Ranked Foes Await Hawkeyes

Feb. 6, 2013

Weekly Release

The second-ranked Hawkeyes travel to Champaign, Ill., to face the eighth-ranked Fighting Illini on Friday at 7:04 p.m. at Huff Hall. The dual will be televised live on BTN. The Hawkeyes return to Iowa City to host No. 13 Nebraska on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The dual will be televised live on Mediacom (MC22).

ILLINOIS: BTN will televise Friday’s dual at 7 p.m. Joe Miller and Jim Gibbons will provide play-by-play and commentary while Shane Sparks reports matside.

NEBRASKA: Mediacom will televise Sunday’s dual live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Rob Brooks, Mike Duroe and Dan Gable will have the call matside.

Both weekend duals will be broadcast on AM-800 KXIC and streamed online at hawkeyesports.com via Hawkeye All-Access. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will have the live call from Huff Hall and Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Live Hawkeye wrestling updates are available @IowaWRLive; @Hawks_Wrestling; facebook.com/iowahawkeyewrestling.

Live results will be available on the wrestling schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa has won the last four meetings and leads the all-time series 47-26-1. The Hawkeye own a slim 20-17 series edge at Champaign, but they won their most recent visit, 21-12, in 2008. The Hawkeyes haven’t lost on the road to the Illini since a 25-7 setback in 2005. The teams met twice last season. Iowa defeated Illinois 20-13 in Iowa City during the Big Ten regular season, and earned a 28-6 win at the NWCA National Duals in Stillwater, Okla. The Hawkeye lost 21 of the first 22 meetings in the series, but have since won 46-of-52 with one tie (12-12 in 1952).

Iowa has won five in a row against the Huskers since its last loss in 2005 (24-13). Iowa’s 24-9 win in 2012 was the first meeting between the schools as conference foes. The Hawkeyes are 12-3 all-time in Iowa City, including a 33-3 win the last time Nebraska visited in 2010.

Illinois and Nebraska elected to draw for a starting weight when the teams met in 2011-12. Iowa started at 149 pounds in its 20-13 win over Illinois, and 197 pounds in its 24-9 win at Nebraska. In 17 duals this season, the Hawkeyes started at 125 pounds 15 times. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 when drawing for a starting weight. Mike Evans got Iowa started at 174 pounds en route to a 32-3 win over Iowa State, and Mark Ballweg batted leadoff at 141 pounds in Iowa’s 39-3 win at Buffalo.

Iowa’s 22-16 win over Penn State was Tom Brands’ 127th dual victory as Iowa’s head coach The 127 dual victories ties Jim Zalesky for third all-time. Brands owns a career record of 127-11-1 at Iowa. His .916 winning percentage ranks second to Dan Gable (.938).
All-Time Dual Victories (minimum 100)
355 — Dan Gable (1977-97)
160 — Dave McCuskey (1953-72)
127 — Tom Brands (2006-present)
127 — Jim Zalesky (1998-2006)

The Hawkeyes are 7-1 this season in duals against ranked opponents. Iowa defeated No. 17 Virginia, 26-12; No. 23 Lehigh, 26-9; No. 4 Ohio State, 22-9; No. 21 Purdue, 29-9; No. 18 Michigan, 33-10; No. 3 Minnesota, 16-15; No. .1 Penn State 22-16. The Hawkeyes’ lone loss was to No. 2 Oklahoma State, 18-12. All three of Iowa remaining opponents are ranked in the top 25: Illinois (8), Nebraska (13) and Edinboro (16).

Individually, the Hawkeyes own a 31-29 mark against ranked opponents. Matt McDonough (125) leads all Hawkeyes with victories over eight rated foes (8-0).
Iowa lineup vs. ranked opponents:
125 — Matt McDonough (8-0)
133 — Tony Ramos (2-0)
141 — Mark Ballweg (4-1)
149 — Michael Kelly (1-3)
149 — Brody Grothus (0-4)
157 — Derek St. John (4-0)
165 — Nick Moore (2-3)
174 — Mike Evans (3-2)
184 — Ethen Lofthouse (2-4)
184 — Grant Gambrall (0-3)
197 — Nathan Burak (2-5)
285 — Bobby Telford (2-3)

Matt McDonough (14-0), Tony Ramos (17-0) and Derek St. John (17-0) enter the weekend with undefeated records. All three streaks are career bests. In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91 and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.

