STILLWATER — On paper, Eric Guerrero had reason for concern before his Oklahoma State wrestlers took the mat against Pittsburgh on Sunday. The No. 17-ranked Panthers would match up five rated wrestlers against the Cowboys. It would be clash of All-American candidates.
In person, those concerns were erased. But it wasn't easy. No. 2 OSU defeated Pittsburgh 26-14 at Gallagher-Iba Arena, giving the Cowboys their 10th straight victory this season, keeping their perfect record unblemished.
“That's a great team, a lot better than I think the score indicated,” said Guerrero, the Cowboys' head assistant coach. “From a technical, tactical and performance standpoint, there's quite a bit of good, a little shaky. A lot of that is critical, crunchtime wrestling. We'll continue to work on that.”
Entering the fourth match of the dual, OSU was in an 8-6 hole. To start the match, Cowboy freshman Eddie Kilmara pinned Pittsburgh's Derrick Nelson with 37 seconds left in the third period. But OSU wrestlers Tyler Dorrell (133 pounds) and Julian Feikert (141 pounds) each dropped their matches, 13-6 and 15-0, respectively.
That's when Jordan Oliver took the mat.
Oliver, the Cowboy wrestler ranked No. 1 at 149 pounds, hasn't succumbed to a two-point takedown all season. That didn't change on Sunday. He fought three hard-nosed rounds to defeat Ronnie Garbinski 14-4.
“I really can't let the dual effect how I'm going to perform out there,” Oliver said. “Of course, I knew we were down two and I always look forward to getting bonus points. But I just wanted to focus on going out there to put points on the board and getting a high intensity match going. That's the pace I like to wrestle.”