The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 9, 2014

Has momentum shifted ahead of Bedlam?

NORMAN — When Bedlam wrestling rolled around in early December for the first of two editions this season, momentum was squarely on the Sooners’ side.

Oklahoma was unbeaten in dual and tournament competition with seven of its 10 starters ranked in the top 20 nationally and the team checking in at No. 4 nationally. Oklahoma State, replacing several key spots in its lineup, was still struggling to round things into form and was banking on a trio of highly ranked wrestlers to carry the load for its squad.

And that confidence and momentum carried through, as the Sooners won the final four matches to pick up a 16-15 triumph, OU’s first Bedlam victory in the last 10 tries.

Two months later, Bedlam sees coach Mark Cody’s Sooner squad in a different place as it heads to Stillwater for a 2 p.m. dual today against the Cowboys inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Sooners have dipped to No. 10 in the rankings and taken a bit of a confidence hit in losing two of their last four duals while battling the last month short-handed due to injury and illness.

“I’ve been in this situation before where you’ve got to shake that anxiety just before tournament time, and I think this group can do it,” Cody said.

The Sooners regained some of their positive momentum with a 19-15 dual victory Thursday at conference foe West Virginia, a win that keeps the Sooners unbeaten in Big 12 dual action. Cody was pleased with the team looking more aggressive than they had in a defeat against Missouri last weekend.

“We need to approach every match with the same mindset. We need to go out and start the match attacking and stay on the attack,” he said. “That’s how you get major decisions and pins, and many times that’s what duals will come down to, and that is definitely what happened (against West Virginia). Major decisions were the difference.”

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