WHO: #8 Iowa State Cyclones (1-0)
WHEN: Sunday, November 24, 2019
WHERE: Hilton Coliseum (Ames, IA)
KICKOFF: 2:00 PM Central
ONLINE: Cyclone.TV ($) and Flowrestling ($)
RADIO: Hawkeye Sports Network (check local listings); TuneIn (maybe)
HOW TO WATCH: This dual doesn't appear to be on TV at all, even in the state of Iowa. So that leaves online streams. If you're already a Flowrestling subscriber, you're in luck -- they'll be airing this dual. If you're not, signing up will run you $150, though a subscription is good for a year. The other option is Cyclones.TV, which offers a 24-hour pass to all Cyclones.TV content for $6.95.
After walloping UT-Chattanooga to open the season, Iowa heads to Ames for their second dual meet of the year -- against an opponent that should pose a stiffer test than the mighty Mocs did last weekend. Iowa State is one of Iowa's oldest rivals and the opponent they've faced the third-most times (behind only Minnesota and Wisconsin) in the history of Iowa wrestling.
Of course, in the long and short term, that history is heavily slanted in Iowa's favor. Iowa leads the all-time series 65-16-2. More recently, Iowa has won the last 15 straight duals between the programs, and 30 of the last 31 meetings. Tom Brands has never lost to Iowa State as coach, going 14-0 against the Cyclones. Not many of the duals have been close, either, as Iowa's average margin of victory in those 14 consecutive victories is almost 14 points per dual.
The arrival of Kevin Dresser as Iowa State's head coach two years ago brought some renewed vigor to the rivalry. Dresser, a former Iowa wrestler, and his staff (also all former Iowa wrestlers) have boosted the talent in Ames and taken a program that had become a laughingstock (a few years ago Iowa State sent just one wrestler to the NCAA Tournament) and infused it with enough respectability to become competitive once again. Last year Iowa State sent multiple wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament and even had an All-American (149er Jarrett Degen). They also weren't a hopeless tire fire in dual meet competition, going 10-4.
Aside from the names on the singlets, the two Iowa-Iowa State duals in the Dresser Era haven't had much in common. In 2017, Iowa absolutely mauled the Cyclones, 35-6. Iowa State's only points came via an Iowa forfeit at 197 lbs and Iowa had a 22-1 advantage in takedowns in the dual. It was an absolute ass-kicking. A year later, in 2018, Iowa won again -- but by the absolute slimmest of margins, recording the first-ever 1-point win in the history of Iowa-Iowa State duals. Iowa State benefited from an unfortunate injury default at 174 lbs and won almost all of the close matches; Iowa was only able to pick up their 15th straight win thanks to a surprise return from injury by a hobbled Sam Stoll, bonus points from Alex Marinelli and Spencer Lee, and Austin DeSanto holding his defeat to Austin Gomez to a regular decision (and narrowly avoiding getting pinned).
So what does this year's dual hold? Something in-between those two extremes is most likely, though it should be a pretty comfortable Iowa win.
|WT||#2 IOWA||VS||#8 IOWA STATE|
#1 Spencer Lee (1-0, JR)
Aaron Cashman (3-0, RS FR)
|vs||#9 Alex Mackall (4-0, JR)|
#2 Austin DeSanto (1-0, JR)
Paul Glynn (1-0, SR)
Gavin Teasdale (3-1, RS FR)
Todd Small (3-1, JR)
Ramazan Attasauov (9-3, FR)
#9 Max Murin (1-0, SO)
Carter Happel (4-0, JR)
#14 Ian Parker (1-0, JR)
#5 Austin Gomez (0-0, SO)
|149||#3 Pat Lugo (1-0, SR)||vs||#6 Jarrett Degen (4-1, JR)|
|157||#2 Kaleb Young (1-0, JR)||vs||#6 David Carr (1-0, RS FR)|
|165||#5 Alex Marinelli (1-0, JR)||vs||#20 Chase Straw (3-1, SR)|
|174||#2 Michael Kemerer (1-0, SR)||vs||#16 Marcus Coleman (3-1, SO)|
#9 Cash Wilcke (4-0, SR)
Nelson Brands (1-0, RS FR)
|vs||#8 Samuel Colbray (3-1, SR)|
|197||#5 Jacob Warner (1-0, SO)||vs||
#23 Joel Shapiro (3-2, RS FR)
Francis Duggan (3-4, RS FR)
|285||#12 Tony Cassioppi (1-0, RS FR)||vs||#15 Gannon Gremmel (2-1, JR)|
(all rankings via Trackwrestling)
If Lee and DeSanto wrestle at their given weights, then Iowa should be heavy favorites at at least five weights -- 125, 133, 165, 174, and 197. (And arguably six weights, given that Cassioppi pinned Gremmel in their only previous meeting.) If Iowa wins all of those weights, Iowa State would need to win every other weight -- all of which are toss-ups for Iowa State at best. They'd also need to somehow avoid giving up bonus points in any of those five Iowa wins, which seems... unlikely. But let's look at things weight-by-weight.
