“I think any time you get a pin in college, you're pinning a state champion, a two-timer, a three-timer — you're pinning a pretty good kid,” Smith said. “Most of these kids on these teams have been pretty special kids at one time. You never grow to expect it; you just enjoy it every time it happens. (Oliver) looked good today.”
The Cowboys lost just one match, when OU's Keldrick Hall defeated Tyson Yoder at 285, 5-4. But the Sooners recorded only two takedowns in the dual, both in their lone victory. OSU won handily, 40-3, and stood center mat with the Big 12 trophy held high.
While it was a banner day for the Cowboys, they gained a distinct advantage due to gamesmanship used by their opponents. Saturday's tournament will determine the individual champions, with bracket seeds based on the outcomes of previous matches during the season and current wrestler rankings. That resulted in teams sitting out most of their top wrestlers to avoid losing a seed advantage, depending on the predicted matchups for Saturday.
And because of travel and health reasons, the Mountaineers forfeited half their matches throughout the day, saving their best wrestlers for the individual tournament. The Sooners didn't use their top two wrestlers on Friday: No. 1 Kendric Maple (141) and No. 5 Bubby Graham (165). In their match against OSU, they didn't start a single ranked wrestler.
“If there's something to win, we're going to try and win it,” Smith said. “That's what it's about. I can't imagine not trying to win a dual meet. I'll just say that.”
But Cody said the Cowboys' road to conference glory won't be so easy on Saturday.
“We've got the horses back in there tomorrow,” Cody said. “Anything is capable with these guys. They fight hard. They work hard. To have those five guys back in here tomorrow, we're excited.”