Terry Brands isn’t sure if being embarrassed by Penn State on Dec. 21 at home served as a wake-up call for the Iowa wrestling team.
But something has lit a fire under the Hawkeyes, the latest proof being Sunday’s 38-4 beat down against Indiana before a crowd of 6,447 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I don’t know if it was a wake-up call or if we were flat and we didn’t perform, or (Penn State) is that good, maybe,” said Iowa’s associate head wrestling coach. “It’s hard to say what it was. We know that we didn’t represent ourselves in the Hawkeye way. And nobody knows that more than this coaching staff.”
Terry Brands filled in for his twin brother — head coach Tom Brands — during the post-match press conference because Tom already had left the arena on a reported recruiting trip to California.
Sunday’s victory came less than 48 hours after Iowa crushed fifth-ranked Oklahoma State 24-6 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Any concern about a hangover effect didn’t last long, though, with Iowa clearly the aggressor on Sunday.
“We moved on Friday night from Oklahoma State,” Terry Brands said.
Iowa improved to 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten with Sunday’s victory. The Hawkeyes have won the Midlands Championships and four consecutive duals by a combined score of 133-13 since losing to top-ranked and three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State 24-12 at Carver-Hawkeye four days before Christmas.
Iowa’s only blemish on Sunday came at 157 pounds where Michael Kelly dropped a 17-6 major decision against sixth-ranked Taylor Walsh. However, Kelly was inserted in the lineup for top-ranked Derek St. John.
Terry Brands said the purpose of the lineup change was to give the 20-0 St. John a rest, while also giving Kelly some valuable experience.
“He’s been on the mat a lot and we just know how he is, he works so doggone hard in his matches and in his practices,” Terry Brands said of St. John, a former standout at West High. “And we were in a situation where we could (go) with Kelly, and we’re building Kelly.
“Frankly, that’s the answer. We wanted to see where he’s at, too, and see what we got there.”
Third-ranked Bobby Telford started the dual with a 9-5 victory in overtime at 285 pounds against seventh-ranked Adam Chalfant. Telford, who improved to 15-1, recorded an escape with 40 seconds left in the third period to force overtime with the score tied at 5-5.
Telford fell behind 2-0 after allowing an early takedown in the first period.
“I didn’t need a wake-up call,” Telford said when asked about falling behind early in the match. “It should never have happened. You could say it started a fire. But you get right back on your feet and it’s not a big deal.”
Iowa expanded the lead to 9-0 with Thomas Gilman winning by forfeit at 125 pounds. The lead swelled to 15-0 when 133-pounder Tony Ramos pinned Chris Caton in the second period.
Josh Dziewa and Brody Grothus both won by major decision in their matches at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Former West High star Nick Moore also won by major decision at 165 pounds to improve to 13-2 on the season.
“It’s one of those things that you have to realize you can’t have a letdown after that,” Moore said of the Oklahoma State match. “You have to come in and be just as focused. A good way to put it is one of our coaches said this is the most important thing on our schedule because it’s the next thing.”
Iowa closed the dual with three consecutive victories, including a 6-2 decision for sixth-ranked Mike Evans at 174 pounds. Evans led freshman Nate Jackson only 3-2 heading into the third period. Jackson entered the match with a 7-8 record.
Iowa’s next match is Saturday at Nebraska.
IOWA 38, INDIANA 4
285 – Bobby Telford (UI) dec. Adam Chalfant 9-5 (SV).
125 – Thomas Gilman (UI) won by forfeit.
133 – Tony Ramos (UI) pinned Chris Caton 3:27.
141 – Josh Dziewa (UI) major dec. Ethan Raley 20-10.
149 – Brody Grothus (UI) major dec. Eric Roach 11-3.
157 – Taylor Walsh (Ind.) major dec. Michael Kelly 17-6.
165 – Nick Moore (UI) major dec. Ryan LeBlanc 13-3.
174 – Mike Evans (UI) dec. Nate Jackson 6-2.
184 – Sammy Brooks (UI) major dec. Luke Sheridan 12-3.
197 – Nathan Burak (UI) major dec. Garret Goldman 10-2.