UNC fell to defending ACC champions Virginia 28-6 in its first duel earlier that night.
The night embodied the type of youthful inconsistency that has held the Tar Heels (6-6-1, 1-2 ACC) to a .500 winning percentage this season.
“What they need to do is they need to start believing,” Mock said. “There are a lot of freshmen here, and it is pretty characteristic of freshmen to be a little nervous in (Division I) wrestling. But we’re not going to get where we need to unless we can get over that.”
The visiting Cavaliers, whom Mock pointed to as being two or three years ahead of the UNC program, limited the Tar Heels to just two decisions.
Redshirt senior Mike Rappo picked up his first win since missing all of December due to injury, while freshman Corey Mock grabbed a 9-3 victory against Shawn Harris of Virginia in the 157-pound match. Defending his ACC Wrestler of the Week title, Mock later added a 15-0 technical fall against the Mountaineers, pushing his team-leading wins total to 29.
In the Appalachian State dual, C.D. Mock sent out redshirt senior Thomas Scotton to face Kyle Blevins. Scotton, who had dropped four of his previous five matches, continued his slide and lost 2-0.
“Thomas’ problem is that Thomas won’t change,” C.D. Mock said. “He wrestles the exact same way every single match, every single opponent.
“You’re either going to get All-American or you’re not, and to be an All-American you have to change.”
As a whole, the team fared better against the Mountaineers than it did against Virginia. A pin in the 125-pound match put the Tar Heels in a hole early, but major decisions from redshirt junior Thomas Ferguson and redshirt freshman Zac Bennett netted them a 19-16 lead.
That set the stage for the duel-deciding heavyweight match between Brooks and Tyson. While Brooks wasn’t able to secure the win, Mock said he appreciates the effort from the freshman.
“What he lacks in talent, he makes up for in heart,” Mock said. “If I could take Scotton’s talent and give it to Ben Brooks, we’d have a national champion.”
Contact the Sports Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.