (18-7)

165: No. 7 Travis Wittlake (24-1) vs. Elijah Joseph (1-5)

174: No. 10 Joe Smith (7-2) vs. No. 17 Anthony Mantanona (16-6)

184: No. 15 Anthony Montalvo (18-5) vs. Darrien Roberts (11-9)

197: No. 14 Dakota Geer (19-5) vs. No. 19 Jake Woodley (16-7)

285: Austin Harris (4-9) OR Cornelius Putnam (1-3) vs. Josiah Jones (5-15) OR Collin McCoy (3-7)

How to watch

What: Oklahoma (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) at No. 10 Oklahoma State (12-2, 7-1)

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena; Stillwater, Oklahoma


Live stats:

Radio: Hot 93.7 KSPI-FM