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No. 2 Iowa Wrestling vs No. 8 Iowa State Preview

The Hawks look to make it 16 in a row against the Cyclones

Seven returning All-Americans are ready to paint Ames red.

This is it! The Big Daddy, the Big Kahuna, the Big Mugombah of wrestling rivalries is back for another edition. This time our #2 Iowa Hawkeyes travel behind enemy lines and into the bitter land of Ames. We’re going to venture inside hostile territory to take on the #8 Iowa State Cyclones inside Hilton Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2PM GT.

The dual kicks off the one and only wrestling portion to this year’s Cy-Hawks series. Just like last year at this time, Iowa is trailing 6-5, but can knot things up with a beat down on Sunday.

Head coach Tom Brands is 15-0 against the Cyclones and aims to misbehave and wreck their weekend by claiming his 16th consecutive win since taking over the reins. Iowa leads the all-times series 65-16-2 and hasn’t lost to ISU since 2004. Do you know what’s a fun thought? Most kids on the ISU roster aren’t old enough to remember the last time they beat the Hawks. That’s the type of life-long sports suffering that I condone.

However, last year we chewed off all twenty nails watching our Hawks gut out a terrifying win, 19-18. That victory left us desensitized and worried about the future, which was more than warranted. This year, we hope to widen the gap, prove not only to us, but the rest of the world that we’re legit title contenders… but Iowa State is going to be jacked the eff up and ready to go.



***I use for individual rankings***


The Cyclones enter the season with the most talented group they’ve thrown onto the mat in years. They currently sit at #8 in the trackwrestling team rankings, but have much higher goals than that. They return eight national qualifiers including All-American #8 Jarret Degen (149) and all ten guys appear in the rankings. Though perhaps their biggest x-factor is #17 David Carr, who locks down 157lbs. Carr sits as high as #6 on trackwrestling.

Expectations are sky-high for Mr. Carr after becoming a Junior World Champion this summer at 74kg. He’s the real deal and will give Kaleb Young all he can handle. Likewise, #9 Austin Gomez, who upset DeSanto in the dual last year, then lost to him in the NCAA’s will have revenge on his mind if he gets the nod. He didn’t wrestle in their opening dual, but he could make his season debut on Sunday if his weight cutting is on target.

IOWA (1-0)

If Iowa fields our normal lineup we will be favored in all ten matches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean jack-diddly when you factor in the rivalry and the location. If last year taught us anything it’s to throw out the rankings before the names and just let these guys duke it out. No one cares about the damn number when they’re out there playing for blood.

Last year we were a bit sluggish early in the season and it showed against ISU. We split the ten matches, going 5-5, but secured the win via bonus points. It very well could come down to bonus points again this year, but hopefully we can match ISU’s energy level and put this dual to bed early. Pat Lugo, Cash Wilcke, Austin DeSanto and possibly Max Murin could all redeem themselves and come away with a win this time around. Mix in a dash of Michael Kemerer (who was hurt last year) and we could run away with this thing.

We’re going to be heavily favored at 125, 165, 174, and 197. The Hawks should, SHOULD come away with bonus points in those matches. Heavyweight is another I could throw in, but I’m going to temper my expectations until I see a bit more of Big Cass in the varsity lineup, though I would argue he is a favorite as well. With the rest being toss up matches we need these five matches to go our way.

Nevertheless, that’s all contingent on bonus points. Wrestlestat predicts a 36-0 win for Iowa, though I find that highly unlikely. It very well could be another 19-18 affair or worse yet if things go sidewise on us.

Key Matchups

I could easily list all 10 weights, but I will attempt to narrow it down to the most important ones.

125: #1 Spencer Lee vs #10 Alex Mackall.

As Lee goes, we go. Lee struggled through the 2nd and 3rd periods last week against #23 Fabian Gutiérrez (UTC), but still came away with the major decision. It was eerily similar to his match against Mackall last year, in which he secured a major as well. I know Lee is working on his freestyle game out there, but a quick fall would go a long way into setting the tone for this dual. If we start things off at 125 and Lee can spot us a quick six, the pressure will firmly be on ISU and will immediately put their backs against the wall. If Lee isn’t quite up to speed then he needs to come out guns-a-blazin’ and pad his lead for the final period, because Mackall doesn’t know the word, “quit.”

However, if we start at another weight and Iowa has the victory in hand, don’t be surprised if Aaron Cashman makes an appearance instead.

133: #2 Austin DeSanto // Paul Glynn // Gavin Teasdale vs #32 Todd Small // #9 Austin Gomez

This all depends on whether or not the two Austins take the plunge down. Gomez has yet to wrestle this year as he’s apparently on a descent plan to 133 and there’s been some rumblings that DeSanto is in the same boat. DeSanto went 141 last week against UTC in place of Max Murin and looked great at the bigger weight. If this turns into a Battle of the Austins it’s going to be 100% fireworks. DeSanto lost a heart breaker last year to Gomez, so I expect him to come out full throttle, per usual, and crank up the pressure to ten…thousand.