Iowa enters this weekend in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten dual standings. The Hawkeyes are 6-0 in Big Ten duals, and a clean sweep of Illinois and Nebraska will give Iowa an 8-0 conference mark and the outright dual title for the fifth time in the last six years.

If the Hawkeyes split duals against Illinois and Nebraska, they could share the title with Penn State and/or Minnesota. Both the Nittany Lions and the Gophers are 6-1. Both schools need to win their final dual to be eligible for a share of the title. Penn State wrestles at Ohio State on Sunday, while Minnesota wrestles at Wisconsin.

Senior Matt McDonough extended his win streak to a career-best 42 matches when he when he scored a 2-1 decision against No. 2 Nico Megaludis last Friday. McDonough finished last season with an NCAA title and a 28-match winning streak. He is a perfect 14-0 this season. McDonough’s last loss was an 11-7 overtime decision to Illinois’ Jesse Delgado (Dec. 2, 2011). He has since defeated Delgado twice — first at the National Duals tournament (6-3) and most recently in the semifinals at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament (4-3).

Ranked No. 2 at 133 pounds, junior Tony Ramos has scored a team-high 80 dual points this season. He ran his record to 17-0 with a pin last week against Penn State’s Jordan Conaway. Ramos has scored bonus points in 15 of his 17 wins, including seven pins, seven major decisions and one technical fall. Dating back to last season, he has won 24 consecutive duals, and he owns a career dual record of 46-1.

Senior Mark Ballweg owns a career record of 41-4 competing at 141 pounds. Entering his senior season, he had recorded five major decisions in 55 career matches. This year he is 16-1 with a team-high 10 major decisions. He has scored bonus points in 12 of his 16 wins and is 4-1 against ranked opponents. His only loss this season was a 6-4 decision to No. 2 Hunter Stieber (Ohio State).

Junior Derek St. John, rated No. 1 at 157, is 17-0 this season with two pins, four major decisions, and a team-best three technical falls. He is 4-0 against ranked opponents this season, including a pair of wins over top 5 opponents (#4 Joey Napoli, 6-0; #5 Dylan Alton, 4-3). He owns a career dual record of 40-3 and an overall career record of 62-9.

Sophomore Mike Evans’ tour through the national top 10 continues this weekend against Illinois’ eighth-ranked Conrad Polz and Nebraska’s second-ranked Robert Kokesh. Evans is 3-2 this year against ranked opponents, including wins over No. 2 Nick Heflin (Ohio State), No. 11 Dan Yates (Michigan) and No. 4 Matt Brown (Penn State).

Kokesh will be the third No. 2 ranked wrestler Evans has faced this season. He previously defeated Heflin, 9-4 in overtime, and lost to No. 2 Logan Storley, 4-3. Among the top 10 174-pounders in the country, eight hail from the Big Ten Conference. Evans has seven of the top 10 on his 2012-13 schedule.

Evans is 12-2 overall. He opened the season 2-0 while competing at 165, but he has started 12 of Iowa’s last 13 duals at 174 pounds. Since moving up a weight class he has gone 10-2 with two pins, one technical fall and five major decisions.

Senior Matt McDonough is a three-time NCAA finalist. He won NCAA titles in 2010 and 2012, and finished runner-up in 2011. With a top eight finish at the 2013 NCAA tournament, McDonough would become the 18th four-time All-American in school history.

With a trip to the NCAA finals he would join Ed Banach, Duane Goldman and Lincoln McIlravy as the school’s only four-time NCAA finalists. A third national title would make McDonough the seventh wrestler in school history to earn three NCAA Championships (Ed Banach, Tom Brands, Barry Davis, Lincoln McIlravy, Joe Williams, Jim Zalesky).

