The Iowa Hawkeyes made a statement in Ames on Sunday night, roaring past the Iowa State Cyclones 29-6 in the Cy-Hawk rivalry dual behind wins from Spencer Lee, Austin DeSanto, Pat Lugo, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer, Nelson Brands, Jacob Warner and Anthony Cassioppi. The win marked Iowa's 66th against the Cyclones and kept Iowa head coach Tom Brands undefeated at 15-0 during his tenure against the in-state foe.
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The Cyclones pushed Iowa down to the wire last year, but the Hawkeyes came out with force this year, putting up five points on the board early behind Lee's first period technical fall over No. 7 Alex Mackall and never trailing once during the afternoon. Austin DeSanto extended the team lead by another four points with his major decision over Todd Small, and his dominant win marked his second bonus point win of the year and proved he can wrestle at 133 or 141 and be a key player for his team.
Michael Kemerer and Jacob Warner also added bonus points with their 14-5 and 11-2 wins respectively. The addition of Kemerer back into the lineup for Iowa after his injury last year has proven dangerous for any team facing the Hawkeyes, and Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said as much in his post-match press conference. The Cyclones will take the mat next at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas in early December while Iowa will welcome No. 4 Wisconsin to Carver-Hawkeye for a top-five dual. The season is heating up for both squads, but here are the three biggest takeaways from the 29-6 result.
The Iowa lineup is still in flux, but the ten starters who went up against the Cyclones can battle
The biggest questions heading into the Cy-Hawk dual concerned the Iowa lineup, and with an overwhelming amount of depth at the lightweights and some questions at 184, the afternoon contest offered a little bit more insight into what Iowa could do with all of its talent. Spencer Lee, as expected, held down the fort at 125, but head coach Tom Brands said backup Aaron Cashman will need to be ready to start soon, as Lee's schedule becomes more complicated with Olympic Trials qualifying tournaments and freestyle events.
At 133 pounds, Austin DeSanto came out for the Hawkeyes after wrestling up at 141 pounds last weekend against UT-Chattanooga. The weight bump and subsequent cut didn't affect DeSanto at all as he racked up his second bonus win of the season with a 16-5 performance against Iowa State's Todd Small. At 141 pounds, Iowa sent Carter Happel out instead of DeSanto or Murin, and Happel took the first loss of the night against Iowa's Ian Parker in overtime.
Iowa State's David Carr is a title contender
David Carr is perhaps the biggest incoming star to the Cyclone starting lineup, and, fresh off a junior world championship title, the young Iowa State grappler took down the No. 2 wrestler in the country in Kaleb Young. Almost all of Carr's points came in a third-period series of takedowns, and the Cyclone rookie proved that he can wrestle in big moments. Carr came in to the dual ranked No. 20 in the country, but after beating Young, who finished fifth in last year's NCAA tournament, he should expect to see a rankings bump.
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North Carolina State's Hayden Hidlay holds down the top spot at this weight class nationally, and a match between him and Carr would be must-watch wrestling. Carr is now 2-0 on the year with his first victory coming against Jaden Fisher of Bucknell by tech fall and this win coming 6-1.
Nelson Brands and Pat Lugo earned upset wins to help the Hawkeyes walk a way with the dominant win
The 184-pound spot for the Hawkeyes is still unclear, but redshirt freshman Nelson Brands proved that if given the chance to wrestle at this weight, he could be the kind of point-scoring fighter that the Hawkeyes would like to see. Brands came into the dual unranked with teammate and three-time NCAA qualifier Cash Wilcke in the No. 9 spot nationally, but he upset No. 7 Sam Colbray in overtime to send a message about his capabilities on the national level. Wilcke, on the other hand, won the Luther Open last weekend with two tech falls and two pins, so the Hawkeyes clearly have some depth at this weight. Head coach Tom Brands praised Nelson's grit in his dual, but he also credited Wilcke for his skills and noted that the lineup could still change as the season progresses.
“[Nelson] is doing what we like to do, He hustles out there, he’s explosive, he’s emotional in the right way, and we love it," Tom Brands said about his nephew. “We have another guy Cash Wilcke that’s doing a good job in the room as well…this week, our best team, you saw it out there for Nov. 24.”
NELSON TAKES OUT #5 COLBRAY pic.twitter.com/nMIYTenR5t— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) November 24, 2019
Iowa's 149-pounder Pat Lugo also earned an upset win with a suspenseful and difficult match against No. 4 Jarrett Degen that came down to a last-second locked-hands call, an escape and a challenge.
In last year's dual, every bout and every point mattered for the Hawkeye win, and while two duals came down to overtime this year, Iowa built enough of an early lead to seal the win after nine bouts. Iowa's No. 2 Alex Marinelli earned a 13-7 win at 165 pounds against unranked Chase Straw, and Kemerer dominated Marcus Coleman 14-5. The Hawkeyes put up major decision points at 197 pounds with Jacob Warner picking up an 11-2 win and Anthony Cassiopoi capping off the night with a 6-0 decision at heavyweight. Relive the entire dual via the live blog below: