The fifth-ranked Iowa wrestling team won seven of 10 matches Friday night against No. 4 Ohio State and upset the Buckeyes 22-9 in front of more than 8,687 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday.
The Hawkeyes recorded two upset wins at 174 and 197 but the marquee matchup of the night did take place after top-ranked Logan Steiber of Ohio State did not weigh in at 133 pounds.
“We did some good things,” said UI head coach Tom Brands, “but I need to see more toughness. We’re waiting to get good and waiting will not get it done. We had some efforts that I can live with, but we are not wrestling to our ability. We can be better.”
After top-ranked Matt McDonough got a 10-5 win over No. 12 Nikko Triggas at 125, second-ranked Tony Ramos was expecting to face Steiber at 133. It would have been their first meeting since last year’s semifinals. Instead, Ramos scored 14 takedowns and blasted through unranked Kyle Visconti, 30-14, to earn technical fall points.
It was McDonough’s 37th straight win as he remained undefeated on the season. Ramos is now 20-0 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Buckeyes came back to cut the lead to 8-6 following decisions by No. 2 Hunter Steiber and No. 14 Cam Tessari as they knocked off No. 8 Mark Ballweg and No. 19 Michael Kelly.
Iowa then rolled off five straight wins to seal the team victory.
The run started with back-to-back 4-2 decisions by No. 1 Derek St. John and No. 19 Nick Moore and then No. 7 Mike Evans knocked off second-ranked Nick Heflin at 174.
That upset win pushed Iowa’s lead to 16-6. Evans did not score an offensive point in the first three periods but came through with a five-point move in Sudden Victory to seal the win.
“I knew I had to be careful in that position,” Evans said of his bearhug on the edge of the mat, “but I thought I had the momentum. I thought he was tired and when we locked up I knew I had to finish. It was big. I think it got us going.”
No. 9 Ethen Lofthouse kept the momentum going at 184 as he bested No. 16 Kenny Courts, 5-3, to make it 19-6. Lofthouse rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the match.
The second upset of the night came at 197 where Iowa’s unranked Nathan Burak knocked off No. 9 Andrew Campolattano, 3-2.
Ohio State’s only upset of the night was at heavyweight where No. 13 Peter Capone edged No. 4 Bobby Telford, 3-2. It was Telford’s first loss of the season.
Iowa won seven matches on the day but four of those wins were decided by two points or less. Ohio State also won two matches by two points or less as the dual was more closer than the final score indicated. Iowa lost to Ohio State last year in Columbus, Ohio.
Brands improved to 7-0 in Big Ten openers, while Evans (12-0) and St. John (19-0) also remained undefeated all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa 29, Purdue 9
The Hawkeyes were back in action Sunday night and easily defeated No. 21 Purdue in front of 6,043 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Evans scored a win by fall at 174, while the Hawkeyes also recorded three major decisions and one technical fall in the victory.
“It was a good win and now we move forward,” said Brands. “I was looking for energy on the mat and we saw some of that today. We need to keep it going.”
McDonough did not wrestle at 125, so Purdue held an early 3-0 lead after No. 17 Camden Eppert defeated Matt Gurule 4-2.
Ramos got Iowa on the board with a 13-4 major decision at 133 and then Ballweg beat Brandon Nelson 22-7. It was Ballweg’s 50th win of his career as the former Waverly-Shell Rock standout had nine takedowns and three nearfall points.
After Brody Grothus lost a 10-9 decision to No. 13 Ivan Lopouchensi. St. John kept his undefeated record intact at 157 following a 7-3 decision over No. 20 Tommy Churchard.
Moore, a former Iowa City West standout and four-time Iowa high school state champion, earned bonus points with a 12-4 major decision at 165 and then Evans came up with the pin at 174. Lofthouse continued his winning ways with a 16-5 major decision win at 184 and Telford also won by decision at heavyweight to conclude the dual.
Purdue’s other win came at 197 as Burak was defeated by No. 17 Braden Atwood.
The Hawkeyes had a 35-4 takedown advantage and have now won 24 straight meetings against Purdue.
Iowa puts its undefeated record on the line in another top-five showdown when it takes on No. 2 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Sunday.