Mizzou Wrestling dropped a highly anticipated meet Sunday afternoon, this time against no. 3 Oklahoma State, in a 24-10 defeat. They are now on a two-meet losing streak, something I don’t think anyone saw coming even 10 days ago.
125lbs: #11 Troy Spratley (OKST) over #3 Noah Surtin (MIZ), 4-1 (SV-1) Decision
Surtin nearly scored two takedowns in the first period but was unable to convert either opportunity. Starting on bottom in period two, he escaped after about 50 seconds following a restart for a 1-0 lead. Spratley nearly scored a takedown in the final seconds out of a scramble but ran out of time, giving Surtin the lead heading into the final two minutes of regular time.
With Surtin on top to start the third period, he appeared to score some back points but none were awarded, leading to Coach Smith throwing the brick. The call stood, and Spratley escaped with 30 seconds left to tie it and send the match to regulation.
Surtin caught a shot by Spratley in overtime, got in on his leg, but after some intense scrambling Spratley found a way to gain the upper hand for a takedown, giving Oklahoma State the fast start. There were no shortage of controversial calls in this one (or through the rest of the meet, for that matter), and Surtin was the better wrestler in regulation. However, he had several prime opportunities to score and win but was unable to seize his chances.
Mizzou: 0 - Oklahoma State: 3
Mizzou was forced to forfeit after Kade Moore fell ill this morning and was unable to compete.
Mizzou: 0 - Oklahoma State: 9
141lbs: NR (#7 P4P) Daton Fix (OKST) over #22 Josh Edmond (MIZ) , 2-1 Decision
With Moore forfeiting at 133, Daton Fix bumped up to 141 and faced Josh Edmond. Edmond had the first great shot with a double leg to bring Fix to the mat, but he was able to scramble out (something we’ve seen far too often from Edmond’s opponents). That was the main action in the first, and Edmond consistently moved backward and looked hesitant to engage.
Fix escaped from bottom after 6 seconds to begin the second period, taking a 1-0 lead. There was some good back-and-forth in the middle portion of the period as both wrestlers displayed talent and got in good shots paired with excellent defense. However, Edmond was penalized for stalling at a lull in the action, giving Fix a 2-0 lead.
Edmond escaped from bottom in the first five seconds of period three, scoring his first point of the match, 2-1. Fix turned ultra-defensive in the final period, doing everything he could to avoid engaging without drawing a stalling call. Edmond once again fell victim to his struggles finishing takedowns, and while his strategy in the first two periods was understandable, more aggression was needed in the final two minutes. Once again, it was so close but yet so far for Edmond.
“He’s a hair away, and so you’ve just got to keep believing in him as a coaching staff, as a program,” Mizzou head coach Brian Smith said. “It’s frustrating, but he’s not that far off.”
Mizzou: 0 - Oklahoma State: 12
149lbs: NR Jordan Williams (OKST) over NR Joel Mylin (MIZ), 10-3 Decision
Neither regular starter went for the teams at 149. Williams had the upper hand from the start, scoring three takedowns in the first period for a 9-2 lead. Mylin escaped from bottom to start period two after just under 40 seconds, 9-3, and the only other big action in the period came when Mylin got a nice single leg shot in the final seconds of the period and Williams played great defense to avoid giving up points.
Williams got the quick escape to start the third period but fell under a minute in riding time, 10-3, and as that was the only point scored in the final two minutes Mylin avoided ceding extra team points to Williams.
Mizzou: 0 Oklahoma State: 15
157lbs: #15 Teague Travis (OKST) over #8 Brock Mauller (MIZ), 4-2 decision
Travis struck first in this match, bringing Mauller to the mat and scoring a takedown in the first minute of the match for a 3-1 lead. The rest of the period was mainly hand-fighting, with nobody really pushing for offense.
Mauller got his customary quick escape to start period two, cutting the deficit to one at 3-2. There was relatively little action in this period as well, barring a shot from Travis that Mauller just barely caught before going out of bounds.
Travis quickly escaped from bottom for a 4-2 lead to start the third period. Mauller’s greatest scoring opportunity came when he caught a shot by Travis and tried to work around for a takedown, but missed opportunities again came to haunt the Tigers as he couldn’t convert and lost a close match. Mauller’s offense again disappeared, and he looks to be working through some issues right now in his worst two-match stretch of the year.
Mizzou: 0 - Oklahoma State: 18
165lbs: #1 Keegan O’Toole (MIZ) over #3 Izzak Olejnik (OKST), 5-1 Decision
O’Toole started faster in this match, grabbing hold of Olejnik’s leg and converting a takedown after a slow, extended scramble, 3-0. He nearly scored some back points, and in the final seconds Olejnik came close to a reversal, but Keegan would leave the first three minutes of action with a 3-0 lead and 1:20 of riding time.