125: Unlike last week, Aaron Cashman is listed as a possible option here for Iowa. We know he's going to wrestle in Lee's place in some duals this year -- will this be the first one of the season? If so, this becomes a very competitive match, and one that ISU could very likely win. I'm going to guess that Lee wrestles here and I'll pencil him in for a major decision since he ought to be able to get a few tilts.
IOWA 4, ISU 0
133: Three options for Iowa here -- the options abound! Iowa State has a very good wrestler who, if all goes to plan, will be at this weight later in the year -- #5 Austin Gomez. But he's not yet down at that weight, so ISU will have to roll with either Small, a former JUCO national champion, or Attasauov. If we assume DeSanto is not an option at 141 for this dual (since the match notes don't list him there), I expect him to see the mat here. And I expect him to put on another takedown clinic en route to a technical fall.
IOWA 9, ISU 0
141: Max Murin could make his dual debut here, if the match notes are to be trusted. Murin led Parker 4-1 in the third period last year, before conceding an escape, a penalty point for hands to the face, and a takedown in the final seconds to lose 5-4. Ouch. There's also a question re: Murin's health; he only wrestled once at the Luther Open last weekend before medically forfeiting out of the event and he was reportedly sporting a big shoulder brace. I think Murin is, overall, the better wrestler than Parker. But given that he doesn't seem to be 100%, I think Parker can snatch another close win here.
IOWA 9, ISU 3
149: This is one of the spotlight matches of the dual and the only one that pits two All-Americans against one another. Degen went 2-0 against Lugo last year, beating him 7-4 in overtime at the dual meet and 11-9 in the 7th place match at the NCAA Tournament. Degen's length gave Lugo a lot of problems last year, so this ought to be an early test to see if Lugo has improved against foes with significant length advantages. This match could definitely go either way, but until I see Lugo beat Degen, I'm favoring the lanky Cyclone.
IOWA 9, ISU 6
157: This is the other spotlight match of the dual. It doesn't pit two All-Americans... but that's only because Carr is a redshirt freshman and hasn't yet had a chance to make the podium. He looks like an absolute best stud and the best wrestler Iowa State has had since Jon Reader or Kyven Gadson. He went 23-1 while redshirting last year, with bonus points in over 60% of his wins, and also won a junior world championship over the summer. I went with ISU in the other toss-up match, so I'll go Iowa in this one and trust in Young's veteran guile to give him the edge over Carr -- but flipping this result would come as no surprise.
IOWA 12, ISU 6
165: The Bull has feasted on Cyclone opponents so far in his career. As a redshirt frosh, he scored a 53-second pin over ISU's Skyler St. John. Last year he pinned Brady Jennings in 4:44. Chase Straw is better than either St. John or Jennings, but he's still far off Marinelli's level. I think he avoids getting stuck, but The Bull is able to get a major decision.
IOWA 16, ISU 6
174: This weight was one of the pivot points in the dual last year, as Iowa went from winning the bout with Myles Wilson leading Coleman to having to take an injury default after Wilson injured his knee and couldn't continue. That made for a 9-point swing in the dual -- kind of a big deal in a meet decided by just one point! Wilson, of course, was only wrestling because he was replacing another wrestler with a knee injury, Michael Kemerer. Well, Kemerer is back now and as we saw last week, he looks good. I think he makes a statement here and thrashes Coleman to the tune of a very lopsided major decision.
IOWA 20, ISU 6
184: In the final five weights, this is easily Iowa State's best shot at a win. Colbray knocked off Wilcke last year, 7-6, in the dual meet, after all. That was another match where the Iowa wrestler led the match in the third period before giving up a late takedown to lose. With Wilcke, almost every match is a close one, especially against a quality opponent. So this looks like another toss-up, but I'll give Colbray the win since he managed to beat Wilcke last year and has home mat advantage -- which could be useful if the the dual score is close when this match goes down. I'd have Colbray as a more solid favorite if Brands ends up wrestling here again.
IOWA 20, ISU 9
197: Jacob Warner made his official Iowa debut last year in this dual meet -- and picked up a pivotal upset win over ISU's Willie Miklus in the process. Not a bad way to make your debut. Shapiro had a solid year while redshirting last season, going 25-5, though that was at 184. He's 3-2 up at 197 lbs and he hasn't faced anyone of Warner's pedigree yet. It would be nice to see bonus points here from Warner, but I think he settles for a workmanlike decision instead.
IOWA 23, ISU 9
285: Per the rankings, this is a relatively close bout. I don't think it actually is, though. Cassioppi steamrolled Gremmel last year -- he pinned him in 4:20. Against common opponents, Cassioppi went 14-0 with 9 pins, while Gremmel went 14-7 with just one pin. Tony Pins is the better wrestler here... and I don't think it's close. I wouldn't be stunned if he got another pin, but I'll project a major decision win instead.
IOWA 27, ISU 9