Pitt's wrestling got back into action on Sunday and had a stiff test to say the least in facing No. 1 Oklahoma State on the road. They weren't able to pull off an upset, falling pretty hard, 39-0
Pitt has actually has actually had some past success against the Cowboys. The were shut out last year, 36-0, but pulled off a big upset in 2014, defeating the No. 5 Cowboys, 19-18 via tiebreakers at the end.
On Sunday, the Panthers would have needed a miracle to be competitive, let alone win. Nine of their team's starters are ranked and seven are in the top six of their weight classes. The Panthers dropped every single match with many of them being flat out lopsided.
Pitt really needed a win from No. 8 Dom Forys at 133 pounds to give themselves a real shot at winning. But even he was soundly defeated by No. 6 Kaid Brock, 10-3. The rout was on from there.
There's not much need in breaking down the individual matches since Pitt lost all of them. Teshan Campbell made a run in his at 165 pounds, and even had a third period lead, but fell at the end.
The main thing we saw today is that Pitt is possibly doing some tinkering with the starting lineup. First, at 157 pounds where freshman Jake Wentzel has been a fixture in the starting lineup, redshirt freshman Taleb Rahmani got the start. Wentzel has been the team's starter in every dual this year while Rahmani has gotten work in tournaments. Rahmani was previously at 149 pounds but has been at 157 this year. Wentzel has been very good for Pitt this year in duals at 3-1, so you wonder if this was an injury situation or not. Rahmani was 9-1 on the season so maybe not. Either way, Rahmani nearly won a back and forth match, but came up just short, losing 12-10.
There was also a change at 174 pounds where Christian Dietrich has been another mainstay in the lineup. Dietrich has had a little less luck than Wentzel and was only 1-3 in duals. But as lackluster as that's been, Pitt has been really struggling with Mat Carr who is winless in duals at 184 pounds. Dietrich moved up to 184 pounds and that allowed the Panthers to get freshman Austin Bell into the lineup at 174 pounds. Bell didn't win his bout on Sunday but has promise and was a Top 40 recruit in the nation. The thinking has to be that Bell and Dietrich in the lineup is better than Dietrich and Carr. We'll see how it works out going forward.
One final note was that we didn't see No. 15 Ryan Solomon at heavyweight. Solomon, you might recall, was injured at the end of his bout against Lehigh the last time out, hobbling off the mat at the end. I don't know if his was an injury situation or if they just gave Rizzo some work in a lopsided match. Solomon, for what it's worth, was listed as the probable starter there going into the dual.
Tough loss for the team, but honestly, a win couldn't be expected here by any measure. Pitt could have made things a little closer if a couple of guys had pulled out wins, but it is what it is. Oklahoma State is just a very strong team and you need everything breaking the right way to even come close to knocking them off.
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