Less than a week after taking on Iowa State in Ames and retaining the Dan Gable Trophy yet again, the Iowa wrestlers are headed back on the road. This time they're traveling a bit further than Ames -- they're headed out to Pennsylvania for a return meet with Edinboro. Iowa made short work of the Fighting Scots last year, 31-6, and the score in this year's meet may not be too much closer -- although there are some very interesting individual matchups here.
WHO: #15 Edinboro Fightin' Scots (0-1)
WHEN: 6 PM CST; Thursday, December 5, 2013
WHERE: McComb Fieldhouse (Edinboro, PA)
TV: flowrestling.com (FloPro subscription req'd -- $$$)
RADIO: AM-800 KXIC (free), Hawkeye All-Access (online; $$$)
TWITTER: @IowaWRLive, @Hawks_Wrestling
Last year's results:
#2 IOWA 31, #15 EDINBORO 6 (February 16, 2013 Iowa City, IA)
125 #1 Matt McDonough (IA) MAJ DEC (14-3) Kory Mines (EU) (IOWA 4-0)
133 #2 Tony Ramos (IA) MAJ DEC (9-0) #3 A.J. Schopp (EU) (IOWA 8-0)
141 #5 Mitchell Port (EU) DEC (5-0) #8 Mark Ballweg (IA) (IOWA 8-3)
149 #16 Dave Habat (EU) DEC (5-2) Brody Grothus (IA) (IOWA 8-6)
157 #1 Derek St. John (IA) MAJ DEC (13-2) Casey Fuller (EU) (IOWA 12-6)
165 #13 Nick Moore (IA) DEC (5-3) Johnny Greisheimer (EU) (IOWA 15-6)
174 #3 Mike Evans (IA) TECH FALL (18-3, 7:00) Patrick Jennings (EU) (IOWA 20-6)
184 #14 Ethen Lofthouse (IA) DEC (11-7) Vince Pickett (EU) (IOWA 23-6)
197 #19 Nathan Burak (IA) MAJ DEC (17-5) Warren Bosch (EU) (IOWA 27-6)
285 #6 Bobby Telford (IA) MAJ DEC (13-2) #20 Ernest James (EU) (IOWA 31-6)
#1 IOWA HAWKEYES (4-0)
125 UN Thomas Gilman (RS FR, 6‐1)
133 #1 Tony Ramos (SR, 7‐0)
141 #14 Josh Dziewa (JR, 9‐0)
149 UN Michael Kelly (JR, 8‐1)
157 #1 Derek St. John (SR, 9‐0)
165 #4 Nick Moore (JR, 3‐0)
174 #6 Mike Evans (JR, 9‐0)
184 #2 Ethen Lofthouse (SR, 8‐0)
197 #9 Nathan Burak (SO, 0‐0) or UN Sammy Brooks (RS FR, 7‐3)
285 #4 Bobby Telford (JR, 5‐0) or UN Terrance Jean‐Jacques (RS FR, 8‐3)
#15 EDINBORO FIGHTING SCOTS(0-1)
125 #17 Kory Mines (JR, 5-1)
133 #8 A.J. Schopp (JR, 6-0)
141 #2 Mitchell Port (JR, 3-0)
149 #10 Dave Habat (JR, 7-1)
157 UN Johnny Greisheimer (SR, 4-3) or UN Kasey Burnett‐Davis (JR, 4-2)
165 UN Zach Towers (RS FR, 0-0)
174 UN Patrick Jennings (SO, 4-1) or UN Nick Mitchell (RS FR, 4-2)
184 #8 Vic Avery (SO, 0-1)
197 UN Vince Pickett (SO, 4-1)
285 UN Ernest James (SR, 4-2)
PREDICTIONS (OVER/UNDER 35.5)
TONY: Thomas Gilman will be Iowa's guy at 125 tonight and don't look into this lineup change too much. Brands offered this explanation:
"It's the right thing to do with where we're at with some personal things," he said. "This is not an indication in any way, shape, or form on Clark's performance. He is still the guy and will be the guy when we come back to town a week from Thursday when we're wrestling Buffalo here.
