Iowa heads back into Big Ten competition this afternoon, looking to improve on their 2-0 record in conference competition so far. (Technically, the Penn State loss doesn't count against Iowa's conference record.) Today's opponent is Indiana who is... not very good. Well, to be more precise: their overall team isn't very good. They have a few very good wrestlers who are legitimate All-America candidates, so that does put them one-up on the likes of Purdue and Michigan State. They just don't have the top-to-bottom quality to really challenge a team like Iowa.
WHO: Indiana Hoosiers (7-2, 0-2)
WHEN: 2:00 PM CST; Sunday, January 12th, 2014
WHERE: Iowa City, IA - Carver-Hawkeye Arena
TV: Mediacom 22
RADIO: AM-800 KXIC (free), Hawkeye All-Access (online; $)
TWITTER: @IowaWRLive, @hagertony, @critterk10, @Andy_Hamilton, @kjpilcher, @codygoodwin
#1 IOWA 26, INDIANA 12 (January 6, 2012)
125: #1 Matt McDonough MAJ DEC( 13-1) UN Zach Zimmer (IOWA 4-0)
133: #4 Tony Ramos FALL (3:57) UN Joe Duca (IOWA 10-0)
141: UN Nick Trizzino DEC (5-1) UN Matt Ortega (IOWA 13-0)
149: UN Taylor Walsh DEC (4-3) #11 Mike Kelly (IOWA 13-3)
157: UN Nick Moore DEC (9-4) UN Ryan Konz (IOWA 16-3)
165: #10 Mike Evans MAJ DEC (10-0) UN Preston Keiffer (IOWA 20-3)
174: UN Ryan LeBlanc MAJ DEC (15-5) UN Walt Gillmor (IOWA 20-7)
184: UN Jeremy Fahler DEC (3-1) UN Luke Sheridan (IOWA 23-7)
197: #4 Matt Powless TECH FALL (22-7) UN Tomas Lira (IOWA 23-12)
285: UN Blake Rasing DEC (6-4) UN Adam Chalfant (IOWA 26-12)
#3 IOWA (9-1, 2-0)
125: #3 Thomas Gilman (RS FR, 13-2) or UN Cory Clark (RS FR, 12-0)
133: #4 Tony Ramos (SR, 16-2)
141: #9 Josh Dziewa (JR, 17-4)
149: #15 Brody Grothus (SO, 18-5)
157: #1 Derek St. John (SR, 20-0)
165: #5 Nick Moore (JR, 12-2)
174: #6 Mike Evans (JR, 18-2)
184: #4 Ethen Lofthouse (SR, 16-2) or UN Sammy Brooks (RS FR, 14-6)
197: #17 Nathan Burak (SO, 6-2)
285: #3 Bobby Telford (JR, 14-1)
INDIANA (7-2, 0-2)
125: UN Joe Duca (JR, 8-6)
133: UN Chris Caton (FR, 11-11) or UN Kyle Springer (FR, 4-4)
141: UN Ethan Raley (SO, 24-7)
149: UN Eric Roach (SO, 14-8)
157: #6 Taylor Walsh (JR, 26-2)
165: UN Ryan LeBlanc (SR, 28-7)
174: UN Nate Jackson (RS FR, 7-8) or UN Matt Irick (RS FR, 7-10)
184: #19 Luke Sheridan (JR, 23-6)
197: UN Garret Goldman (SO, 10-12)
285: #5 Adam Chalfant (SR, 17-1)
#3 Thomas Gilman (RS FR, 13-2) or UN Cory Clark (RS FR, 12-0) vs. UN Joe Duca (JR, 8-6)
ROSS: Indiana forfeited this weight in their dual meet against Nebraska on Friday night, so we'll have to wait and see if Gilman (or Clark) actually get an opponent to wrestle this afternoon. If Duca does get a run-out, this could be an excellent opportunity for Gilman to work out the kinks on offense and push for bonus points. Gilman via major decision.
#4 Tony Ramos (SR, 16-2) vs. UN Chris Caton (FR, 11-11) or UN Kyle Springer (FR, 4-4)
ROSS: Caton wrestled in the Nebraska dual -- and got pinned. Springer is from Davenport Assumption, so this could be a rare opportunity for him to wrestle in his home state -- and possibly in front of some friends and family. Of course, whichever Indiana wrestler gets the call here is just fresh meat for Ramos. Tony gotta eat, you guys. Ramos via pin.
