Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
IOWA CITY – It didn't take Iowa wrestling Coach Tom Brands long to move past last night's opponent, Buffalo, and shift his focus to the big target on the Hawkeyes' schedule.
In fact, following the 46-0 drubbing of Buffalo, it took Brands 64 seconds into his post-meet news conference to acknowledge what's coming on Dec. 21.
"You like to see the team bounce back (from the close dual against Edinboro), but they're (Edinboro and Buffalo) are two different teams," Brands said. "You're looking ahead a little bit, even though you don't look ahead in sports or life. We were looking ahead a little bit. I don't think our guys were (doing that on the mat), but now we're here."
"Here" is the long-awaited dual meet between Iowa and Penn State, the three-time defending national champs.
The Hawkeyes wasted no time in dispatching Buffalo, so now they set their eyes totally on the Nittany Lions. Four of the 10 weights last night ended in pins or technical falls, and no match was closer than eight points.
No. 3 Tony Ramos (8-1) bounced back from a loss to No. 8 A.J. Schopp of Edinboro on Dec. 5 with a dominating 22-7 tech fall against Buffalo's Justin Farmer that saw Ramos register nine takedowns. Ramos was all smiles after the match, both for getting back on the winning track, as well as being able to shift focus fully to Penn State.
"It's exciting after a loss to get another match in and get back on the winning ways and doing things right," Ramos said. "We can start looking (ahead) now. "It's going to be real big.
"We've got to go out there and really put on a show. This is gonna be where we're going to show people that we're in the running, that we're in it for a national title. We have the team. They think we lost guys, but I don't think we lost anything, I think we're better than last year."
Junior heavyweight and No. 3 Bobby Telford made his first appearance since the season-opening Luther Open, earning a 16-3 decision over James Benjamin to close out the dual.
Telford echoed Ramos in saying the planning for Penn State begins now. Especially for a guy like Telford, who was looking forward to simply getting back on the mat, he said there's never a time where a wrestler can look past anyone, even on a night like last night.
"How can you look past a match as a D1 wrestler? Everyone's out there trying to make a name for themselves. You can't look past anybody," Telford said. "We're ready to get going (now), we've got a big one (Dec. 21). We can pretty much put this one in the back pocket."
The Hawkeyes got their third shutout in a dual meet this season, and in addition to Ramos' technical fall, No. 6 Mike Evans (11-0) earned a 23-6 tech fall against Rrok Ndokj at 174. Michael Kelly (9-1) pinned Ryan Todora in 4:03 at 149, and No. 1 Derek St. John (11-0) stayed unbeaten at 157 with a pin of Jake Capana in 2:02.
At 125, No. 4 Cory Clark (9-0) got a 13-3 decision over Max Soria. No. 10 Josh Dziewa (10-1) got a 16-7 win over Nick Flannery at 141, and No. 4 Nick Moore (5-0) got a 12-4 decision over Wally Maziarz at 165.
The Hawkeyes' other No. 1, Ethen Lofthouse (9-0), dominated en route to an 18-6 decision over Tony Lock at 184, and freshman Sammy Brooks (9-3) earned a 13-5 win over Angelo Malvestuto at 197.
Iowa is off for finals next week, and next face Penn State on Dec. 21 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.