STILLWATER – Having friends and former assistants now coaching for the University of Oklahoma doesn't soften Oklahoma State University wrestling coach John Smith's approach to Bedlam. In just hardens it.
“I want to beat them worse now,” said Smith, after his second-ranked Cowboys defeated the 11th-ranked Sooners 25-13 Sunday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
It was the first time that new Oklahoma head wrestling coach Mark Cody was back in Gallagher-Iba Arena since 2002, when he was Smith's top assistant on the OSU wrestling staff.
In addition, new OU assistant coach Tyrone Lewis was a two-time All-American wrestler at OSU and Smith's assistant the past three seasons before joining Cody's staff.
Despite their history with OSU, there was no red carpet rolled out for them at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Sunday.
“Those guys want to beat you so bad, you can't imagine it,” Smith said. “If you think differently, you are going to find yourself on the bottom end of this.
“They are the Sooners, and we are the Cowboys. If we think for a second that we don't want to embarrass them, then that will be the first time you get embarrassed.”
OSU won six of the 10 matches in the dual but scored bonus points in three of those victories to defeat the Sooners by a comfortable margin. The Cowboys won by fall in two bouts and scored a major decision in the other.
The Cowboys' defending national champion and current top-ranked 133-pounder, Jordan Oliver, remained unbeaten on the season by pinning OU redshirt freshman Derek Geiges in just 1:30.
At 197 pounds, fourth-ranked Cayle Byers of OSU pinned the Sooners' Keldrick Hall in 6:41. It was Byers' seventh bonus point win of the season.
At heavyweight, OSU's Alan Gelogaev won a major decision over Kyle Colling of OU, 15-2. The Sooners only bonus points came at 141 pounds, when No. 6 Kendric Maple defeated the Cowboys Josh Kindig, who is ranked ninth in the country, by a score of 13-3.
Byers and Gelogaev have bolstered the OSU lineup this season. Byers is a senior who transferred to OSU after wrestling the previous three years at George Mason.
The junior Gelogaev returned to the Cowboy lineup after taking a medical redshirt last season.
Gelogaev was an All-American at 197 pounds in 2010 before a chest injury forced him to miss the entire 2010-11 dual season. Oliver said the addition of both Byers and Gelogaev make the Cowboys even better this season as they pursue the school's 35th national championship in wrestling.
“Cale coming in is just another big piece of the puzzle,” Oliver said. “And (Gelogaev), we all knew what he is capable of. He can get bonus points for us. He is going to be a huge piece of the puzzle for us to win the national championship.”
Cody, who took the OU job in April after nine years leading American University in Washington, D.C., admitted that it felt “weird” sitting on the visiting bench in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“It's nice to be back in Oklahoma, that's for sure, until this point,” Cody said after the Sooners dropped their first dual of the season.
“Actually, I felt like we wrestled pretty good in several matches. I think there is a lot of that we have to work on.”