"It's better to keep Clark at home, and this shows our depth. Either guy we're good with and it's good for Gilman as well."
Luckily, we have two great 125ers in Clark and Gilman. Gilman and Mines might actually be a closer match, but Iowa should still have no problem coming away with a decision.
ROSS: It's a bit surprising to see Gilman get the nod here, but it will also be fun to see what he can do. Mines is a solid opponent (ranked #17 per InterMat), but Gilman already owns wins over guys of that caliber (or better); he beat #16 Eddie Klimara (Okie State) a few weeks ago and had some very nice wins while redshirting a year ago. I think he gets the job done again here and takes a solid decision win.
TONY: Schopp will be Tony's biggest test of the season but don't expect a big test. Ramos is a beast on top and is relentless once he feels comfortable on his feet. Ramos handed Schopp a 9-0 major decision loss last season and I look for him to repeat that this season.
ROSS: Schopp is a very solid wrestler, but Ramos is the best in the country at this weight. Ramos dominated him on the way to that 9-0 major decision win last year and I think he'll post something similar again this year. Ramos is just on another level than Schopp.
TONY: Dziewa could have a tough match tonight and we will see where he actually stands versus one of the top guys at his weight. Mitchell Port medical forfeited out of the Michigan State Open earlier this year and hasn't been on the mat since. Let's hope he comes out flat and Dziewa gets that big win Hawkeye fans are starving for out of Josh. Realistically, Port probably won't come out flat and will control this match from start to finish, but I think Josh has enough mat time now to keep this a close match. Port by decision.
ROSS: Port figures to be an excellent test for Dziewa at this stage of the season; Dziewa (pronounced "Jeva") has cruised to a 9-0 record so far, but he hasn't faced the stiffest competition. Port was NCAA runner-up at this weight a year ago (falling to Oklahoma's Kendric Maple). But, as Tony noted, he's also missed time with an injury this season and this is slated to be his return match. I honestly don't know what to expect here; I'm big on Dziewa's potential, but we've never seen him against a guy as good as Port yet. When in doubt, I'll default to the higher ranked wrestler -- especially on his home mat.
TONY: I was looking for a breakout match from Kelly this past Sunday and we just didn't get it. Kelly will have a big test against Habat, who beat him 13-1 two years ago. This match should probably go a bit like the 141 lb match and end in a decision win for Habat. Kelly will slow things down on this feet and keep this to a decision.
ROSS: Kelly has to actually beat a decent opponent before I'm going to start picking him to win matches like this. 149 is a completely topsy-turvy weight (again!), so Habat's ranking may not be entirely accurate (and it's worth noting that his current ranking fluctuates between 3, 7, and 10 among the primary ranking services), but I'll certainly favor him over Kelly here. Hopefully Kelly can keep this loss to a decision.
TONY: Johnny Greisheimer will just be outmatched by DSJ at 157 tonight. Derek St. John will dominate the match with a decision.
ROSS: Greisheimer wrestled at 165 a year ago (and dropped a narrow 5-3 decision to Iowa's Nick Moore in this dual then), but has since moved to 157. He's a scrappy guy and while he won't upset DSJ, he can probably hold the match to a decision, especially given DSJ's tendencies re: bonus points.
TONY: BIG win Sunday for Moore. It was great to see him wrestle the entire match to pull off that win over Moreno. Moore should be feeling good and don't look for him to look past an unranked wrestler in Towers who hasn't wrestled this year. In fact, one thing that could happen is Edinboro bumping either Greisheimer or Burnett-Davis to 165 since Towers doesn't have mat time. It might be smart for them to bump up Greisheimer since he gave Moore a great match last year, losing 5-3 in Iowa City. Whoever they send out there I am predicting a decision by Moore and nothing more.
