Cyclones shoot for more attacks against Sooners


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore Lelund Weatherspoon secures a single leg against Virginia Tech redshirt junior Austin Gabel. Iowa State won the meet 21-12 Jan. 18.

Beau Berkley

After last week’s loss to Oklahoma State at Hilton Coliseum, ISU wrestling coach Kevin Jackson listed one problem that may have plagued his team: attacks. 

With several matches coming down to the wire in a 20-15 loss to the Cowboys, the Cyclones will try to right the ship against Oklahoma on Jan. 31, with a bit of added emphasis on their offense. 

“Our attack rate wasn’t there [against Oklahoma State] in some key matches that we needed to win,” Jackson said. “It just wasn’t there. Our attack rate has to get higher, especially if you have the ability to score points.”

Jackson also said he wanted more from a few weight classes that won their matches, saying he thought some wrestlers had chances to score more points that would have added to Iowa State’s final total, but didn’t take the chances. Improvements with hand fighting, tentativeness and heightened match awareness were also among Jackson’s list of improvements. 

On paper, the casual observer might find the easiest way to get off more attacks is to just, well, attack more. But it’s not as simple as it may be made out to be. 

“You have to basically train your body and it’s building confidence in yourself,” said 184-pound NCAA Qualifier Lelund Weatherspoon. “You know you need one more attack and need to score more points, so obviously you need to attack, but you can’t just go out there and attack, you need to be smart, get your set ups going and actually attack the guy.”

Luckily for Weatherspoon and co., they won’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption against an Oklahoma team.

The Sooners (6-5, 1-0 Big 12) are fresh off of a victory against No. 23 West Virginia, a dual in which they won five of six matches with bonus points, including one fall. No. 8 Iowa State will be the first top-10 team that the Sooners have faced since a 25-11 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State on Dec. 7. Oklahoma is 0-3 against top-10 teams this season, the other two losses coming against then-No. 5 Missouri and then-No. 3 Cornell. 

Iowa State hasn’t defeated Oklahoma since 2010 in a 21-12 victory in Norman.

The Cyclones get another crack to end that streak, as well as get their first conference win at 2 p.m. on Jan. 31 at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla.