(Almost) All Your Badger Are Belong To Us: Iowa Wrestling Steamrolls Wisconsin, 39-3

Credit to commenter BVB_Fan(atic) or inspiring the headline.

There isn't a lot to say about this win, frankly. Domination is always fun to see but, honestly, Wisconsin was the worst dual meet opponent Iowa has faced since the Iowa City Duals way back in November (back when we were full of optimism for the season...). They're 5-10 on the season, 0-8 against B1G competition and few of those duals have been remotely close. They started a line-up with four freshmen and three sophomores and while youth alone isn't an excuse -- Iowa and Penn State have had quite a bit of success in recent years with youngsters -- not all freshmen and sophomores are world-beaters out of the gate. Only one -- one! -- of the nine Wisco wrestlers who stepped on the mat today has a winning record this season (Ben Jordan, who Mike Evans dismantled in no time). This Wisconsin team is straight-up horribawful. Iowa probably would have gotten better competition from an intra-squad scrimmage. And the stats of the meet bear that out: Iowa got bonus points in five of nine wins, earned riding time bonuses in eight of nine wins, and had a 36-2 advantage in takedowns (the Badgers' only two takedowns came in the 197 match).

#5 Iowa (11-3, 6-2) 39, Wisconsin (5-10, 0-8) 3
125: #1 Matt McDonough TECH FALL (20-2, 5:00) Austin Hietpas (Iowa 5-0)
133: #4
Tony Ramos TECH FALL (25-7, 7:00) Shane McQuade (Iowa 10-0)
141: #7
Montell Marion MAJ DEC (21-7) Thomas Glenn (Iowa 14-0)
149:
Michael Kelly wins by FORFEIT (Iowa 20-0)
157:
Derek St. John DEC (6-1) Shawn Perry (Iowa 23-0)
165: #8
Mike Evans FALL (3:23) #12 Ben Jordan (Iowa 29-0)
174: #9
Ethen Lofthouse MAJ DEC (16-5) Frank Cousins (Iowa 33-0)
184:
Vinnie Wagner DEC (6-1) Timmy McCall (Iowa 36-0)
197:
Jackson Hein DEC (9-7) Tomas Lira (Iowa 36-3)
HWT:
Bobby Telford DEC (4-0) Cole Tobin (Iowa 39-3)

As usually happens when Iowa gets to start at 125, they got off to a hot start: McD and Ramos picked up back-to-back tech falls, Marion added a takedown clinic major decision, and Mike Kelly managed to outscore all of them when Wisconsin failed to send anyone at all out at 149 (giving Kelly a six-point forfeit win). Derek St. John made a surprise return at 157, ostensibly to shake off some off the rust before National Duals (and Big Tens, and the NCAA Tournament...). Predictably, he didn't exactly look sharp: he looked a little stiff and lacked his usual explosion and flexibility and I'm not terribly confident in what he'll be able to provide in those upcoming vents. But barring any future setbacks, it looks like they're going to sink or swim with DSJ at 157, so hopefully he can regain as much of his old form as possible in a hurry.

Mike Evans may have been the most impressive wrestler of the meet, facing Wisco's lone quality wrestler -- and shredding him. That's two straight ranked opponents that Evans has pinned, suggesting that he's rounding into top form at the best possible time. Ethen Lofthouse finally found an opponent that he could really unleash his offense on, while Vinnie Wagner (making perhaps his final appearance in the lineup, if Grant Gambrall is in fact able to go at 184 next weekend) found himself stymied by an opponent who seemed content to stall out the match. Tomas Lira provided the meet with both its most thrilling match (courtesy of his rampaging near-comeback in the third period) and its lone disappointment (since that comeback ultimately failed, leading to a 9-7 loss). Bobby Telford made his return to the lineup and picked up a ho-hum 4-0 win to close out the meet. But again: Wisconsin fielded a terrible team yesterday. Credit to Iowa for doing what they should do against a squad like that -- dominate -- but it would be unwise to read too much into these results.

NEXT: Iowa competes in the first weekend of the new-look National Duals tournament next weekend. Their first opponent is TBD, although we should have a better idea of who that might be after the seeds are announced on Tuesday.

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