Nearly one year ago Oregon State was supposed to be on their way to Iowa City for an early season tune-up when they were forced to cancel their midwest trip due to inclement weather. Fortunately, Army was in Ames visiting our little sisters and Head coach Kevin Ward answered the call, re-routed their return trip, and went to Iowa City for an extra weekend dual.
Tom Brands promised to pay the debt that’s owed and here we are, on our way to West Point!
While we would go on to win 36-7 last year, it was without a doubt, one of my favorite moments of the prior season.
Here’s to the hope that the relationship between our two programs will continue to grow and this can become a regular dual.
The Black Knights are coming off a down year and have had a handful of upperclassmen depart. With the injection of young blood into the starting lineup they’re aiming for a quick turnaround that gets their program back on track.
They currently sit 1-1 on the short season following a 25-9 loss to #16 Nebraska and a win over Iowa’s upcoming opponent, Sacred Heart, 39-0.
While they may not possess the high-end offensive weapons that we have, they still have a handful of scrapers spread throughout their salty lineup. They have four appearing on Intermat’s rankings: #24 Ethan Berginc (125lbs), #28 Nate Lukez (157lbs), #28 Dalton Harkins (165lbs) and #21 Ben Pasaiuk (174lbs).
The Black Knights will look to flip 3 of these 4 key weights and keep this dual within striking distance. They also host #1 Penn State next Sunday, so while it’ll probably be a brutal week for these young cadets, it’ll also be a wild atmosphere and one they’re looking forward to. I fully expect Christl Arena to be amped up and rocking.
FYI - they also received 2 votes in the latest NWCA Coaches Rankings.
#2 IOWA (1-0)
Our new look Hawkeyes are fresh off the first win of the year following a drubbing over Cal Baptist 42-3. We won 9 of 10, including 7 by bonus point variety: 2 majors, 2 tech falls, and 3 pins.
Our guys did exactly what they needed to do as all of our familiar faces and team leaders took care of business. However, I am most impressed with Max Murin’s effort at 149lbs.
After rushing through a cradle attempt he found himself counting the lights and down 6-8 after the 1st period. In years past this could have spelled doom for Mad Max, but perhaps that’s why I’m keying on this moment. He would go on the warpath and dominate his way to a 24-9 win, via tech fall. Very rarely can I recall seeing someone, anyone for that matter, down 6-8 after one and outscore their opponent 18-1 over the next two periods.
Let’s circle this dual. In 2 or 3 months we may look back and say, “That’s when it all clicked for Ol’ Max.”
Additionally, not much has changed in terms of the projected lineup. Iowa can take 15 for this New York trip (which also includes Buffalo and Sacred Heart tomorrow). Math tells me 12 are listed on the probably lineup so we have a few extra bodies to play with. According to Tom Brands in his recent presser, #2 Real Woods (141lbs) is day-to-day, which indicates there’s a chance he’ll wrestle. So, he likely travels with the team.
174lbers Nelson Brands and Brennan Swafford are still out and so is #1 Spencer Lee from what I gather, but I have to assume he travels. I can’t imagine a world in which they’d leave him in Iowa City. I expect to see his face, but not necessarily toeing the line.
So with those 2 that leaves one more.
Woods, Warner, and Big Cass are set to appear in the NWCA All-Star Classic scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov. 22. With Drew Bennett already set to get a few matches, perhaps we see someone like Zach Glazier (197lbs) get a spot start.
Anyways, food for thought!
Also, Patrick Kennedy moves up one spot to #13 and Abe Assad jumps two places to #8. Good Stuff, let’s keep it going!
I need to get this diddy in the hopper, so there won’t be any Key Matchups for this dual, my apologies! But let’s keep our eye on Cobe Siebrecht at 157lbs. This is a fantastic early season test for him. If he can knock off #28 Lukez who is a fringe-type NCAA qualifier then this bodes well for his continued starts, but if he struggles then perhaps the doors opens up a bit for Rathjen to make an appearance.
125: Aidan Harris vs #24 Ethan Bergnic
133: Brody Teske // #13 Cullan Schriever vs Richard Treanor
141: Drew Bennett vs Julian Sanchez
149: #7 Max Murin vs Matthew Williams
157: Cobe Siebrecht // Caleb Rathjen vs #28 Nate Lukez
165: #13 Patrick Kennedy vs #28 Dalton Harris
174: Drake Rhodes vs #21 Ben Pasiuk
184: #8 Abe Assad vs Sahm Abullrazzaq
197: #2 Jacob Warner vs Kyle Swartz
285: #4 Tony Cassioppi vs Kade Carlson
Dual time: 6:00PM GT (Central) // Thursday, Nov. 17 2022
Location: Christl Arena // West Point, NY
TV/ Online: FloWrestling ($$$)
Radio: iHeartRadio (AM800 KXIC)