The season of upsets continues in college wrestling, as tenth-ranked University of Missouri scored an 18-15 come-from-behind victory over No. 6 University of Oklahoma at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla. Thursday night.
The final score wasn’t the only thing upsetting to the home squad on Senior Night, as third-ranked Sooner Travis Rutt lost his match at 197 pounds to a No. 6 opponent, while Nick Lester, No. 15 at 141, and No. 16 Ross Larson at heavyweight, both fell to unranked rivals. Adding to the gloom in Norman: defending NCAA 149-pound champ Kendric Maple’s loss to the new top-ranked wrestler in that weight class, Drake Houdashelt.
There were bright spots for the home crowd, as Oklahoma put bonus points on the board, thanks to Cody Brewer’s technical fall at 133, and 174-pound starter Andrew Howe, moving up to 184 to fill in for an ill Danny Chaid, getting a major decision.
The dual had been close most of the night. The Mizzou Tigers had been behind the Sooners going into the last two matches… but the visitors got critical wins from J’den Cox and Devin Mellon at 197 pounds and heavyweight, respectively, to win six of ten bouts… and the dual meet.
Not surprisingly, the two coaches had differing assessments of the outcomes for their respective programs.
"We won some big matches. I'm really proud of our guys," said Brian Smith, head coach at Missouri. "They stuck to game plans and wrestled hard for a full seven minutes. They grew up tonight. We were throttled at Northern Iowa, but came out the next day and responded at Northern Illinois. And they responded again tonight.”
Oklahoma’s Mark Cody gave full credit to the Tigers for their win, then said that his wrestlers may have competed with some fear and anxiety.
"Sometimes you get into these big matches and those insecurities will surface, and I've been in this situation before where you have to shake those anxieties before tournament time," said Cody. "I think this group can do it and that we have a lot of guys who can score a lot of points at the end of the year."
It was the seventh victory for Missouri in nine dual meets with Oklahoma, a former Big 12 rival until the Tigers wrestling program moved into the Mid-American Conference last season. Missouri is now 6-1 overall, and 3-1 in the MAC, while Oklahoma is now 8-2 for the season, and 2-0 in the Big 12.
- 125: Barlow McGhee (Missouri) dec. Sean Williams (OU), 3-1
- 133: No. 8 Cody Brewer (OU) tech. fall Matt Manley (Missouri), 18-3
- 141: Lavion Mayes (Missouri) dec. No. 15 Nick Lester (OU), 6-4
- 149: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. No. 2 Kendric Maple (OU), 3-2
- 157: No. 18 Justin DeAngelis (OU) dec. Joey Lavallee (Missouri), 5-3
- 165: Clark Glass (OU) dec. Jordan Gagliano (Missouri), 6-2
- 174: No. 18 Mikey England (Missouri) dec. Derek Geiges (OU), 6-1
- 184: Andrew Howe (OU) maj. dec. Cody Johnston (Missouri), 22-9
- 197: No. 6 J’den Cox (Missouri) dec. No. 3 Travis Rutt (OU), 6-1
- Hwt: Devin Mellon (Missouri) dec. No. 16 Ross Larson (OU), 6-0
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