Jan. 22, 2016
- Read the January issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPad and iPhone app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — One reason head coach Tom Brands likes the 2015-16 University of Iowa wrestling team so much is that it works to score points.
He emphasized that several times Friday following the No. 2 Hawkeyes’ 39-4 victory over No. 20 Purdue in front of 8,536 on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Two Hawkeyes — senior Edwin Cooper, Jr., at 157 pounds and freshman Sam Stoll at 285 — won by fall. The other eight in the UI lineup combined for 98 match points, highlighted by 23 apiece from junior Thomas Gilman at 125 and senior Nathan Burak at 197.
“I like this team because they score points and they are trying to score points,” Brands said.
Not only did the 10 Iowa competitors score often Friday, they did significant damage during the first three minutes. All 10 Hawkeyes scored the first takedown and Iowa wrestlers led 39-13 after the first period (Cooper’s fall came 2:37 into the bout).
Gilman led 8-3 heading in to the second period, Burak was ahead, 8-2, and junior Cory Clark was up on Purdue’s Luke Welch, 6-0.
“Keep attacking and score points,” Brands said.
The Hawkeyes finished the evening with 37 takedowns — 10 by Gilman and nine by Burak — and four riding time points.
Purdue is a top 20 program, validated by its 7-2 record entering Friday’s Big Ten Conference dual. Brands was pleased with his team’s effort against the Boilermakers, now he wants to see similar results against opponents like No. 1 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, or No. 9 Ohio State.
“That is something we have done better this year as well,” Brands said of posting quick scores. “It’s going to come down to can you do that against Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, whoever is in the top three or four — Oklahoma State — every time? And four or five matches in a row at every weight class? You win 50, 60 matches in a row at the national tournament and you’re probably going to win the tournament.”
An answer could come Sunday when the Hawkeyes (12-0 overall, 6-0 Big Ten) take on No. 11 Nebraska (8-3, 3-3) at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. All 10 Cornhuskers are ranked in the top 22 of the first NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings released Jan. 21; Iowa has eight rated, with six Hawkeyes in the top 6 of their respective weight classes.
Sundays’ action begins at 2 p.m. (CT).