Starting on bottom, he escaped after about 15 seconds for a 4-0 lead, the only points in a low-intensity period two. Olejnik scored the quick escape from bottom to start the third period, cutting the score to 4-1. O’Toole almost added another takedown in the final seconds after a nice duck under, but Olejnik somehow avoided giving up the points. O’Toole ended with a 5-1 decision after the extra points for riding time.
Mizzou: 3 - Oklahoma State: 18
174lbs: HM Brayden Thompson (OKST) over #5 Peyton Mocco (MIZ), 8-1 (SV-1) Decision
Both wrestlers got in a nice shot or two during the first period, but nobody was able to score. Thompson opened up the scoring with a quick escape from bottom to start period two, 1-0, before nearly scoring a takedown later in the period off of a rapid scramble. Thompson was initially awarded the points by the referees before a review overturned the original call.
Mocco escaped from bottom after roughly 40 seconds as Thompson tried to bring him back to the mat, tying the score up. Thompson got a nice single leg shot in the closing seconds but Mocco held him off, sending this to overtime. Thompson again came out shooting in OT, with Mocco catching a shot and scrambling to the point where he looked poised to establish position on top and score a match-winning takedown. Thompson found a way to flip Mocco over him and turn around before adding on a four-point nearfall, securing the decision. Thompson got the better of the scrambles in this match, earning the close (until the final seconds) decision.
Mizzou: 3 - Oklahoma State: 21
184lbs: #2 Dustin Plott (OKST) over #11 Clayton Whiting (MIZ), 8-2 Decision
Plott established his dominance early on, winning a scramble to score his first takedown roughly a minute into the match and then riding out the rest of the period. Starting on bottom, Whiting escaped with about one minute remaining in the period, 3-1.
Plott scored a quick escape for the 4-1 advantage to start period three before another takedown off a single leg shot, 7-1. He may have scored some back points, but none were called, and he cut Whiting to try for the major decision with 25 seconds left, 7-2. Plott won 8-2 with more than enough riding time for the extra point. He used a single leg shot really effectively in this match, getting to Whiting’s legs almost every time he tried. Whiting, on the other hand, was unable to generate any offense or an attack.
Mizzou: 3 - Oklahoma State: 24
197lbs: #8 Rocky Elam (MIZ) over NR Kyle Haas (OKST), 8-0 Major Decision
Rocky looked much better on the mat today, scoring the first points of the match with a takedown in the first period and riding out the final 26 seconds, 3-0. Starting on top in period two, he rode the entire two minutes.
He quickly escaped from bottom in the third period, 4-0, before a quick attack led to his final takedown of the day. Elam ended with 3:51 of riding time. This was the result you were more-or-less hoping for today from Elam, one of the few bright spots in the lineup during this match.
Mizzou: 7 - Oklahoma State: 24
285lbs: #5 Zach Elam (MIZ) over #9 Konner Doucet (OKST), 1-0 Decision
Elam, in his final match at the Hearnes Center, came out on top in a low-scoring affair. After minimal action in the first period, he rode out the entire second period for what was essentially (but unofficially because it wouldn’t count until the end of the match) a 1-0 lead.
Starting on bottom in period three, Elam nearly scored a reversal but it went uncalled. Doucet rode for over a minute before Elam escaped with roughly 42 seconds remaining, and he held on to edge out a 1-0 decision. After some high-scoring matches earlier in the year, Elam has resorted to slugfests which he wins through being the better rider in the past few matches.
“I didn’t execute my game plan very well, but I got a win,” Zach Elam said. “So, just gotta get back to the drawing board and figure out where I need to get better.”
Mizzou: 10 - Oklahoma State: 24
The Tigers coming out flat once would be an anomaly, but when it happens twice in a row it’s cause for concern. There are some issues that will need to be resolved in practice before their next dual, as this team has the talent to be top-3 but they are simply not performing the way they have most of the year right now.
Some will be quick to blame the officiating (and there were several calls that puzzled those on media row), but Brian Smith isn’t one of them. When asked for comment, here’s what he had to say: “Never. They always do a good job.”
Sunday was the last time that three starters — Brock Mauller, Peyton Mocco, and Zach Elam — took the mat at the Hearnes Center.
“They’re just amazing young men,” Smith said, “that will go on and do great things when this chapter of their life ends.”
One of the seniors, Zach Elam, sees returning to an aggressive team style as the answer to the problems that have emerged in the last two weeks.
“We just need to get back to attacking, being the aggressor,” said Elam. “And then once we do that, I think we’ll be fine.”
Smith echoed that statement.
“We’re just not finding ways to score,” he said. “You’ve got to find, in those critical positions, you’ve got to score the points.”
Smith was also similarly upbeat to Elam, believing that finishing more takedowns is the key to unlocking the team’s potential again.
“We’re not that far off,” he said. “I know that. This team is still a really good team.”