Lots to take away after rivalry dual


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The Iowa wrestling team left Carver-Hawkeye Arena after its dual with Iowa State on Nov. 29 with one more tally in the win column. But as many members of the team would say, that single statistic isn’t wholly indicative of what happened on the mat.

In the Hawkeyes’ 28-8 win, they only managed to score bonus points in two bouts, courtesy of a Sammy Brooks major decision and a Bobby Telford pin.

“You can ask 11,800 people what they thought, and since they’re so educated you’d probably get a pretty good answer,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “I thought it was workmanlike and a little bit ‘ho hum,’ maybe — I think we left some team points on the board.”

Brooks beat Cyclone Lelund Weatherspoon in a major decision, using two takedowns, two nearfall points, a point from stalling, an escape, and the riding time bonus. Telford pinned Quean Smith in 5:36.

To be fair, part of that low bonus-point total was due to how Iowa State wrestled the meet — it had three different wrestlers warned for stalling and hardly attacked Iowa’s wrestlers.

“They came in here to keep it close, they didn’t want to beat us, they wanted to keep it close,” sophomore Thomas Gilman said. “Three points a match, it’s not enough for me, and it’s not enough for [Cory] Clark, [Josh] Dziewa, or any of those guys.”

Iowa State was able to keep the majority of the matches within a couple points, and that is something the team expects to keep seeing.

“We’re going to see this down the road; there are a lot of teams that wrestle that way,” Brands said. “They’re going to strike at the end of the period, they’re going to frustrate you. Evans got frustrated a bit, and we hung in a lot of front headlocks.

“You’re always looking for a faster pace when you’re in stalemates like that.”

This speaks to maybe one of the most glaring things that the team will need to improve moving forward — aggressiveness. Both Brooks and Telford were able to dominate their opponents, and that happened when they picked up the pace.

“I think we need to open up and score more points — like, what are we afraid of?” sophomore Cory Clark said. “We just need to wrestle the way we can wrestle, and I’m not going to make excuses. It’s the first home meet, weight — I’m not sure what it is with everybody.

“But a lot of us would agree that we have more to give than what we’ve been giving.”

This might have been best shown when Michael Moreno beat Iowa’s Nick Moore in a 6-3 decision.
It seemed throughout that Moreno controlled the match and eventually took down Moore with 17 seconds left in the second period, giving him a solid 4-1 lead.

The same thing plagued Brandon Sorenson and Dziewa as well — although both won, they gave up takedowns late in the second period. That’s something Iowa knows it has to fix moving forward.

“You’re giving them a lot of hope when you do that,” Brands said. “We got work to do, and we have to keep getting better. I’m not in panic mode, I don’t think it was a bad performance, and I thought we dug ourselves out of some holes where it got close and we had to stay tough.

“I think there was a couple guys who felt it out there, and you can’t feel it when you’re a competitor.”

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