#9 Josh Dziewa (JR, 17-4) vs. UN Ethan Raley (SO, 24-7)
ROSS: Dziewa and Raley actually just wrestled a few weeks ago, at Midlands, with Dziewa coming away with an 11-9 win in sudden victory. Dziewa was one of the few Iowa wrestlers to have a disappointing outing in Friday night's dual with Oklahoma State, so he could really use a strong performance here to bounce back. I think he bounces back with a decision win.
#15 Brody Grothus (SO, 18-5) vs. UN Eric Roach (SO, 14-8)
ROSS: It still feels weird to actually be kind of, sort of... confident about an Iowa wrestler at 149. But Grothus keeps picking up wins -- and hugely impressive wins at that. This is the sort of match Grothus needs to win to consolidate the gains he made in the big, attention-grabbing wins over guys like Tsirtsis and Kindig. If he's good enough to beat guys like that, he can't afford to backslide against a guy like Roach. I think it's closer than we want, but Grothus comes away with a decision win.
#1 Derek St. John (SR, 20-0) vs. #6 Taylor Walsh (JR, 26-2)
ROSS: Much like 141, this is a rematch of a match we saw a few weeks ago at Midlands, although while the 141 lb. match took place in the Midlands consolation bracket, the initial DSJ-Walsh match took place in the Midlands finals. DSJ took care of business decisively in that match, taking a 9-3 decision. Walsh is fresh off a 7-1 defeat to #3 James Green (Nebraska) on Friday night, suggesting that he's butting up against his ceiling at this weight. Look for another solid St. John decision win.
#5 Nick Moore (JR, 12-2) vs. UN Ryan LeBlanc (SR, 28-7)
ROSS: If Nick Moore is as good as we think he is, then he should win this match pretty comfortably. Like Grothus, Moore is a guy who scored a big win on Friday night against Oklahoma State and he can't afford to diminish that win by losing his next match. LeBlanc is a solid wrestler, but he's not great. Moore wins via decision.
#6 Mike Evans (JR, 18-2) vs. UN Nate Jackson (RS FR, 7-8) or UN Matt Irick (RS FR, 7-10)
ROSS: It was Jackson who took the mat against Nebraska on Friday and he had a very respectable effort, losing 6-3 to #4 Robert Kokesh. I think Evans is angry and looking to make a statement after his near-win over Chris Perry on Friday. Evans via major decision.
#4 Ethen Lofthouse (SR, 16-2) or UN Sammy Brooks (RS FR, 14-6) vs. #19 Luke Sheridan (JR, 23-6)
ROSS: Sheridan is the second of three Indiana wrestlers ranked in InterMat's most recent rankings and he's by far the lowest ranked of the trio, barely cracking the top-20. Lofthouse sat out Friday's dual with a seemingly minor knee injury, but there's no word on whether or not he'll be back for today's dual. Brooks filled in very capably in his absence, though, and would be a fine option here if Lofthouse is still not quite ready to go. Brooks/Lofthouse via decision.
#17 Nathan Burak (SO, 6-2) vs. UN Garret Goldman (SO, 10-12)
ROSS: Goldman is 0-5 against ranked opponents this year. Burak will make it 0-6 after Sunday. Give me Burak via decision.
#3 Bobby Telford (JR, 14-1) vs. #5 Adam Chalfant (SR, 17-1)
ROSS: Telford beat Chalfant via 7-3 decision at the Big Ten Tournament last year, but Chalfant has been looking mighty impressive this year and he's fresh off a 10-4 win over Northwestern's #8 Mike McMullan... who himself just beat #1 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) a few nights ago. Things be a little wacky right now. On top of that, Telford just hasn't been wrestling very well lately; I don't know if he's physically limited or what, but he's looked very stiff and he's won his last three matches by scores of 4-0, 2-0, and 2-1. I think Bobert gets tripped up here by a surging Chalfant, who takes home a decision win.
Tony's skipping the match-by-match predictions for this one, but he picks a comfortable Iowa win, too. Indiana has a few good wrestlers, but they just don't have the top-to-bottom quality to contend in this one.
We're gonna set the over-under for this one at 34.5. What's your pick?
There's Wrestler Herky Bobblehead giveaway today:
On a personal note, I'd be deeply appreciative if anyone could help me grab one of these; it would look great next to my Dan Gable bobblehead. Let me know at bhgp.rosswb-at-gmail.com.
NOTE: This thread will also serve as the game thread for the dual meet, so feel free to follow along here. The usual rules apply.