Who: #2 Iowa vs. South Dakota State
Date: Friday December 4th, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Iowa City, IA
Video: BTN Plus (the one you pay for)
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0) vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits (1-4)
125- #2 Thomas Gilman vs Kahlen Morris
133- #2 Cory Clark vs Brance Simms
141- Logan Ryan vs Seth Gross
149- #2 Brandon Sorensen vs Alex Kocer
157- Edwin Cooper vs #7 Cody Pack
165- Patrick Rhoads or Burke Paddock vs Luke Zilverberg
174- #3 Alex Meyer vs David Kocer
184- #11 Sammy Brooks vs Brady Ayers
197- #4 Nathan Burak vs #14 Nate Rotert
285- Sam Stoll vs Alex Macki
Tonight the second ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will return to their home mat and welcome in Chirs Bono and his South Dakota State Jackrabbits for a 7:00 PM dual (available on BTN Plus – that’s the one you pay for even if you already have BTN). This will be South Dakota State’s first trip to Carver, and the two teams haven’t met since 2000, where Iowa was able to post a 47-0 shutout. Iowa leads the all-time series 4-0.
Making the dual even more interesting is that the Jackrabbits start two Iowa natives in their lineup at 133 and 285, and at 141 pounds former Iowa Hawkeye Seth Gross will take the mat. After committing to Iowa in the 2014 recruiting class, many expected the former Minnesota Junior freestyle national champion had the inside track on the starting spot in the Iowa lineup, but all of that changed one night in March when Gross, along with former teammates Ross Lembeck and Logan Ryan were arrested in Marion for alcohol and (then) pending burglary charges. Fast-forward to today, and Ryan has earned his way back onto the team, and is now the starting 141 pounder against his former teammate, who he is 1-1 all-time in college. The first meeting went to Ryan where he won 2-1 in the tiebreaks, but Gross defeated Ryan 7-2 later in the year. These two wrestlers spent a majority of the previous year getting to know each others’ tenancies, so expect a match between to highly familiar wrestlers.
Humboldt native Brance Simms will return to his home state, but expect the matchup to be heavily favored by the Hawkeye Cory Clark at 133. Clark is coming off a big weekend that saw him defeat Cyclone All-American Earl Hall for the 5th time in his career, as he won the meeting 9-2. In Clark’s six matches this season he has won half of those by fall, and the other three by an average margin of over 7 points (only two matches against non-D1 competition). Clark will look to continue his redhot start to the season.
The other Iowa native for the Jackrabbits is former Ballard standout Alex Macki, who will take on redshirt freshman Sam Stoll at 285.So far Stoll has looked much the same as he did in high school as he is riding a pinning streak – although his four match streak is a long way from matching his high school record of 60+ matches – coming into this battle. Macki has taken some weird losses to non-D1 opponents, and it is still unknown whether Stoll is truly a top 20 wrestler at this weight.
For the rest of the dual the Hawkeyes are expected to be favored throughout the lineup. At 125 Thomas Gilman will look to push his record to 7-0 against freshman Kahlen Morris. Gilman enters his match scoring a bonus point in each contest, and when Gilman is wrestling lights out, like he is right now, he can be an opposing wrestler’s worst nightmare.
Brandon Sorensen will face off against Alex Kocer at 149 and this could be another potential big match for the Hawkeyes. Earlier this season Hawkeye true freshman Mike Kemerer handled Kocer 17-4 to win the Harold Nichols Open title and so far Kemerer’s junior teammate is off to a pretty strong start himself. Sorensen is riding a five match bonus win streak, including a 11-3 major over ranked opponent Gabe Moreno the prior weekend.
The first half of the lineup will close out with the only clear Jackrabbit favorite on paper, with Cody Pack most likely facing Edwin Cooper at 157. Cooper has shown the ability to be a dangerous wrestler on his feet, but so far mental mistakes have kept the senior from realizing the potential that made him a highly ranked recruit out of high school. A win by a Hawkeye at this weight would be surprising, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the talent – we have just yet to see a wrestler put together a complete match.
Last weekend Iowa coach Tom Brands opted to go with Patrick Rhoads at 165, and he may not be a bad option again tonight against Luke Zilverberg. South Dakota State might actually be favored in this match as well, but after losing a tough match 10-9 to Cyclone Tanner Weatherman, there seems to be some signs that Rhoads might have the potential to step up at this weight.
Nathan Burak will take on Nate Rotert at 197, in what will be the duals only ranked meeting between two wrestlers, but if Burak has been anything it is consistent and he should take this matchup. Juniors Alex Meyer (174) and Sammy Brooks (184) should win their matchups tonight, with both of them potentially scoring bonus points.
On paper this dual favors the Hawkeyes in six matches (125, 133, 149, 174, 184, 197) vs South Dakota State being favored in one (157). In the three toss up matches, the Hawkeyes have the edge in just one (285), with South Dakota State most likely viewed as the better pick ’em a the other two (141 and 165). The big kicker is that Iowa will have much more bonus potential than the Jackrabbits, but to be certain fans should not expect a similar result to the last time these two teams met.