NORMAN — Oklahoma wrestling coach Mark Cody knows that this season is a rebuilding one for his program. The Sooners' two duals this weekend were a good example of how up and down that process can be.
On Friday night, Cody lit into his team after the ninth-ranked Sooners were upset. On Sunday, his team responded with a 25-14 win over West Virginia at McCasland Field House.
“We let them have it pretty good after the last dual,” Cody said of Friday's 18-15 loss to Northern Iowa. “Today's results showed that at certain times, certain guys are buying in and improving.”
For Cody, the need for improvement with his team starts with getting them to focus on staying aggressive throughout an entire match, even with a lead.
“We want them to keep attacking,” Cody said. “Several of our guys get to a point where we're winning and then we just shut down, we've got to stay on the attack.”
The young Sooners have a perfect example of the aggressive style Cody is looking for in 157-pound senior Bubby Graham. Wrestling in his final home dual at Oklahoma, the fourth-ranked Graham scored six takedowns in route to a 14-3 major decision victory over the Mountaineers' Dominic Prezzia.
“There is a sense of urgency and relentlessness with Bubby that we have to get across to the rest of the team,” Cody said.
Graham's major decision capped off a streak of five straight wins that helped put Oklahoma (6-4) comfortably ahead of West Virginia (1-5) at 22-3.
The most anticipated match of the afternoon featured Oklahoma's top-ranked Kendric Maple against 14th-ranked Nathan Pennesi at 141 pounds. After a competitive opening period, Maple used three takedowns over the final two periods to turn a close match into a 10-2 major decision win. Maple is now 19-0 on the season.
The dual marked the conclusion of the Big 12 regular season dual schedule for Oklahoma. The Sooners finished 2-1 in conference competition.
West Virginia was competing in just its second Big 12 dual as a member of the conference. The Mountaineers are now 0-2 in the conference.
The Sooners' next action will be a 6 p.m. dual on Friday at Lehigh.