“Maryland’s different than Iowa. Maryland has certain advantages that Iowa doesn’t have and certain disadvantages...mostly disadvantages. We should just worry about ourselves and not worry about comparisons with their wrestling program.”
-The Maryland Terrapin
Our Iowa Hawkeyes host The Ninja Turtle wannabes on Friday, February 8, at 7PM CT inside the world famous Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This is our second to last home dual so let’s fill the seats for another epic blowout victory!
Similar to many of the previous teams we have wrestled this season, we have never lost to the Maryland Terrapins and even if things don’t go to plan, we won’t this time around either.
We lead the all-time series 5-0 and in fact Maryland has yet to score into the double digits against us. Since they joined our beloved B1G conference in 2014 they’re 0-3 with the latest beat down coming last season, 40-6. Actually, in that dual they’re only win came at heavyweight… by forfeit.
For further reading feel free to dive into the more detailed match notes, here.
I’m being as polite as possible when I say this, but Maryland isn’t good. They are currently winless on the season at 0-8 and 0-5 in conference duals. They placed 19th at Midlands and have gotten rolled by perennial B1G cellar-dwellers, Michigan State and Indiana, 12-28 and 3-36, respectively.
If they have anything going for them it’s that they could potentially field up to four seniors in their starting lineup. Just for argument sake, that is some solid experience so our guys can’t take them for granted. The downside is, all their upperclassmen are in their middle to upper weights, thus they’re going to be in thoroughly harassed at the lower end of the spectrum.
Ultimately, this team is led by their All-American heavyweight, Youssif Hemida, Alfred Bannister (149lbs), and Ryan Diehl (157lbs).
Hemida knocked off Sam Stoll in last year’s NCAA’s, in route to a sixth-place finish, but Stoll does lead their all-time series 2-1. Likewise, Hemida is currently their only ranked wrestler, checking in at #8 in the Flowrestling rankings.
Bannister and Diehl are both 2x NCAA qualifiers with a handful of solid upsets throughout their careers. They will keep things competitive in the middle weights, so Pat Lugo and Kaleb Young need to be ready to go.
This is going to be an uphill battle for the Turtles. Iowa is so heavily favored that they only way they find success in this dual is if they stay competitive, hold us to a few decisions, and scrape out at least one win.
First and foremost, we took a dip in the rankings because Sam Stoll fell from #5 to #10. That’s roughly seven points (bonus not included) that we lose in the projections. Shamefully, that now puts Oklahoma State and Michigan ahead of us. Thankfully, Stoll still has three matches against higher ranked opponents (Maryland, Wiscy, and Okie St) remaining, so he very well could come climb back up to #3 or #4 by the time the Big Ten tournament starts.
Now, we’re fresh off a gritty 20-13 win over Nebraska and are itching to hit the mat once more, but we’re going to have to do it without our #3 ranked 133-pounder, Austin DeSanto. Things got a little out of hand last weekend and head coach Tom Brands decided it was best for DeSanto to sit out for this dual and cool off. More to the point, he’s suspended.
Normally, we’d have to button up the hatches and sound the alarm, but considering we’re facing Maryland, I’m more than confident that our backup, Paul Glynn, can take care of business and keep the potential shutout intact.
We’re currently 6-0 in conference play and our overall undefeated season, 12-0, will survive this dual as well.
Other than Glynn, the other notable addition is the return of Mitch Bowman at 174 pounds. After a couple of weeks off has he finally adjusted to his new weight? How is that giant wrap on his leg? Over the course of this season I’ve come to learn that these projected lineup releases mean jack-diddley. I’m not thinking too outside the box here, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Jeremiah Moody get the nod here. With Keegan Shaw’s injury, at this moment I haven’t heard of an update, and Bowman struggling, this 174lb weight class is still very much up in the air and anything can happen. Especially, against Maryland.
I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time all season that alternates have not been listed, which makes me even more skeptical. We’ll find out soon enough!
