In its biggest test of the season, the No. 2 Oklahoma State wrestling team narrowly defeated No. 5 Missouri 19-15 on Saturday.
After starting off strong with a streak of three straight wins to go into intermission, the Tigers showcased that even though the Cowboys are 14-0, there are still some issues to figure out before the Big 12 tournament.
Here are three takeaways from the Cowboys' sudden-victory win against Missouri:
Jacobe Smith, Chandler Rogers should start at 165 and 174.
Prior to this dual, OSU coach John Smith made it clear he had yet to make up his mind as to who he would go with at 165 and 174 for the Big 12 tournament. Joe Smith, Chandler Rogers and Jacobe Smith were the three in contention for the two spots.
No. 10 Rogers (165) won his match against No. 14 Connor Flynn, 7-5, on Saturday in his second dual back from injury.
Jacobe Smith is currently the No. 8 wrestler at 184 after splitting the season between 174 and 184 because of team injuries. He won his match on Saturday, 7-3, against No. 16 Dylan Wisman.
Joe Smith, on the other hand, failed to score on his way to losing his third straight match, this time against No. 2 Daniel Lewis 7-0.
Jacobe Smith has been a consistent force for the cowboys this season, and despite injuries, Rogers leads the Cowboys in pins. Along with the fact these two seniors bring a combined three All-American finishes, they should be the pair John Smith chooses when OSU heads to Tulsa on March 9.
Cowboys will go as far as Piccininni, Fix and White take them.
Arguably the team’s three most consistent wrestlers this season have combined for a 72-2 record, with the only losses coming to No. 5 Micky Phillippi (133) and No. 1 Gable Stevenson (HWT).
In the match with Missouri, the trio accounted for the team's first seven points as well as the final three, with White winning the match in sudden-victory against Zach Elam to secure the victory.
With questions still looming in the Cowboys' lineup, they will need to rely on this trio as they look for their seventh straight Big 12 title and 35th team National Championship.
This team remains collected no matter the environment.
In Saturday’s matchup, Missouri broke their previous home attendance record by nearly 2,000, which created an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting Cowboys.
The effects of the hostile environment were felt as OSU dropped three straight before the intermission as well as at 174, but they rebounded and won the final three matches to win a narrow dual, 19-15.
When No. 3 Iowa travels to Stillwater on Sunday, the size and impact of the crowd should only be a benefit as OSU attempts to go undefeated in duals this season.