At the time, Brent Metcalf's pin seemed to be just another victory in another dominating performance by Iowa's wrestlers.

In the end, it turned out to be the difference in the meet as the top-ranked Hawkeyes again beat No. 2 Iowa State.

Metcalf's pin of Mitch Mueller at 149 pounds gave Iowa six critical points in an 18-16 victory over the Cyclones, the Hawkeyes' fifth straight win over their archrivals and 35th in the last 37 meetings.

Ranked No. 1 at his weight, Metcalf said he didn't go in thinking pin. He got it anyway, stopping Mueller in 5 minutes, 50 seconds.

"You don't go out there and ... think I need to get a pin right away, especially an opponent that's pretty tough," Metcalf said. "It's about continuing to score points and then those opportunities will present themselves.

"You're talking about breaking down a guy. You do that by scoring points. That puts pressure on him and then he opens up."

Each team won five matches, so Metcalf was the difference-maker in a meet that featured only one other bout with bonus points _ a 12-4 major decision by Iowa State's Jake Varner over Chad Beatty at 197.

Two matches went into overtime, each team winning one. It was the closest dual meet between the two since Iowa's 20-18 victory on Feb. 16, 1997.

"The fall was huge," said Kevin Jackson, Iowa State's first-year coach. "You can't give up six points. The match was lost because we have some guys that have not made the connection to some of the things we're trying to do."

Metcalf gave Iowa (8-0) a 12-3 lead with his pin and teammate Aaron Janssen followed with an 8-6 victory over Andrew Sorenson at 157, stretching the margin to 15-3.

Iowa State (1-1) then won three of the next four matches, including Varner's victory and Jerome Ward's 5-3 upset of top-ranked Phillip Keddy at 184. That left the Cyclones trailing 18-13, meaning they had a chance to win the meet if their All-American heavyweight, David Zabriske, could pin Blake Rasing, who was filling in for injured starter Dan Erekson.

But Zabriske could manage only a 3-1 victory in overtime, enabling Iowa to hang on.

Still, Iowa coach Tom Brands saw a lot he didn't like from his team, winner of the last two NCAA championships.

"We've got a lot of work to do because we have been sloppy. We haven't been real good the last couple of weekends and we've got to iron that out," Brands said. "We've got to get to full strength as well. We've got to get healthy and all the things that go with eliminating that slop.

"It'll be on the coaches and athletes together."

Brands did like the way his 125-pounder, Matt McDonough, started the meet. McDonough got five takedowns in a 13-7 victory over Andrew Long in a battle of redshirt freshmen.

"McDonough is a natural spark plug for this team because of the way he wrestles and because of the energy he has," Brands said. "When you have a 125-pounder not quite as spunky as he is, you might not get the same lift."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.