Iowa wrestling dismantles Northern Iowa

BY J.T. BUGOS | DECEMBER 10, 2010 7:10 AM

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CEDAR FALLS — The difference in intensity between Iowa and Northern Iowa was clear before the first wrestler stepped onto the map in the West Gym.

One Panther grappler flashed smiles to the crowd, and others wore solemn looks.

Hawkeye wrestlers wore one look in common: a scowl.

The gap in intensity showed on the mat as well, as Iowa demolished its in-state counterpart, 39-0.
The Hawkeyes' work in the top position was key. Iowa racked up 17:34 in total riding time, with eight wrestlers scoring a riding time point.

"Really [on top] is where our guys are comfortable," Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. "Wrestling in the positions that you're comfortable in and doing what you're good at. And when somebody is giving you something, and it's working … stay where you're good."

Thirty takedowns — to the Panthers' one takedown — made accumulating riding time easy for the Hawkeyes. When asked about Iowa's work on top, UNI head coach and former Iowa assistant Doug Schwab quickly responded, "Oh, no doubt, they rode us really hard."

Aaron Janssen, the Hawkeye 165-pounder, said the goal once the Hawks get opponents flat on the mat is to turn and pin them. Two wrestlers — Jeret Chiri and Matt McDonough – followed through on that Hawkeye philosophy.

Chiri pinned Jamal Lawrence in 5:59 after building an 8-3 lead. The 149-pounder had lost his last two matches by major decision before he flattened Lawrence.

"Jeret Chiri was a good example of a guy not hanging out and giving the guy really any respect and just attacking," Brands said.

McDonough made quick work of Terrance Young, taking him down 57 seconds into the match and cradling him for the pin 15 seconds later.

It was the second pin in a row for the 125-pounder and continued to pull him out of an early season "slump" — he didn't record a pin until Dec. 4 against Michigan State.

"McDonough has not changed some things, but he's gotten into a mode," Brands said. "And it's called the 'McDonough Mode.' And good for him because he needs to be in the McDonough Mode. Early on, he wasn't in the McDonough Mode, and he doesn't need to question anything."

The fifth-year head coach said McDonough needed to take care of business in his routine and not worry about whether he's first on the mat for the Hawkeyes or not. The sophomore was frequently a sparkplug for Iowa at beginning of meets last year.

"Don't worry about all the outside, just do what you're good at doing and that's getting ready to wrestle a tough, hard seven minutes," Brands said. "And putting guys down hard, and putting a cradle on them and pinning them."

Despite the pins, victories were built on quick takedowns and subsequent riding time. Brands said he doesn't evaluate performances based on the grapplers work on top, instead focusing on whether the Hawkeyes wrestled a smart match in advantageous positions.

But for Schwab, a big difference came from Iowa's punishing work on in the top position.

"I don't know how many times they ended the period on top, but that's huge," Schwab said after Iowa finished 20 of 28 periods on top. "They ended the period with no response from us, whether it's an escape point or whatever. They finished a lot of periods on top, and that's tough to overcome."

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