Senior Matt McDonough has four pins this season and a career total of 39. He scored nine falls as a freshman, 14 as a sophomore and 12 as a junior. He is five falls from matching Chuck Yagla (44) for 10th on the all-time career falls list. Ed Banach owns the school record with 73. Terry Brands sits No. 6 with 48 and Tom Brands ranks No. 8 with 46.

Senior Matt McDonough owns a career record of 114-4. His .966 winning percentage ranks fourth in program history among wrestlers with a minimum 95 decisions. Iowa’s top wrestlers in program history based on winning percentage include:
1. T.J. Williams (98-1-0) .990
2. Brent Metcalf (108-3-0) .973
3. Lincoln McIlravy (96-3-0) .970
4. Matt McDonough (114-4) .966
5. Tom Brands (158-7-2) .952
6. Terry Brands (137-7) .951

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 922-220-31 (.799) in 102 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 51 NCAA Champions have won a total of 79 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 105 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 28 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 147 All-Americans have earned All-America status 297 times, including 17 four-time, 31 three-time and 37 two-time honorees.

The seventh-largest dual crowd in NCAA history saw Iowa defeat top-ranked Penn State on Friday, February 1. The Hawkeyes drew a sellout crowd of 15,077, the sixth largest wrestling crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history. Through five home dates in 2012-13, Iowa is averaging 8,951 fans per dual. Last year Iowa’s 9,014 average marked the fourth straight year the Hawkeyes averaged over 8,000 fans per dual and the sixth straight season Iowa led the nation in attendance.

Iowa opened its Big Ten schedule with a 20-13 win over seventh-ranked Illinois on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won six-of-10 matches and scored bonus points in the final two bouts to extend its unbeaten dual streak to 81.

#1 University of Iowa 20, #7 University of Illinois 13
149 – Eric Terrazas (IL) dec. Mark Ballweg (I), 8-4
157 – Derek St. John (I) dec. Jackson Morse (IL), 10-5
165 – Mike Evans (I) dec. Dan Stelter (IL), 5-0
174 – Ethen Lofthouse (I) dec. Jordan Blanton (IL), 6-1
184 – Tony Dallago (IL) major dec. Jeremy Fahler (I), 17-8
197 – Mario Gonzalez (IL) dec. Tomas Lira (I), 11-9
Hwt. – Bobby Telford (I) dec. Pat Walker (IL), 2-0
125 – Jesse Delgado (IL) dec. Matt McDonough (I), 11-7 (OT)
133 – Tony Ramos (I) major dec. B.J. Futrell (IL), 13-5
141 – Montell Marion (I) major dec. Daryl Thomas (IL), 11-2

The Hawkeyes won seven-of-10 bouts to top seventh-ranked Nebraska, 24-9, inside NU Coliseum. The win was the 900th dual victory in school history and marked Iowa’s 38th consecutive conference win. The loss was Nebraska’s first of the year.

#2 University of Iowa 24, #7 Nebraska University 9
197 lbs. – #19 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) dec. James Nakashima (N), 3-1 SV
285 lbs. – #9 Tucker Lane (N) dec. #8 Bobby Telford (Iowa), 4-1
125 lbs. – #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) pinned Shawn Nagel (N), 4:50
133 lbs. – #2 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. #18 Ridge Kiley (N), 10-3
141 lbs. – #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #6 Jake Sueflohn (N), 9-6
149 lbs. – Michael Kelly (Iowa) dec. Brandon Wilbourn (N), 7-3
157 lbs. – #10 James Green (N) dec. Nick Moore (Iowa), 12-7
165 lbs. – #9 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. #3 Robert Kokesh (N), 7-3
174 lbs. – #11 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. Tyler Koehn (N), 8-1
184 lbs. – #7 Josh Ihnen (N) dec. Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 10-5

Single-meet tickets are available for Iowa’s two remaining home duals are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com. Tickets for Nebraska (2/10) and Edinboro (2/16) are $12 for adults, $8 for youth, and free for kids five-years old and younger.

Since 1974, only seven schools have captured the NCAA Championship. During that 38-year span, the Hawkeyes have won 23 team titles, including nine straight from 1978-86. The other schools include Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Penn State (2), Arizona State (1) and Oklahoma (1).