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January 20, 2008

No. 1 Hawkeyes roll past Penn State

The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team extended its winning streak to six matches with a 27-13 win over #7 Penn State (8-3, 0-1 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) snapped Penn State's two-match win streak in the series, taking seven of the 10 bouts. A crowd of 7,525 gathered to watch Iowa win its 820th dual win in school history.

The dual started at 174 pounds, and Iowa jumped out to an 8-0 lead on wins by two Hawkeye sophomores. Jay Borschel (174) posted an 11-5 decision over Mark Friend and Phillip Keddy (184) scored a 19-3 technical fall in 6:35 over Philip Bomberger. Penn State answered at 197 when #2 Philip Davis pinned sophomore Chad Beatty in 4:57, to tighten the team score at 8-6.

Iowa rolled off five straight wins and 19 unanswered team points to guarantee the win. Senior Matt Fields started the run with his 80th career win - a 7-3 decision over John Laboranti at heavyweight. Junior Charlie Falck followed with a 2-0 win over Mark McKnight at 125, extending his winning streak to 11 matches and remaining undefeated in duals (14-0). Sophomore Joe Slaton picked up extra team points at 133 with his 14-6 major decision over Tim Haas. At 141, sophomore Dan LeClere scored a late takedown to defeat Garrett Scott, 4-3. Sophomore Brent Metcalf fought off his back and rebounded from a 6-1 first-period deficit at 149, pinning Bubba Jenkins in 5:33. The win was Metcalf's 15th straight as he improved to 18-1, 13-1 in duals.

The Nittany Lions closed out the dual with wins at 157 and 165. Sophomore Ryan Morningstar (157) dropped a 6-2 decision to Dan Vallimont and redshirt freshman Aaron Janssen (165) lost an 11-3 major decision to Dave Rella. Janssen was competing for senior injured starter Mark Perry.

Iowa will host Northwestern (5-4, 0-0 Big Ten) in its next dual. The match will be held Sunday, January 27 at 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa 27, Penn State 13

174 - Jay Borschel (I) dec. Mark Friend (PSU), 11-5

184 - Phillip Keddy (I) tech. fall Philip Bomberger (PSU), 19-3 in 6:35

197 - Philip Davis (PSU) pinned Chad Beatty (I), 4:57

Hwt. - Matt Fields (I) dec. John Laboranti (PSU), 7-3

125 - Charlie Falck (I) dec. Mark McKnight (PSU), 2-0

133 - Joe Slaton (I) maj. dec. Tim Haas (PSU), 14-6

141 - Dan LeClere (I) dec. Garrett Scott (PSU), 4-3

149 - Brent Metcalf (I) pinned Bubba Jenkins (PSU), 5:33

157 - Dan Vallimont (PSU) dec. Ryan Morningstar (I), 6-2

165 - Dave Rella (PSU) maj. dec. Aaron Janssen (I), 11-3

Comments from Tom Brands following the meet.

Q: Good match by the way.

Brands: It was alright.

Q: Why do you say just alright?

Brands: You're trying to bring guys around. Even in some wins you're trying to bring guys around and you see the opportunities that they have. You got to be able to feel when you're ready to blow the door off somebody and the floodgates are going to open from a scoring point of view. We're just, we're holding back a little bit. We got to get through to them somehow. It's not working, like, snap of the finger, but it's working because you see that guys want to get there. They want to get there. It's like we've been talking about day one when you didn't know about this team, but you had a good feeling about it early in the fall, and then late pre-season, and then into the early season. You didn't really know, but you knew these guys were very eager, and they love to compete and train. Now, it's even more than that; guys are feeling it, but they don't quite know how to open that floodgate like a Metcalf or a Keddy, or even a Slaton when he's on. I don't know what was going on with Slaton today. Slaton, he was slow. After that first take down…

Q: Do you kind of feel that way with Fields, how he's been kind of maybe holding maybe at all, or just not being aggressive?

Brands: For sure. You read my mind. I'm thinking all Fields. I'm thinking Morningstar a little bit. I think he feels the guy, you know he guy didn't make a move. He didn't make a move on the bottom; he didn't make a move on his feet for awhile there. I know he feels it, but yet he wins 6-3, or whatever it was. Is that what it was? We got to figure it out; we got to open it up man. We got to open it up.

Q: It seems like it's been like that for years kind of now.

Brands: 7-3, yeah, but let's not talk about the past. The past has been hard on him. He's looking to the future more and more, and getting some outside help for it. He likes it; I mean he likes what's going on. I think he felt it out there today though. I think I saw a light bulb, but he didn't quite know how to execute. I feel good about that too. I think that's why it's 'okay.'

Q: But, like in practice he's been okay, he's taking some shots and stuff like that?

Brands: Yeah, the practice room's good. He's good, but still, it's got to come more from him and he knows that.

