University of Iowa Coach Tom Brands said the season opener was a good test for the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes.
Iowa blanked Cumberland (Tenn.), 52-0, before beating No. 17 Virginia, 26-12, and host University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 37-6, last Friday.
“We know we have to solidify our lineup,” Brands said. “We know we have to work to widen the gap. We know we have to be ready. I don’t know if we were ready, especially that Virginia dual. They came out and they were fighting hard. I don’t know if we were quite ready to retaliate or to meet that.”
Brands said he doesn’t think it matter what time of year it is to receive a challenge. It’s good to take a punch in the face anytime, but you have to be ready to swing back immediately.
“I mean, if you’re a fighter you like to fight. If you’re an American you like a fight. If you’re an Iowa Hawkeye, you know you’re going to get a fight, so let’s use our imagination a little bit better and get ready,” Brands said. “Don’t go out there acting like these guys are going to be nice to you and that it’s going to be easy and you can blow their house down. It’s not about huffing and puffing. It’s about putting the screws to them and doing the things our guys can do.”
Top-ranked Matt McDonough was dominant in his performance, earning Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors with three wins, including two over top-10 ranked opponents.
Brands also talked about realizing the firepower the Hawkeyes possess at all 10 weight classes. He said that 197 pounds is one of the spots. Brands mentioned they have to make a decision about pulling the red shirt off freshman Nathan Burak.
Tomas Lira and Jeremy Fahler competed in the spot at UTC. Fahler scored a fall over his Cumberland opponent, while Lira lost two close decisions to NCAA Division I foes.
Burak, who leads the Hawkeyes with seven wins, is listed as a probably starter at 197 for this weekend’s Iowa City Duals against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Cornell College and Iowa Central Community College. Burak competed last weekend at Lindenwood’s Joe Parisi Open, placing third. He went 7-1 with his only loss coming to highly-ranked Brent Haynes of Missouri by a score of 1-0.
See the schedule, upcoming opponents, rankings and various notes in the release from the UI SID: