Fresh off whupping Iowa State in Ames last Sunday, Iowa returns home for a dual meet against a South Dakota State team that might be a little better than their 1-4 record suggests. That record includes fairly close losses to Virginia Tech (20-16) and Oklahoma State (20-15), as well as a loss to Minnesota (20-13). The Jackrabbits have some good wrestlers on their roster (including one that would likely be suiting up tonight in black and gold if things had gone differently last summer). Do they have enough good wrestlers to mount a serious challenge against Iowa? Probably not. But hopefully they'll give Iowa a better test than Iowa State did.
We'll use this thread for the preview and the open thread for the results. I may or may not be able to post results in the comments tonight, so if anyone else wants to do so -- feel free.
#2 Iowa (5-0) vs UR South Dakota State (1-4)
Date: Friday, December 4, 2015
Time: 7 PM CT
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
TV/Streaming: BTN Plus
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (free); Hawkeye All-Access ($)
Twitter: @IowaWRLive, @IAWrestle
Tickets: Hawkeye Sports
125: #2 Thomas Gilman (JR, 6-0) vs UR Kahlen Morris (FR, 1-9) or UR Anthony Cefolo (FR, 3-5)
Yes, those numbers are correct -- according to the lineup notes, Thomas Gilman could be wrestling a true freshman with a 1-9 record on the year. Oh dear. This is a clear bonus point opportunity for Iowa -- and I think Gilman is able to get the pin.
PREDICTION: Gilman via FALL (IOWA 6-0)
133: #2 Cory Clark (JR, 6-0) vs UR Brance Simms (SR, 5-4)
Simms got majored by the only decent opponent he's faced this year (Virginia's George DiCamillo), which isn't a great sign when he's going up against the NCAA runner-up. A fall is a definite possibility for Clark here, but I think he'll get a very lopsided major after spending much of the match working to turn Simms but not quite being able to do so. But, again, a tech fall or regular fall are certainly very possible here.
PREDICTION: Clark via MAJ DEC (IOWA 10-0)
141: UR Logan Ryan (RS FR, 6-4) vs UR Seth Gross (SO, 6-7)
This should be one the most competitive matches of the night -- and one of the most intriguing. Gross was an Iowa recruit and likely in line to start this year at 141 lbs until he (and Logan Ryan and Ross Lembeck) got in some off-the-mat trouble during the summer. Ryan was able to earn his way back to the team; Gross wasn't. He headed to SDSU instead. I suspect both guys will have some added motivation for this match. Ryan and Gross split two matches against one another last year (they faced off at open tournaments), but Gross had the more recent win (and the more convincing on, 7-2), so I'll go with him to get the win tonight.
PREDICTION: Gross via DEC (IOWA 10-3)
149: #2 Brandon Sorenson (SO, 6-0) vs UR Alex Kocer (JR, 8-3)
Kocer kept things tight against a quality wrestler in Oklahoma State's Anthony Collica (dropping a 5-3 decision), but Sorenson is much better than Collica. (Kocer also got smashed by Iowa's freshman phenom, Michael Kemerer, at an open tournament, 17-4.) This might be a slow, cagey match to start, but I think Sorenson will pour some points on late via takedowns and that sneaky suck-back move he likes to use to get near fall points. That will lead to a major decision win for our man Brandon.
PREDICTION: Sorenson via MAJ DEC (IOWA 14-3)
157: UR Edwin Cooper, Jr (SR, 3-2) vs #7 Cody Pack (SR, 9-1)
Pack's the best wrestler on SDSU's team by far and a legitimate All-American contender. Cooper has been... inconsistent, shall we say. Frankly, we haven't seen enough from Cooper this year to suggest that he could spring an upset here. Pack wins with a comfortable decision.
PREDICTION: Pack via DEC (IOWA 14-6)
165: UR Patrick Rhoads (SR, 2-2) or UR Burke Paddock (RS FR, 6-3) vs UR Joe Brewster (SR, 0-0) or UR Luke Zilverberg (SO, 12-5)
Honestly, the prediction here is a big ol' ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. We have no idea who's even going to wrestle, let alone how they might fare. Zilverberg seems like the best wrestler of the four, so if he goes I'd favor SDSU in this match. But I'm going to guess that Brewster wrestles on the hopelessly flimsy logic that he's listed first in the match notes. If that's the case, I'll go with Iowa's wrestler (Rhoads?) to win a close one. (Though this might be Paddock's turn if they're just alternating starts at this weight; Rhoads got the call against Iowa State on Sunday.) Anyway, long story short: no idea at this weight. I have very little confidence in that Rhoads pick.
PREDICTION: Rhoads via DEC (IOWA 17-6)
174: #3 Alex Meyer (JR, 5-1) vs UR David Kocer (SO, 9-5)
Meyer faces the other Kocer and if we see the Meyer that wrestled an active and engaged match for a full seven minutes last Sunday against Iowa State, this should be an easy Iowa win, with possible bonus points. That said, Kocer has seen some solid opponents already this year (Oklahoma State's Kyle Crutchmer, Iowa State's Lelund Weatherspoon) and avoided giving up bonus points to them, so I'll pick him to just lose by decision here.
PREDICTION: Meyer via DEC (IOWA 20-6)
184: #11 Sammy Brooks (JR, 6-0) vs UR Brady Avers (JR, 11-3) or UR Ben Schwery (JR, 4-4)
Ayers has a nice record, but a lot of those wins have come against unheralded opponents; against quality wrestlers (Oklahoma State's Nolan Boyd, North Dakota State's Hayden Zillmer), he's suffered bonus point losses (a major decision and a fall, respectively). Needless to say, I consider Sammy Brooks a quality wrestler. He's been arguably Iowa's most impressive wrestler so far this season -- and I think he'll keep it up tonight. He may not get a pin, but I think he'll get enough near fall points with his tilts to earn a tech fall.
PREDICTION: Brooks via TECH FALL (IOWA 25-6)
197: #4 Nathan Burak (SR, 6-0) vs #14 Nate Rotert (SO, 8-4)
And here's your match of the night, featuring SDSU's only other ranked wrestler. Burak has looked very good to start the year, but he hasn't faced the stiffest competition -- Rotert will be his best opponent by far. This could be a statement match for Burak -- if he's serious about being a high All-American this year, a solid win here would be a great sign. It's worth noting that two of Rotert's losses have come against Minnesota's Brett Pfarr -- and both involved bonus points (a 12-0 major decision and a 15-0 tech fall). I think we see more of point-scoring Nate Burak here.
PREDICTION: Burak via MAJ DEC (IOWA 29-6)
285: UR Sam Stoll (RS FR, 5-1) vs UR Alex Macki (SO, 4-6)
Finally, slammin' Sam Stoll, who's been one of the most entertaining Iowa wrestlers to watch over the last few weeks, thanks to his penchant for big moves and ability to get guys pinned to the mat. Macki has a strange record this year -- he's lost two matches via major decision (a rare sight at heavyweight!), but he also lost a narrow 5-3 decision to Virginia Tech's very good Ty Walz just a few weeks ago. So which Macki will show up tonight? I think Stoll wins either way, but it could be the difference between bonus points or no bonus points. I'll take Macki to keep it close enough to avoid bonus points.
PREDICTION: Stoll via DEC (IOWA 32-6)
There you have it -- another lopsided Iowa win, but one that should have some good matches sprinkled in.
Like I said, feel free to post results in the comments.
The usual rules apply.