No. 3 Oklahoma State wrestlers roll past Bison
FARGO—The North Dakota State wrestling program is making its second run-through in the Big 12 Conference, enough to still realize the gap between the haves and the have-nots is rather Grand Canyonesque.
The first-ever meeting with No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State didn't take long to be decided. It ended 40-3 leaving the Bison 0-3 in duals and 0-2 in the conference..
"That might be the most talented team North Dakota State has ever wrestled," said Bison head coach Roger Kish. "Both by the numbers and as a whole."
It was the most points NDSU surrendered in its Division I era since a 42-0 loss to Oregon State in 2009. The Bison didn't register an offensive point until Tyler McNutt's takedown with 1:35 left in the first period in his 184-pound match.
And even that didn't end well when freshman Keegan Moore pinned McNutt 43 seconds into the second period.
The Cowboys brought a team that included its first three wrestlers being ranked in the top four and it showed. NDSU's Paul Bianchi didn't let matters get away at 125 pounds losing 6-1, but OSU's Kaid Brock at 133 and No. 1-ranked Dean Heil at 141 put matters to rest.
Brock pinned McGwire Midkiff in steamroll fashion and Heil would have pinned Nico Colunga had he not scored so many points to record a technical fall.
That made it 14-0.
"It gives you a head start," OSU head coach John Smith said of his first three weights. "To have those small guys jump out there and get you a lead. It makes a difference, people like to follow that."
Everybody followed with the exception of Clay Ream's opponent at 157. The Bison senior prevented the shutout with a 3-2 win. Ream got his points via a pair of escapes and riding time advantage. It cut the Cowboy lead to 17-3 heading into the intermission break.
"Just to put up some points to get some momentum was a good thing," Ream said. "But it didn't turn the tides too much."
The Bison defeated Iowa State of the Big 12 last year, but the Cowboys are on a different level than the Cyclones. Moore, for instance, turned the tables on McNutt in quick-strike fashion.
Make one mistake and the Cowboys made you pay.
"Our first three dual meets are all talented programs and Oklahoma State is right at the top," Kish said. "There were some growing pains for us here. Keeping up with a program like this for seven straight minutes is extremely hard. It's something we need to do a better job of. They're a talented group, an experienced group."
It was the Big 12 opener for the Cowboys, who have dual wins over North Carolina (25-9) and the University of Minnesota (30-3).
"It was good, it wasn't great," Smith said of OSU's performance on Sunday. "On the road, we had several guys wrestling their first dual meet on the road for Oklahoma State. They're a competitive team trying to build right now."