Hawkeyes tweak lineup, defeat Buckeyes to stay perfect

Tom Brands made changes to his lineup at both 197 and 141 pounds during Iowa’s 24-10 victory over the Buckeyes.

Iowa%E2%80%99s+141-pound+Carter+Happel+wrestles+Ohio+State%E2%80%99s+Luke+Pletcher+during+a+wrestling+dual+meet+between+No.+1+Iowa+and+No.+4+Ohio+State+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+24%2C+2020.+No.+1+Pletcher+defeated+Happel+by+major+decision%2C+14-5%2C+and+the+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Buckeyes%2C+24-10.+%28Shivansh+Ahuja%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Hawkeyes tweak lineup, defeat Buckeyes to stay perfect

Iowa’s 141-pound Carter Happel wrestles Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 1 Pletcher defeated Happel by major decision, 14-5, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa’s 141-pound Carter Happel wrestles Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 1 Pletcher defeated Happel by major decision, 14-5, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 141-pound Carter Happel wrestles Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 1 Pletcher defeated Happel by major decision, 14-5, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 141-pound Carter Happel wrestles Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 1 Pletcher defeated Happel by major decision, 14-5, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Austin Hanson, Assistant Sports Editor

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Iowa wrestling head coach Tom Brands is known for his colorful personality and extensive wrestling knowledge. On Friday night, the Iowa head coach of 14 years proved that he can still shock the Hawkeye faithful.

After the meteoric rise of Abe Assad at 184-pounds, it appeared as if Brands finally had his lineup situated. However, the wily veteran still had a few more tricks up his sleeve against Ohio State.

As Assad exited the mat fresh off his 3-1 victory over redshirt freshman Rocky Jordan, on came unranked Cash Wilcke to wrestle the Buckeyes’ No. 1 Kollin Moore.

Brands’ decision to go with Wilcke came as a surprise. Wilcke was not listed on any of the Hawkeyes’ probable lineups throughout the week and hadn’t wrestled at 197-pounds for Iowa all season.

In each appearance he’s made for Iowa this season, Wilcke has wrestled at 184-pounds. However, wrestling at 197-pounds is not completely foreign to Wilcke. In 2017-18, he qualified for NCAA National Championships at 197-pounds after posting a 21-8 record.

The decision to go with Wilcke did not pay off immediately for Brands. The senior was defeated by the top-ranked Buckeye, 8-3.

Wilcke wrestled in a spot that has belonged to All-American Jacob Warner for all of 2019-20. Warner is ranked sixth nationally at 197-pounds and boasts a 10-3 record.

“[A night off] was the best thing for [Warner],” Brands said. “He didn’t like it. He didn’t know it until Wilcke walked out there. Our conversation afterward was all good. [Warner] is a pro, he’s awesome.”

The lineup change at 197-pounds wasn’t the last switch Brands would make on the night. Junior Carter Happel got the nod at 141-pounds. Happel had previously wrestled at 141-pounds for the Hawkeyes against Iowa State on Nov. 24. He was defeated by Ian Parker, 6-4.

Happel’s second dual appearance didn’t turn out much better. He surrendered a major decision to No. 1 Luke Pletcher, 14-5.

No. 9 Max Murin has taken the mat in Iowa’s other five duals at 141-pounds.

“[Murin] might be questionable for Penn State [on Jan. 31],” Brands said. “[Questionable] would probably be the right word, not doubtful, but questionable.”

Against both Buckeye wrestlers carrying a No. 1 ranking, Brands did not put his highest-rated wrestler on the mat to face them.

Two Hawkeyes wrestlers ranked first at their respective weights wrestled on Friday. Reigning national champion Spencer Lee downed Buckeye junior Hunter Lucas by technical fall in two minutes and 32 seconds.

“My mindset is to score points,” Lee said. “I’m going to try and score points every second for the entire match, for seven minutes.”

At 149-pounds Pat Lugo was dispatched by No. 6 Sammy Sasso, 2-1. The match featured three overtime periods and three video reviews.

A bevy of second-ranked Hawkeyes also won their matches. 174-pound Michael Kemerer and 165-pound Alex Marinelli both won by decision. 133-pound Austin DeSanto put up 27 points on his way to a 27-12 technical fall.

Iowa would ultimately take the dual to the tune of 24-10.

Next week, the top-ranked Hawkeyes will host No. 2 Penn State in front of a sold out Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“This week we focused on Ohio State,” redshirt freshman Tony Cassioppi said. “Now it’s the next thing, Penn State. The next match is the biggest match.”

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