ROSS: As Tony noted, Moore picked up a great win last weekend against Iowa State's Michael Moreno. That win rocketed Moore up to #4 in the rankings at 165. The trick now will be living up to that ranking and not suffering any letdowns against lesser wrestlers. At present, it looks like Edinboro might be sending out a RS freshman with no matches so far this year at this weight; if that's the case, this is a match that Moore needs to win and win decisively. Moore hasn't exactly been a model of consistency at Iowa, but I like for him to build off his Moreno win with a bonus point win here. Moore via major.
TONY: Evans is Evans and I feel like we can expect the same thing from him match in and match out. Nothing is too flashy -- he just gets the job done against these type of opponents. Jennings is listed as the starter and is 4-1 on the season. Look for Evans to ride the heck out of Jennings and work his power half. Evans by major.
ROSS: Evans was one of the few Iowa wrestlers to pick up bonus points against Iowa State and I look for him to do the same here. He mauled Jennings on the way to an 18-3 tech fall win a year ago; I think being back in his home stomping grounds will bring out the best in Evans tonight and he'll turn that tech fall into a straight-up pin tonight.
TONY: Lofthouse should return here and take care of #8 Vic Avery. While Avery is no slouch, Ethen should be able to control the match on their feet. The match should be close, so expect to see just a decision here.
ROSS: Avery is listed as a "match-day decision" in Edinboro's official preview for this dual; he suffered an injury is his first match at the Michigan State Open and has been out of commission since then. He also missed this dual last year because he was redshirting. Avery was an NCAA qualifier as a redshirt freshman in 2011-12, although it's amusing to note that his season that year ended in a 13-4 major decision defeat to Iowa's Grant Gambrall. If Avery is unable to wrestle here, Nick Mitchell will probably get the call (he lost a 5-3 decision in Edinboro's dual meet against Virginia Tech a few weeks ago). It likely won't be pretty or impressive, but I favor Lofthouse to get a decision win over whoever gets the call here.
TONY: Sam Brooks or Nathan Burak? That is the question for Iowa fans at 197 lbs. Whoever Brands decides to put out on the mat should have no issue getting a decision with possible bonus points.
ROSS: Vince Pickett is listed as Edinboro's wrestler at this weight; at this dual a year ago he wrestled at 184 and lost an 11-7 decision to Ethen Lofthouse. The more interesting question is which Iowa wrestler gets the nod tonight. It would be great to see Burak finally make his season debut so we could see if the rumors of considerable off-season improvement from him are true. But Brooks had a very solid showing against Iowa State's Kyven Gadsen last week and he's one of Iowa's most exciting talents for the future, so I wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot here, either. Either way, I like Iowa via decision.
TONY: Telford is ultimately who the Hawkeyes need at HWT, but I was and still am on the TJJ train. I think Sunday's matchup was not great for him but maybe that's just a BS excuse, too. My predictions is Bobby is ready to go and he finishes the dual out with a fall!
ROSS: Bobby schooled James at this dual a year ago, posting a very impressive 13-2 major decision win again. If he's healthy and ready to go (and it sounds like he might be, if he's able to make the trip out to Edinboro; he also weighed in and did warm-up exercises before the Iowa State dual meet last weekend), I don't think he'll have too much difficulty in this match. If TJJ gets the nod, well, things would get a little dicier. He lost in OT to a not-great opponent in the Iowa State dual; now he's traveling to Edinboro to take on a guy who was ranked at times last season? Maybe the bright lights and big stage of the Iowa State dual gave him jitters; if so, hopefully he's over those now. Still, I think it's a moot point -- if Telford is healthy enough to travel out to Pennsylvania, he should wrestle and if he wrestles, he'll win. I think bonus points are a definite possibility, but with Bobert coming off an injury, I'll settle for just a comfortable decision win.
...and after all that, Tony and I got to close to the same result, albeit via different paths. Heh.
(P.S. Make sure you pick your over or under in the thread below to enter our contest for a custom BHGP singlet.)
NOTE! We'll be posting results and live updates in this thread, too, later tonight.