My confidence is so high in this dual that I’m not entirely sure what else I can cover. As long as we come in and wrestle like we normally do, we shouldn’t have an issue and very well could keep them scoreless. Regardless of who our opponent is, that’s something to be happy about. Wrestlestat is also expecting a 36-0 blanking, assuming Ryan Diehl gets the nod at 157lbs for Maryland
KEY MATCH UPS:
125: #2 Spencer Lee vs Brandon Cray. I only list this on the off chance that Perez Perez gets the nod here. We’ve been worrying about Lee for a majority of the season now and that doesn’t change here. He looked much improved last week against Zeke Moisey, but he faded heavily in the 3rd once again and some even noted a slight limp when he headed off the mat. Was it a cramp? Exhaustion? Injury… no definitely not an injury. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. If he steps on the mat it’s just one more sign that he’s going in the right direction.
149: #16 Pat Lugo vs Alfred Bannister. Lugo has been wrestling better as of late and finally has his record to a respectable 11-6. This bout offers him another solid test and it’s one he should pass with flying colors. Bannister is definitely no pushover and he has more than enough ability to keep things close, especially if Lugo turtles up and is content with grinding out the win. I look for Lugo to open it up early and often and push this into major decision territory. I’m not sure if he can tech Alfred, but the fall isn’t entirely off the table either.
157: #7 Kaleb Young vs Ryan Diehl. This could mark Diehl’s first return to dual meet competition on the year. Back in December during the Midlands, while at 149lbs, Diehl was getting throttled by Pat Lugo before he injury forfeited late in the match. It’s taken him over a month, but he’s finally back and looking to make a quick statement. On the other hand, Young is on a two match losing streak and is really struggling to find any offense whatsoever. I’m hesitant to call this a trap match for KY, but until he proves to us again that he can score points, this could be a frustrating bout. And we all know that anything can happen late when the score is close. Young needs to come out and attack, attack, attack. If he doesn’t, then it’s time to question how high he can really climb on the podium this year.
285: #10 Sam Stoll vs #8 Youssif Hemida. This is the only ranked match of the night, if they both go. Both of these guys have wrestled sparingly this year and both of them were at one point ranked much higher. Stoll debuted at #1 and Hemida at #3. Through lack of competition, injury, and some upsets, these big men have tumbled down the rankings and are now considered outsiders in the All-American conversations. Also, they each have lost their most recent match. Stoll is coming off an absolute embarrassment against then #14 David Jensen (Neb). He was thoroughly manhandled and ridden for 4+ minutes. Likewise, Hemida dropped a close match to then #9 ranked Trent Hillger (Wisconsin). Considering Stoll’s recent meltdown and the fact that Hemida upset him in the 2nd round in the NCAA’s last year, I hope he’s motivated and ready to go. Stoll hasn’t looked quite right all season, but it’ll be a nice rebound if he pulls off the win here. A win will go a long in boosting his confidence and improving his seeding for the B1G tourney next month.
125: #2 Spencer Lee (13-1) vs Brandon Cray (5-11)
133: Paul Glynn (8-4) vs Orion Anderson (5-13)
141: #18 Max Murin vs Michael Doetsch (9-9) // Danny Bertoni (13-9)
149: #16 Pat Lugo (11-6) vs Alfred Bannister (12-5)
157: #7 Kaleb Young (13-3) vs Ryan Diehl (5-1) // Jahi Jones (5-6) // Ad Whitesell (7-10)
165: #2 Alex Marinelli (16-0) vs Philip Spadafora (10-11)
174: Mitch Bowman (4-4) vs Josh Ugalde (3-8)
184: #14 Cash Wilcke vs Kyle Jasenski (9-10)
197: #5 Jacob Warner (11-2) vs Niko Cappello (2-13)
285: #10 Sam Stoll (6-1) vs #8 Youssif Hemida (8-2)
*** For anyone that’s in Iowa City for the dual, the Hawkeye Wrestling Club is hosting their annual ARCTIC PLUNGE fundraiser after the Maryland dual. ***
This is a big time event for the HWC and any and all donations will go a long way to keeping our men and women on the roster and competing at the international level and training for the Olympics. This is an All-Star event and the who’s who of Hawkeye Wrestling will be running into the icy cold waters at the Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville. Guys, it could be approaching ZERO degrees by the times these loons dive in. As of a few days ago, here is a list of who we can expect to see.