Daily Iowan wrestling beat writers Cody Goodwin and Jordan Hansen preview tonight’s Iowa-Iowa State wrestling dual in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) November 29, 2014
In 2009, second-ranked Iowa State came to Iowa City and nearly beat the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team. The Hawkeyes pulled out a narrow 18-16 victory, thanks, in large part, to Brent Metcalf’s win by fall over Mitch Mueller at 149 pounds.
Later that season, Iowa ran away from the competition at the NCAA championships, scoring 134.5 points en route to what was then its third-straight team national title. Iowa State finished third with 75 points.
Since the 2009-10 season, the Cy-Hawk wrestling series has been incredibly lopsided. Iowa has dominated Iowa State to the tune of 104-34 in their last four meetings. In all, the Hawkeyes have won 10-straight in the series.
So, what happened?
“I think it’s our pace and our mentality,” Iowa’s Thomas Gilman told me. “I remember what you’re talking about, that ’09-10 year. Metcalf came out, and he was on the guy. He was in on his legs in the first 15 seconds, then he was stuffing the guy’s head and his arms come up, and, boom, Metcalf sticks him. The guy went out there, and he looked ready to go, but once Metcalf put the pressure on him, he folded.
“These guys — they’re going to be ready for us. They think they train hard. Their coaching staff has them talked up. They’re going to be fired up to come to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. But once we put that pressure on them, they’re going to fold, and they’re going to break.”
Talk about confidence.
This should be a fun night for the Hawkeyes. It’s their in-state rivals, in their building, with what looks to be a great crowd. Iowa is heavily favored in this dual, as it should be, but there are a few matchups I’m personally looking forward to watching.
The first one: 133 pounds. Cory Clark versus Earl Hall. Clark beat Hall last season twice, both in the dual and at the NCAAs. Clark should win handily, but Hall is always a threat to throw a big move or two.
Second: 149. Just curious to see who Iowa sends out. It’s between Brody Grothus and Brandon Sorensen.
Third: 165. Nick Moore vs. Michael Moreno. Should be a fun one.
Finally: 197. Whether it’s Sammy Brooks or Nathan Burak who wrestles Kyven Gadson, it should be a good matchup. Brooks nearly beat Gadson last year in Ames, while Burak still hasn’t officially wrestled for Iowa yet this season (he competed unattached at Luther and didn’t wrestle at the Iowa City Duals).
In all, Iowa should win tonight with ease, but Iowa State could certainly make it interesting by winning some of those closer bouts.
Also, this: Rob Brooks and Dan Gable are calling the dual live tonight. Mediacom is broadcasting it statewide. If nothing else, watch it for Gable and his crazy reactions to some of those matches. I promise, it will be well worth it.
Good evening from Carver-Hawkeye Arena, it should be a great one tonight as Iowa and Iowa State will wrestle for the 81st time in school history.
— Jordan Hansen (@JordyHansen) November 29, 2014
There are a number of good story lines tonight, though my favorite might be the the 165-pound match between Iowa’s Nick Moore and Iowa State’s Michael Moreno. We talked about it last week, and it should be one of the premier bouts of the evening.
With it being the Cy-Hawk series, the victory gets bragging rights for another year, but for Iowa, it goes a bit deeper than that this season. The Hawks are in a position this season to possibly win a national title, and this will be their first test. Today will mark the team’s first real competition, and it should speak volumes about just how good the Hawkeyes are at this point in the season.
Expect a competitive dual here tonight, but Iowa should prove victorious over its perennial in-state rival with relative ease.