DeSanto is going to go one way or another, so if he doesn’t here, he definitely will at 141. If that happens be prepared for either Glynn or Teasdale to jump in to take on Todd Small or Gomez.

141: #2 Austin DeSanto (133) // #15 Max Murin vs #19 Ian Parker // #9 Austin Gomez (133)

Murin has been a bit dinged up, so we’ll see if he goes. If he makes his return, he could be getting his 2nd shot at Ian Parker, who gave Murin his first loss of the season last year. Murin improved greatly throughout last season and looked impressive in the NCAA’s. If he’s healthy I expect him to go and put on show. I’m sure he’s anxious to get out there and prove all the doubters wrong. If Max can get to his offense early and have a dominate ride late, he’s going to drop Parker and it’ll put the dagger through Cy’s heart.

149: #5 Pat Lugo vs #8 Jarrett Degen

Lugo has never beaten Degen before and went 0-2 against him last year, including a loss in the 7th place medal match at the NCAA’s. You can bet Lugo is seeing blood and has had this circled on his mental schedule for the past 7 months.

Lugo is short, stocky, and all power while Degen is long and lanky. The exact type that has given Lugo fits for most of his career. Lugo has had little issue getting to his legs, but it’s keeping him down and the mat returns that have hindered him the most. He was up 6-1 in the medal match when the wheels started to rattle before falling off and crashing over the side of a cliff into a fire explosion below. Lugo needs to limit the mental mistakes and stay aggressive, keep shooting. If he does that he’ll come away with a big win for the Hawkeyes.

157: #3 Kaleb Young vs #17 David Carr

Throw away the ranking next to Carr’s name, it’ll be much higher by year’s end. Carr is an absolute stud and this match has me worried more than any other this dual. Carr has an elite-level offense while Kaleb has an elite defense. Something’s got to give, which will it be? KY is arguably the most improved wrestler in the NCAA’s, but Carr is coming off a junior world championship, the guy is just grooving right now and doesn’t know how to lose.

KY is a hell of a scrambler, but this may be a match where he can’t sit back and counter Carr for seven minutes like he did against George Carpenter (UTC) last week. KY is going to have to generate some of his own offense if he wants to come out on top and we really need these points at 157lbs.

184: #10 Cash Wilcke vs #11 Sam Colbray

Cash didn’t start last week because he was competing in and winning the Luther Open, so you can bet he’s chomping at the bit to get back in the varsity lineup. Colbray is 3-1 after losing a tough match against #3 Taylor Lujan (UNI) to open the season. Cash also lost to Colbray last year, 7-6. In fact, Wilcke has never beaten an ISU opponent in his two previous years in while starting. Wilcke has the build, the strength, and the power to earn his way onto the podium this year and it starts right now. He needs to exercise his demons against ranked opponents and get the job done.

Like Lugo, Wilcke needs to come out with a motor and push the pace early and often. Fire off some shots and get Colbray off balance. Cash Money has the higher ceiling, but he needs to wrestle like it and get mentally checked in. There’s a lot of nay-sayers and Debbie Downers out there, but he can shut us all up (temporarily of course) if he goes out and gets the job done on Sunday.

But we can’t forget Nelson Brands and the spark he provided last week. It’s entirely possible he gets the nod again. Though, I think him being undersized could play a nasty role against a superior opponent this time around.


125lbs: #1 Spencer Lee (1-0) // Aaron Cashman (3-0) vs #10 Alex Mackall (4-0)

133lbs: #2 Austin DeSanto (1-0) // Paul Glynn (1-0) // Gavin Teasdale (3-1) vs #9 Austin Gomez (0-0) // Todd Small (3-1)

141lbs: #2 Austin DeSanto (1-0) // #15 Max Murin (1-0) vs #22 Ian Parker (1-0) // #9 Austin Gomez (0-0)

149lbs: #5 Pat Lugo (1-0) vs #8 Jarret Degen ( 4-1)

157lbs: #3 Kaleb Young (1-0) vs #17 David Carr (1-0)

165lbs: #3 Alex Marinelli (1-0) vs #20 Chase Straw (3-1)

174lbs: #3 Michael Kemerer (1-0) vs #28 Marcus Coleman (3-1)

184lbs: #10 Cash Wilcke (4-0) // #18 Nelson Brands vs #13 Sam Colbray (3-1)

197lbs: #5 Jacob Warner (1-0) vs #32 Joel Shapiro (3-2) // Francis Duggan (4-4)

285lbs: #12 Tony Cassioppi (1-0) vs #31 Gannon Gremmel (1-0