On a rather warm December winter day in Iowa City, the Iowa Hawkeyes took to the mat against Michigan State in their first conference action of the season. Coming off a 41-0 drubbing last year, Michigan State had to be looking to make some sort of statement, and in fact they did. It just might not have been the statement they wanted to make.
Iowa dominated all the stat categories you want to see; takedowns (32 Iowa-5 Michigan State), Reversal (4-0), Near fall 3 (3-0), but perhaps the most telling was the stalling disparity (1-11). Yes, Michigan State was called for stalling 11 times, and penalized five times on the night.
Of that monster takedown gap, Thomas Gilman (125) and Mike Evans (174) accounted for a majority of it as Gilman had eight, and Evans had seven counting for almost half of the team’s total. Both Gilman and Evans put up big bonus points for the Hawkeyes, and coach Brands even attributed Evans for firing up and really building up the momentum for the last three weights.
Those last three weights say a Sammy Brooks (184) major decision, an Alex Meyer (197) decision, and a Bobby Telford (285) major decision. Meyer who is normally a 174, wrestled all the way up at 197 for the meet, but according to coach Brands that was the plan all week. Meyer gave up significant weight in his match, as he will be wrestling at 174 for the Midland tournament at the end of the month, so he needed to weigh in under 180. That means he was giving up close to 20 pounds.
When asked if he felt the difference Meyer responded with, “Are these guys any bigger than when I go up against Klapprodt or Burak at practice? No”.
At 141 and 157 Iowa saw a couple different faces. Topher Carton was the man at 141 to give senior Josh Dziewa a bit of a breather before Midlands. Carton was able to pull out another win 6-3 over Garth Yenter. Edwin Cooper got the nod at 157 for the same reason. Brands said that Kelly could have gone, but it was good to make sure that he was 100% ready for the end of the month and that they wanted to give Cooper a look anyway so it all worked out to give him the start tonight. Cooper responded with a 6-5 win. Not the prettiest, but Iowa fans saw him get out to a strong start early on. If he can maintain his attacking pressure in all three periods, Cooper will be one tough out on the mat.
Brody Grothus also put together an excellent performance at 149, scoring a takedown in the closing seconds of his match to score a technicall fall for the team.
So while not everything was all positive tonight, if you look at the results, you have to feel there was a step forward taken from last weeks dual with Iowa State. Last week the lack of bonus points was concerning to some, tonight Iowa responded with bonus victories in half of their matches in a lineup where three of the starters didn’t wrestle.
As mentioned the Iowa Hawkeyes will now have a layoff from now until the Midland tournament at the end of December.
125 – Thomas Gilman (Iowa) major dec. Mitch Rogaliner (Michigan State), 18-6; 4-0
133 – Cory Clark (Iowa) dec. Hermilo Esquivel (Michigan State), 5-0; 7-0
141 – Topher Carton (Iowa) dec. Garth Yenter (Michigan State), 6-3; 10-0
149 – Brody Grothus (Iowa) tech fall Kaelen Richards (Michigan State), 16-1; 15-0
157 – Edwin Cooper (Iowa) dec. Roger Wildmo (Michigan State), 6-5; 18-0
165 – Nick Moore (Iowa) dec. Ryan Watts (Michigan State), 5-3; 21-0
174 – Mike Evans (Iowa) tech fall Kevin Nash (Michigan State), 20-5; 26-0
184 – Sammy Brooks (Iowa) major dec. John Rizqallah (Michigan State), 11-3; 30-0
197 – Alex Meyer (Iowa) dec. Nick McDiarmid (Michigan State), 6-5; 33-0
285 – Bobby Telford (Iowa) major dec. Luke Jones (Michigan State), 10-2; 35-0