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IOWA 31, WISCONSIN 3: BADGER BEATDOWN

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Another Big Ten dual. Another rout. Ho hum.

Iowa's third straight road dual ended the same way as the previous two: with a decisive Hawkeye victory.  Iowa won the first seven matches of the dual and nine of ten total on their way to a dominant 31-3 win.  It wasn't the most thrilling dual meet, though -- Iowa began and ended the dual with major decisions, but there were only bonus points in three of the ten matches and there was a notable lack of action in several matches.  This was far from Iowa at its sharpest, but against an opponent as thoroughly overmatched as Wisconsin, that didn't matter -- Iowa still came away with a lopsided victory, their 17th straight dual meet win in Big Ten competition.

197 Nathan Burak MAJ DEC (20-7) UR Eric Peissig IOWA 4-0
285 Sam Stoll DEC (4-1) UR Brock Horwath IOWA 7-0
125 #2 Thomas Gilman TECH FALL (23-7) UR Johnny Jimenez IOWA 12-0
133 #3 Cory Clark DEC (7-3) #7 Ryan Raylor IOWA 15-0
141 UR Topher Carton DEC (4-2) UR Gabe Grahek IOWA 18-0
149 #2 Brandon Sorensen DEC (6-3) UR Andrew Crone IOWA 21-0
157 #16 Edwin Cooper, Jr. DEC (8-2) UR T.J. Ruschell IOWA 24-0
165 #3 Isaac Jordan DEC (6-1) UR Patrick Rhoads IOWA 24-3
174 #12 Alex Meyer DEC (2-0) UR Ricky Robertson IOWA 27-3
184 #8 Sammy Brooks MAJ DEC (14-6) UR Ryan Christensen IOWA 31-3


The dual began at 197 lbs, where Nathan Burak provided the same fast start for the Hawkeyes that they normally get from their usual meet-starter, Thomas Gilman.  Burak ran a takedown clinic for three periods, racking up nine takedowns, an escape, and a riding time point.  Burak displayed the same relentless attacking approach that we've seen him in use in several matches this year against weaker opponents, which has been fun to see.  Burak has some very good and varied attacks from neutral and he used several of them to take Peissig at will. The action started fast and furious in the next match, as Sam Stoll used a slick go-behind to get a takedown just 10 seconds into the match.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much excitement in the match after that -- Stoll rode him out for the remainder of the period, grabbed a quick escape in the second, and added more riding time in the third.  It was a comfortable, no frills win, but it would have been nice to see Stoll get a little more offense in from neutral.

Gilman may not have had his usual lead-off spot, but he brought the fireworks anyway.  He didn't get a pin, but he kept the pedal down and the attacks coming for almost seven minutes.  He scored three takedowns in each period, added a reversal in the second period, and finished off the match with some near fall points in the third.  It was yet another dominant performance from Gilman, who continues to wrestle at a very high level this season.  Cory Clark, Gilman's fellow lightweight ass-kicker was up next, in the feature match of the night (it was the only match that featured two ranked wrestlers).  Clark had split two previous matches with his opponent, Ryan Taylor, but he took the rubber match with a strong showing.  After building a 4-1 lead in the first period behind a pair of takedowns, a long replay-induced delay between the first and second periods threatened to rob Clark of his momentum (especially when the referees determined that errors had been made and that the score should be 2-0 Clark instead), but he kept up the pressure and was rewarded with a pair of escapes and another takedown in the third period to ice the victory.  Clark looked much more active and limber than he did a week ago in his loss to Zane Richards -- hopefully his performances continue to improve.

Topher Carton closed out the pre-intermission portion of the dual with a 4-2 win, riding takedowns in the first and second periods to victory.  Carton took neutral in the third period, seemingly to try and score more points... but then spent very little time attacking.  Grabbing the win was nice, but suffice to say that this performance by Carton did not do anything to lock up the starting job for himself. After intermission Brandon Sorensen hit the mat and while he's generally been one of Iowa's best wrestlers this season, Friday was a very lethargic performance for him.  He picked up a 6-3 win but had just two takedowns and didn't display the same attacking impetus we've seen from him more often this year.  Perhaps it was just an off night for him.

Iowa kept the wins coming as Edwin Cooper used a lightning-quick takedown (right off the opening whistle) to lead the way to an 8-2 win.  Cooper looked confident and in control the entire match and did an impressive job of continuing to look for his offense and push for more points.  He wasn't able to secure a major decision, but didn't shut up shop, either -- he kept looking for more takedowns.  As expected, Iowa's winning ways came to an end at 165.  Wisconsin has #3 Isaac Jordan at that weight; Iowa has... no one of note.  Patrick Rhoads got the call and only lost by decision, although it was a little hard to say whether that was because of a strong defensive effort from him or if Jordan was just going through the motions.  Jordan didn't seem to have much trouble getting a takedown when he upped the tempo a bit in the third period.  Still, there was nothing particularly surprising or disappointing about this result.

Iowa wrapped up the dual with wins at 174 and 184, although they were very different sorts of matches.  Alex Meyer won 2-0 at 174, using an escape and a third period ride-out to get his points.  After Meyer showed some attacking flair last week in blowout wins, this weekend was more of the Meyer we've seen too often this year: overly tentative and lacking in attacking prowess.  He was close to a takedown a few times, but he didn't give himself enough opportunities to score, frankly.  The ride-out in the third was solid, although even there he had to work hard to avoid giving up a reversal.  All in all, not a hugely impressive display from Meyer.  Fortunately, Sammy Brooks was able to end the dual on a high note by putting on his scoring boots and picking up a 14-6 major decision.  Brooks actually conceded the opening takedown (one of just four total takedowns the Badgers had for the entire dual), but he quickly got a reversal to even things up.  In the second period, he used an escape, takedown, and near fall points to widen his lead.  And in the third period he kept pushing for more and grabbed three takedowns to secure his major decision.  Job done.

NEXT: Iowa finally returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for competition (their first event there since December 10) next Friday night, taking on Purdue in a dual meet (8 PM CT).  Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Purdue is another overmatched opponent; another blowout looms.