Iowa wrapped up a share of regular season Big Ten title with last week's 27-9 win over Michigan. Iowa finished the job this week with a dismantling of Minnesota, 35-9. Despite losing the first dual of the match for the first time all year in Big Ten competition (and just the second time all season) and losing two of the first three bouts overall, this dual quickly turned into an absolute rout for the boys in black and gold. After going down 6-4 after the third match, Iowa rattled off seven straight wins to conclude the dual, including a forfeit, a pin, and two technical falls. In all, five of Iowa's eight total wins featured bonus points. Iowa stuffed Minnesota in a trash can on Saturday night and they did it in style.
Minnesota got a mild upset to start the dual, with Owen Webster edging past Cash Wilcke, 3-2, at 184 lbs. Iowa took the lead for the first time all night with a major decision win from Jacob Warner at 197 lbs. Minnesota took the lead for the second (and final) time at 285, where Gable Steveson won the battle between #1 and #3 at heavyweight. After that, though, it was all Iowa. Spencer Lee helped Iowa retake the lead with his easiest victory of the season -- a forfeit. Austin DeSanto made his return to the Iowa lineup for the first time in two weeks after that and promptly went to work thrashing the hell out of Boo Dryden and locking up a technical fall.
Not every Iowa win was a case of one-sided domination, though. Max Murin picked up a 6-4 win in a sudden victory thriller with an excellent takedown in sudden victory at 141. Pat Lugo followed that up with a nervy 3-2 win at 149. And Kaleb Young made it three-for-three for Iowa in close matches with a 5-4 win in the first overtime tiebreaker periods. After that stretch of actual competitive action, though, Iowa wrapped up the night with more domination. Alex Marinelli gave a freshman a rude indoctrination into life in the Big Ten with a technical fall manhandling and then Michael Kemerer locked up a cradle and took Devin Skatzka to his back for a first period pin to end the night with a BOOM.
#1 Iowa 35, #13 Minnesota 6
|184||#16 Owen Webster||DEC (3-2)||Cash Wilcke||MINNESOTA 3-0|
|197||#5 Jacob Warner||MAJ DEC (13-4)||#25 Hunter Ritter||IOWA 4-3|
|285||#1 Gable Steveson||DEC (7-5)||#3 Tony Cassioppi||MINNESOTA 6-4|
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||WIN VIA FORFEIT||--||IOWA 10-6|
|133||#3 Austin DeSanto||TECH FALL (24-8)||Boo Dryden||IOWA 15-6|
|141||#7 Max Murin||DEC (6-4 OT)||#4 Mitch McKee||IOWA 18-6|
|149||#4 Pat Lugo||DEC (3-2)||#5 Brayton Lee||IOWA 21-6|
|157||#4 Kaleb Young||DEC (5-4 2OT)||#32 Ryan Thomas||IOWA 24-6|
|165||#2 Alex Marinelli||TECH FALL (21-6)||Kasper McIntosh||IOWA 29-6|
|174||#1 Michael Kemerer||FALL (2:52)||#8 Devin Skatzka||IOWA 35-6|
A few thoughts:
I did say Spencer Lee would get back on the bonus point horse this week. (Real bold prediction there, I know.)
Austin DeSanto looked very good in his return to action. More importantly, he seemed to move well and didn't show any obvious signs of impairment from his knee injury two weeks ago. He was also able to get off the mat and secure an escape on that dinged up knee, despite facing a lanky, tricky rider. This was takedown machine DeSanto; he had six takedowns in the first period alone and kept the pressure going for the entire match before finishing things off with a four-point nearfall move in the third period. This was definitely a very encouraging outing from DeSanto.
And speaking of encouraging returns to action... welcome back, Max Murin! Back in action for the first time in a month -- and without his bulky shoulder brace (or any brace at all, in fact) for the first time all season -- Murin came back to face #4 McKee -- and posted a big-time win in the process. Murin did give up the initial takedown (off a very slick duck under from McKee), but he got a quick escape and was able to secure a sharp-looking takedown of his own in the second period. He came close on a few other occasions later in the match, before finally sealing the deal with a beautiful double leg shot into the winning takedown. McKee is a very good wrestler, so this was a heck of a win for Max.
Pat Lugo wrestled a very Pat Lugo match to knock off Brayton Lee. He took a nice shot, got to Lee's leg, then elevated and finished to go up 2-0. He put a tough ride on Lee in the second period and racked up around a minute of riding time. And then in the third he got an escape to go up 3-2 and put on his customary display of rock solid defense. This was a close match, but it was also a match where Lee never seemed too close to scoring on Lugo. His matches might not be for the faint of heart, but Lugo has been getting the job done on a consistent basis.
Kind of a strange match for Kaleb Young. Despite only beating the #32-ranked guy by a point (off an escape in the second tiebreaker period after riding Thomas out in the first tiebreaker period), I didn't think Young really wrestled very badly here. He was stunningly close to getting a winning takedown at a few points in the third period and sudden victory, but couldn't quite finish the job (or do it before the clock hit 0:00). This was far from the prettiest win of Young's career, but it also wasn't a particularly bad performance, either.
Feeding a true freshman to Alex Marinelli in front of a Carver crowd is borderline abuse, Gophers. Marinelli took young Kasper and turned him into a friendly ghost by the end of the match. In the first period Marinelli took a page out of the DeSanto playbook and decided to play catch-and-release and show off his variety of attacks in a dizzying display of takedowns. He went pin-hunting after that and while he couldn't find the fall, his efforts led to nearfall points and a solid technical fall result. Seeing The Bull gore people doesn't ever get boring.
Speaking of guys who aren't boring and are very, very good at wrestling... Michael Kemerer is really hitting BEAST MODE these days. He took a top ten opponent to the woodshed here, scoring a pair of early takedowns and then locking up a cradle and rocking Skatzka to sleep a few seconds later. Kemerer looks strong, he looks quick, his hips make it extremely hard to score on him, and his success rate at finishing shots when he gets to an opponent's leg is tremendous. Keep feasting, Kemdawg.
The biggest disappointment of the dual by far was at 184, where Cash Wilcke got the nod for the second straight dual -- and ate a loss for his troubles. This match was painfully familiar if you've been watching Wilcke over the last few years: scoreless first period, gives up a takedown in the second, fights hard in the third but can't find a takedown of his own. 184 is the most mystifying (and frustrating) weight on the Iowa team right now and it's not even close.
An aggressive Jacob Warner is our favorite Jacob Warner and, boy, did we get a pretty aggressive Jacob Warner in this match. Seeing Warner battle to keep scoring points and lock up a major decision warmed our hearts. He looked tough from neutral, tough from on top, and tough from on bottom as well. It would be great if this Warner could stick around for a few more weeks.
- Outside of 184, 285 was the only Iowa loss of the night, but it was hard to get too down about Cassioppi's performance. Steveson had manhandled Cassioppi in many (all?) of their past encounters (pre-college), but Cassioppi hung tough with him in this match. This was also a nice bounce-back after Cassioppi got flattened by #2 Mason Parris a week ago. Cassioppi did a good job of getting escapes from Steveson, frustrating him, and defending several attacks. The bad news is that Steveson still finished three takedowns and Cassioppi didn't even really take any shots on Steveson. Cass was able to keep it close against Steveson here, which was nice. But he's not going to actually beat Steveson until he shows that he can actually finish shots on the big fella.
NEXT: Iowa wraps up their dual meet schedule with a visit from #10 Oklahoma State (7 PM CT, BTN).