If Friday night's epic slugfest with Penn State was the main course, Iowa wrestling's visit to East Lansing today was the equivalent of an after-dinner mint. The #1 vs #2 throwdown with Penn State was full of blood, thunder, and drama; the atmosphere and the action in today's dual were a bit more... subdued. Iowa got a pin to start things off, then won the next six consecutive matches before Michigan State finally got on the board at 184 lbs. Regular service was restored after that brief interruption, as Iowa won the final two matches of the day to cruise to a 32-3 dual meet victory.
Iowa brought in a few backups for this dual -- though not as many as I expected. Paul Glynn filled in for Austin DeSanto at 133 lbs and Carter Happel wrestled his third straight match in place of Max Murin at 141 lbs, while Alex Marinelli also got a breather at 165 lbs, with Jeremiah Moody taking his place in the lineup. Beyond that, though, it was business as usual for Iowa's starters at the other seven weights. Given the weaker opposition, the travel, and the short turnaround time from Friday night's huge dual, I thought we might see a bit more rotation. A lopsided score in the dual was probably on the docket no matter what, but leaving in some of Iowa's top wrestlers made a few results even more lopsided.
#1 Iowa 32, Michigan State 3
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||FALL (2:21)||Logan Griffin||IOWA 6-0|
|133||Paul Glynn||DEC (9-4)||Garrett Pepple||IOWA 9-0|
|141||Carter Happel||DEC (4-1)||Matt Santos||IOWA 12-0|
|149||#3 Pat Lugo||DEC (8-3)||Alex Hrisopoulos||IOWA 15-0|
|157||#4 Kaleb Young||DEC (6-2)||#19 Jake Tucker||IOWA 18-0|
|165||Jeremiah Moody||DEC (9-5)||Austin Hiles||IOWA 21-0|
|174||#2 Michael Kemerer||MAJ DEC (13-3)||#23 Layne Malczewski||IOWA 25-0|
|184||#15 Cameron Caffey||DEC (4-3)||#6 Abe Assad||IOWA 25-3|
|197||#5 Jacob Warner||DEC (5-2)||Nick May||IOWA 28-3|
|285||#3 Tony Cassioppi||MAJ DEC (10-0)||Christian Rebottaro||IOWA 32-3|
A few additional thoughts:
Bad news: Spencer Lee's technical fall streak ended at six matches. Good news: that's because he got a pin instead. He still didn't have to wrestle outside of the first period, sealing the deal in just 2:21 here. Spencer Lee remains a hot knife and the rest of the Big Ten 125ers remain butter.
Paul Glynn replaced Austin DeSanto at 133 lbs and came away with a 9-4 decision win that was much closer than the score indicates. The first two periods were virtually all Pepple: he got a takedown early and rode Glynn hard for over 1:30. Glynn chose neutral to start the second and despite getting to Pepple's legs a few times, he was unable to finish any shots. Finally, in the third period, Glynn was able to get going: he got a takedown and forced a pair of quick stall calls to cut his deficit to 4-3. But time was running out on Glynn and he needed one more takedown. He got more than just a single takedown: with time running out, he hit a cement mixer and took Pepple over, exposing his back to the mat for a four-point near fall in the process. Just like that a 4-3 loss turned into a 9-4 victory. While we definitely hope DeSanto's injury isn't serious and he'll be able to return soon, it was nice to see Glynn get another appearance in an Iowa singlet -- and make the most of it.
Max Murin remains out at 141, which meant a third-straight start for Carter Happel. Fortunately for Happel, this was the first of those three matches that wasn't against an opponent ranked in the Top 2 at 141. Happel used a takedown and an escape to build a 3-0 lead, then rode Santos for the entire third period to finish off the victory. Nothing splashy, but a perfectly acceptable win.
Pat Lugo produced another very workmanlike win at 149 lbs, picking up a few takedowns to open an early lead, then cruising to the finish line. He did try to play the cut-and-release game in the third to push for a major decision, though by the time he went for that, there wasn't much time remaining. Still, another very steady win for Lugo.
The same was true for Kaleb Young at 157 lbs. Even though the Punxsutawney native was wrestling on Groundhog Day, he did not appear to gain superpowers -- or even bonus point powers. Young got a pair of early takedowns to jump out to a quick lead, then added an escape and a riding time point later on to finish off a 6-2 win.
Alex Marinelli got a break at 165 lbs, which provided a rare opportunity for Jeremiah Moody to get a run-out in an Iowa singlet. Moody made the most of his opportunity, scoring a few early takedowns and continuing to look for more scoring opportunities throughout the match, before settling for a 9-5 win. Moody's win made Iowa's backups 3-for-3 in this dual, which was good to see. The Spartan competiton they faced wasn't elite, but it's always nice to see backups perform well when called upon.
Michael Kemerer followed up his incredibly thrilling win over #1 Mark Hall on Friday night with a somewhat less electrifying performance here -- but he still managed to coast to a win, and he picked up bonus points in the process. Kemerer was quick on the attack off the opening whistle (that was a theme for Iowa throughout the dual) and turned that early aggression into points on a few occasions. He blew the match open with a reversal and a tilt for four near fall points in the third period, which helped him lock up the major decision as well. Kemerer continues to look better and better, which is a great sign with March approaching.
Iowa's shutout was spoiled at 184, where MSU's Cam Caffey knocked off Abe Assad (alliteration battle!) by a narrow 4-3 decision. Caffey is MSU's best wrestler and their best chance at scoring points against Iowa in this dual -- and he seized the moment and got MSU's lone win of the dual. Although this was a low-scoring match overall, it featured plenty of action; both wrestlers had potential takedowns taken away by video review in the first period, and both wrestlers fought off deep shots from their opponents on several occasions. Assad, in particular, got to Caffey's legs with relative ease throughout the match -- but just could not turn any of those attacks into finished takedowns. The 184 lb weight class in the Big Ten is absolutely topsy-turvy this season.
Jacob Warner restored Iowa's momentum with a 5-2 win at 197. Another match with an early takedown for the Iowa wrestler, followed by a fair amount of hard riding. This was another very workmanlike win in a dual full of them for Iowa wrestlers, frankly.
- Tony Cassioppi finished off the dual with a dominant 10-0 major decision win for the good guys. Each period followed pretty much the same formula: get a takedown, ride the snot out of Rebottaro until the period was over. Tack on an escape, a riding time point, and a stall point and you've got yourself a 10-0 major decision win.
NEXT: Iowa heads back to the Mitten State next weekend to take on #25 Michigan (6-3, 5-1 Big Ten) on Saturday, February 8 (6 PM CT, BTN).