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Wrestling: Looking ahead to Bedlam

by Mike Sherman Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm •  Published: February 19, 2008

The second installment of Bedlam hits the Howard McCasland Field House in Norman this Thursday, Feb. 21, when the No. 17 Sooners host the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys in final Big 12 dual for both squads. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30.

“Our team is really excited about the Bedlam match this Thursday,” head coach Jack Spates said. “We are looking forward to a great matchup and a great crowd at the Field House.”

Oklahoma State (16-2-1, 2-1-1 in Big 12) prevailed in the previous matchup between the in-state rivals on Dec. 2. Winning seven of 10 matches, the Cowboys defeated the Sooners 21-9 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The rivalry rematch is scheduled to be televised live to the state of Oklahoma by Cox (Channel 7 in Oklahoma City), with Toby Rowland and Ryan Schafer providing coverage.

Oklahoma (13-5 overall, 0-4 in Big 12) is coming off an impressive victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs last Friday night in the first annual “Beauty and the Beast” event at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. Oklahoma won eight of 10 individual matches in route to a 32-9 stampede of the Mustangs.

Six Sooners are ranked nationally this week headed into Thursday’s match. Joey Fio, Will Rowe and Chad Terry are ranked No. 17 at 125, 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Redshirt freshman Zack Bailey is No. 16 at 141 pounds and Joshua Weitzel is No. 6 at 184 pounds. Two-time All-American Joel Flaggert rounds out the list at No. 9 at 197 pounds.

Oklahoma State boasts seven ranked wrestlers in its lineup, headed by No. 1 ranked Coleman Scott at 133 pounds. Two others ranked in the top five are No. 3 Nathan Morgan at 141 pounds and 165 pound Jake Dieffenbach, ranked fifth. Tyler Shinn is No. 14 at 125 pounds and Newly McSpadden is ranked No. 20 at 165 pounds. Brandon Mason at 174 pounds and heavyweight Jared Rosholt are both No. 8.

“Our team has had tremendous outings the past two duals,” Spates said. “We have been extremely aggressive and have wrestled hard, and that is what it will take versus Oklahoma State. It is time for us to build upon our improvements this season and step up against the Cowboys.”

Tickets are still available by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or 800-456-GoOU. Reserved tickets for the dual are $15, while general admission is $10. Group rates are also available. The first 500 fans entering Thursday’s match will receive free pom-poms courtesy of the marketing department.

After Thursday’s match, both teams will set their sights on the Big 12 Championships, hosted this year by Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 8 in Stillwater.

SCOUTING THE COWBOYS
The No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys head into Thursday’s Bedlam match with a 16-2-1 overall record, and a 2-1-1 tally in the Big 12. They have outscored opponents 524-191 on the season and most recently knocked off Cal Poly by a 36-6 final score last Saturday on senior day in Stillwater.

OSU, 7-2-1 against Top 25 competition this season, is anchored by three Top 5 nationally ranked senior wrestlers in Coleman Scott (133 pounds), Nathan Morgan (141 pounds) and Jake Dieffenbach (165 pounds). The trio has a combined overall record of 73-9 on the season. The Cowboys also look to be prepped for the future, with three sophomores and a junior also ranked among the nation’s elite.

Arguably the most memorable win on the season for the Cowboys came on Jan. 5 when they knocked off No. 1 Iowa on the road. Ranked No. 6 at the time, Oklahoma State took six individual victories in route to a 19-14 win. The team also started off the month of February with an impressive victory over No. 4 Iowa State, and head into Norman winning their last six matches.

The Cowboy’s two Big 12 victories have come against the Sooners earlier in the season (Dec. 2) and by edging Iowa State, 16-15, on Jan. 27. Nebraska gave OSU its lone loss on the season in a 22-13 decision on Jan. 20, at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. The tie occurred on Jan. 19, when the Cowboys and the Missouri Tigers were deadlocked at 16 after ten bouts in Columbia, Mo.

Oklahoma State, winner of four of the past five national championships, is aiming for its 35th title this season under the winningest head coach in the school’s history, John Smith.

RECAPPING LAST BEDLAM MATCH
Then-ranked No. 21 Oklahoma was defeated by No. 3 Oklahoma State by a 21-9 final tally in Stillwater, Okla., on Dec. 2. The two teams came into the match with 4-0 overall records and the matchup marked the opening Big 12 dual for both squads.

The Sooners put themselves in a hole early, falling behind 9-0 after the opening three bouts and were never able to recover. Six Sooners in the starting lineup competed in their first Big 12 bout versus OSU (Fio-125 pounds, Bailey-141 pounds, C. Terry-157 pounds, Dean-165 pounds, James-174 pounds and Fernandez-HWT).

Three of OU’s upper-classmen posted victories for the Sooners. Will Rowe (149 pounds) posted a 10-4 decision over Quinten Fuentes and OU’s Josh Weitzel won his match at 184 pounds by a 3-2 decision over Cody Hill. Senior Joel Flaggert also picked up a Big 12 victory over Clayton Foster in the 197 pound bout by posting a 12-10 decision.


by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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