Q: Coach, Keddy's been getting real close to getting some of the top guys, like losing a lot like 3-2, I think that happened twice to him at the Midlands. How do you get him over that step to where he's in the match, and now he's winning them instead?

Brands: Sinnott twice, and then also Michigan, Ohio State, and then Missouri. Those are all one point matches. There's five matches right there. What he does tonight, see that's important, because when he has an opponent where he feels, he goes. He gave up the first take down. You know what, a year ago he might have froze. He might have froze, and try to win that match by the hair on his chinny chin chin. So, you know what, he just kept wrestling. Not a worry in the world, just keep wrestling. Just got to do it against better guys. He's probably not going to have as many go twos, even though ideally that's what makes the difference; when you go two, go two, go two. Against a top-level competition, you might only get five or six opportunities. The problem is he's only getting one or two. He's got to create five, or six, or ten, or twelve.

Q: He gets out from the bottom just lightening quick, is that just kind of something that's always been?

Brands: Always been, except to a certain point. Once he'd get that point, then he'd have to struggle a little bit. This year, the thing about this year, is he's got seven minutes plus in him. He's got a match and overtime in his if he's got to have it. He's got tremendous reserves. He's very well conditioned. He wrestles hard. I was talking earlier, the difference is we need to get him - in those tougher matches, I should say in those upper ranking match-ups - we need to get him to go hard to score, that's the difference. That's where a guy will feel you.

Q: Hindsight, would you put Beatty up against Davis again?

Brands: You bet. He's our guy, Beatty's our guy. Beatty picks both up; he should pick both up there. He didn't look at the corner; I thought Davis was going down. I'm telling Beatty not to roll around, because you don't roll around and get reversed, next thing I know Beatty's picking down. Davis does that he does it a lot. He'll go down because he knows everybody's going to defer. So he tricked me a little bit really, it won't happen again.

Q: What about LeClere, like him being the No.10 and then he beat the No.5 guy…

Brands: He's moving up. The Michigan match hurt him. It didn't hurt him from a momentum point of view because he's done a good job. It hurt him from a ranking point of view, that's why he's No.10. He beat's that Michigan [guy], he was controlling that match, and then the Michigan [guy] scores a takedown on him, and then we roll and he's not supposed to. It's kind of like a lapse here when he got taken down. That take down was too easy. The difference is, he went back to basics, and offense and scored. The Michigan match he went rolling around when he's not supposed to be rolling. LeClere is tough he's tough.

Q: Lately it seems, like Jenkins crawling to the middle of the mat, they're not wanting to get…is that a confidence booster or a frustration?

Brands: It's good for the whole team. It's good for Metcalf, but he knows it's going to happen. If they're not doing it, they're thinking it. It goes back to winning on a whole, on a lot of different planes. When I say planes, I mean dimensions. You're beating them mentally, you're beating them physically, beating physiologically because you rest and eat right, and spiritually because you pray to the lord Jesus Christ. You got five, or six, or seven dimensions in that. You put it on a level that your opponent cannot understand. He quits, not because he wants to, but because he has to. He has no choice.

Q: Is that a difference maybe from last year where you said last year was up and down, maybe this year you got teams running away from you when they're on the mat? Do you feel like there's more…maybe that's a respect thing?

Brands: I think they know they're going to be in for a battle. There's warfare that's happening on the plane ride here. There's warfare in the locker room when you're getting ready to get on the scale. There's warfare when you're match is coming up. The warfare is is that its all our edge because of how hard we wrestle. The difference between Metcalf beating Palmer, and Churella, and Burroughs, and Bubba Jenkins is he goes hard to score. Keddy goes hard, and that's the difference. There are a lot of similarities between Keddy and Metcalf with the inferior opponents so to speak, but with those high ranked opponents, that's the difference. Keddy's getting there, he's getting there.

Q: Falck, seemed to have a little trouble finishing… is there anything …?

Brands: Just putting the clamps on the guy when you got a chance. When you get a guy, you got to emphasize your finishing. When you hit, its not like a tree falling when that momentums going to carry you to the finish. It's hit, and then explode to emphasis finish, and plant. I mean plant, I mean 'boom', you spike hips into the mat. That's the difference there.

Q: And then Perry, would he have been…if it was a closer match-up…

Brands: He told me right before we went downstairs if its on the line I'm going, the draw is perfect for it, big 'ol smile on his face.

Q: Has that been the same since the National Duals?

Brands: Nebraska, I don't think he would have gone out there. We did a god job in the early matches, but I don't think he would have went out there, tried to warm up. Ohio State, I don't know. We didn't talk about it. The thing that I told Mark Perry is, I'm not going to put you in harms way. [He's] real leery of that, because of past experiences, being thrown out so to speak. We're not going to throw anybody out. We're going to make sure we're doing it right. Could he go, you bet he could go.




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