By Andy Hamilton
Des Moines Register
Iowa City, Ia. — Oklahoma State coach John Smith wobbled to the podium inside the interview room of Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday night as a weary winner.
Smith didn’t step on the mat, but he said he felt like he wrestled all 10 bouts after the Cowboys emerged from a knockdown, drag-out brawl with a 17-16 criteria victory over top-ranked Iowa in a battle of college wrestling’s heavyweight programs.
Oklahoma State snapped Iowa’s NCAA-record dual unbeaten run at 84, hanging onto a share of the mark set 46 years ago by the Cowboys and winning on the third criteria — a 54-51 advantage in match points — after the teams each won five bouts.
“It’s tough losing,” Iowa sophomore 133-pounder Tony Ramos said. “It’s not something we’re about as a team, it’s not something we’re about as individuals.”
It was Iowa’s first loss since Jan. 5, 2008, when Oklahoma State knocked off the Hawkeyes 19-14. The Cowboys turned Iowa’s 69-dual winning streak into an unbeaten string last January with a 15-15 tie in Stillwater.
The NCAA put criteria back into play during the offseason to determine a winner in dual ties.
“It’s a good win,” Smith said. “It’s <FZ,1,0,20>easy to look at and say there were some ugly (individual) wins, but a lot of times on the road you’ve got to win ugly.
“I thought we wrestled a little tight. I thought we didn’t wrestle at the end of periods, didn’t come off the whistle on the top and bottom, cautions flying everywhere because of discipline, so a lot of ugly but good wins.”
Ramos stunned defending national champion Jordan Oliver, snapping the top-ranked Oklahoma State junior’s 39-match winning streak with a 4-3 overtime win that created an eardrum-splitting roar from the sellout crowd of 15,400, the third-largest in NCAA history.
Oliver entered the match with 10 pins in 10 matches and two opponents of his had survived the first period.
Ramos scored a takedown with 22 seconds remaining in regulation to take a 3-1 lead before Oliver forced overtime, escaping with six ticks left and preserving a riding-time point.
The fourth-ranked Iowa sophomore ultimately won in the first tiebreak session when Oliver was cautioned for the third time for moving before the whistle and the Cowboy couldn’t escape in the final 30 seconds.
“He hadn’t went seven minutes yet,” Ramos said. “You don’t know how his shape is.” You’ve got to wrestle and you’ve got to wrestle hard.”
The early upset sparked a 10-4 lead for the Hawkeyes (7-1), who also picked up a major decision from Matt McDonough at 125 and a 9-7 win from Montell Marion at 141.
But the Cowboys (6-0) won four of the last six decisions. Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry escaped with four seconds left to force overtime and then rode out Ethen Lofthouse in the 30-second tiebreaker to win 3-2 at 174 pounds.
The Cowboys claimed the edge in match points when Blake Rosholt defeated all-American Grant Gambrall 8-4 at 197 pounds in the final bout.
“You’ve got to put unbelievable emphasis into your wrestling (and) we didn’t do that — in some cases we did,” Brands said. “The other thing is rolling, falling into positions of the opponent way too much, and it bit us. I’d say the same thing if we were the winner of the criteria.
“Not impressed with our team. There’s a certain time when you break into a match and then you’ve got to go. Our break-in periods were real long. This guy’s going to have to blow off some steam.”
No. 2 Oklahoma State 17, No. 1 Iowa 16
Hwt. – Alan Gelogaev (OSU) major dec. Bobby Telford (I), 10-2; TS 0-4
125 – Matt McDonough (I) major dec. Jon Morrison (OSU), 14-4; TS 4-4
133 – Tony Ramos (I) dec. Jordan Oliver (OSU), 4-3 (TB1); TS 7-4
141 – Montell Marion (I) dec. Josh Kindig (OSU), 9-7; 10-4
149 – Jamal Parks (OSU) dec. Mike Kelly (I), 8-3; TS 10-7
157 – Albert White (OSU) dec. Nick Moore (I), 7-4; TS 10-10
165 – Mike Evans (I) dec. Dallas Bailey (OSU), 5-1; TS 13-10
174 – Chris Perry (OSU) dec. Ethen Lofthouse (I), 3-2 (TB1); TS 13-13
184 – Vinnie Wagner (I) dec. Chris McNeil (OSU), 4-3: TS 16-13
197 – Blake Rosholt (OSU) dec. Grant Gambrall (I), 8-4 ; TS 16-16
Return to HawkCentral.com for reporter Andy Hamilton’s coverage of the dual — and find more in the Des Moines Sunday Register.