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Penn State linebacker: 'Iowa's a wrestling school'

BY SETH ROBERTS | OCTOBER 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Iowa owns 23 national wrestling titles. Penn State has two.

But the Nittany Lions are credited with four national football crowns, to Iowa's one.

It would seem, then, that Penn State linebacker Glenn Carson wasn't entirely wrong when he referred to Iowa — which has beaten Penn State in eight of the last nine meetings — as a "wrestling school" in a Tuesday teleconference.

"Iowa's a wrestling school, and Penn State's a football school, so we've got to take it to them," Carson said, before addressing the atmosphere in Kinnick Stadium during Iowa's 24-3 win over the Nittany Lions last year. "… They [the fans] think they have this stranglehold on us, and we just have to humble them up a bit."

Carson later said he was joking and nodded to the success he watched the Hawkeyes have on the mat under former coach Dan Gable, but his comments quickly gained traction as potential bulletin-board material.

And while former Iowa safety Tyler Sash took to Twitter to ask Carson when Penn State last beat the Black and Gold, the current Hawkeyes said they weren't interested in taking the bait.

"We have a great wrestling program, and I think we have a great football program," Shaun Prater said. "People can say whatever they want. We try our best not to speak until afterward, until the game is over. I try to let my actions do the talking, and if I happen to say something once in a while, it's usually nice."

Linebacker James Morris said Carson's comments were hardly inflammatory.

"We do have a very successful wrestling history," said Morris, who was a promising high-school grappler in Solon. "We're trying to add a little history, maybe, to the football aspect of Iowa … [but] we've got some ground to make up in that respect."

Dealing with Derby

There's a new No. 2 in town — at least for now.

Redshirt junior John Wienke will step into the backup quarterback slot for two weeks while A.J. Derby serves a team-mandated suspension after a weekend arrest.

Wienke was a three-star recruit out of Tuscola, Ill., but he has barely seen the field since arriving at Iowa in 2008. Ferentz described the 6-5, 220-pound Wienke, who has thrown one career pass, as "more of a … deep-ball thrower" than the mobile Derby.

In the meantime, Derby will continue to practice with the team but will spend his weekends away from the team and in the Iowa City community.

"There are two kinds of suspensions," Ferentz said. "One where you're banished, and then the other is where you'll just work on teams over the weekend, do community service, and those kinds of things. Pay your price, and when you're done, you're done, and you go back to work."

Another freshman MLB?

True freshman Quinton Alston is slated as Ferentz's second-string middle linebacker this week, his first appearance in the two-deeps this season.

The New Jersey native fills an opening that was created when former No. 2 linebacker Bruce Davis left the team on Sept. 20 for undisclosed reasons. Ferentz said he has seen nothing but good things from Alston.

"He has a great attitude, and he's a guy we were really high on recruiting," he said. "[We] felt fortunate to get him … he's doing a good job."

If he sees the field with the first team, it will be the second time in two years that a true freshman has manned the starting middle linebacker position; Morris earned the role last year.

"Coaches do a great job making sure everybody in the two-deep is prepared to play, and they've done the exact same thing with Quinton," Morris said. "Quinton's very intelligent, a very skilled athlete, and he has a great perspective for a freshman. He's a leader among that group, so if something were to happen, we have complete trust in him that he'd be successful."


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