Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 18-16 on Sunday in Stillwater as the Cowboys swept their in-state rivals this season after tying them for the Big 12 conference title last March.
Here are five thoughts on the dual.
1. What an Atmosphere
Give yourselves a pat on the back — 7,918 people in attendance! That is a great crowd, and in what is sort of a down year for the Cowboys. OSU’s not winning an NCAA title this year. The Cowboys are without their superstar AJ Ferrari, who is done for the season, and they came into this dual with four regular-season losses.
On the surface, there’s not a ton to get up for in a dual like this, but fans did it. The crowd was great, and it was a really cool thing to experience.
2. That’s what Bedlam should be
I get that it took OSU having a bunch of guys out to make this dual as competitive as it was, but Bedlam should be a dual with a great atmosphere and high-level competitive wrestling. I know a lot of OSU fans enjoy a good OU beatdown, but I personally prefer a competitive dual that any casual or unbiased fan could walk into and enjoy. That’s what we got today.
3. No handshake
Last time the Cowboys and Sooners met, things got a bit chippy. To resolve that here, they just didn’t shake hands. Head coach Lou Roselli came over to the Oklahoma State bench after the match and shook John Smith’s hand, but both of the other benches stayed in place. Then once OU started to head to the locker room, Daton Fix then the rest of the team went out and received the Bedlam trophy.
This was probably for the best. To a certain level, I would say the guys should get to a point where they can shake hands without it turning into a brawl. But the safest play for both coaching staffs is just to avoid any possibility of that happening and not shaking hands was the easiest way to do that.
4. Surber saved the dual
Luke Surber lost this same match last time out to OU’s Josh Heindselman. If he doesn’t flip the result as he did here, the Cowboys lose.
To some extent in wrestling, what you do in the seven minutes on the mat is what decides the match. But in reality, it’s all the stuff you do in the room preparing for that seven minutes on the mat. Surber lost, went back to the lab and made adjustments, then came out on top here. And if he doesn’t do that, the Cowboys lose this dual.
5. Pressure packed situation for a true freshman
Starting OSU 141-pounder Carter Young won the last time out against OU’s Jacob Butler. But it wasn’t in this same environment, with these stakes and with this level of pressure.
I don’t think there was a person in that arena that didn’t feel some level of pressure being laid down on Young. But Young was flawless. In many ways, he wrestled better than his last time out vs. Butler and completely dominated him in all three phases of the match. Just an incredible performance by a freshman in his first big-time Bedlam moment.