IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa’s dual against Purdue was already in Tom Brands’ rear view mirror by the time he addressed media Friday.
It was a contrast to his post-meet comments following Friday night’s 22-9 win over fourth-ranked Ohio State.
The same number of match wins, more hustle and effectiveness and a little less riled up coach were the result of the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes’ 29-9 win over No. 21 Purdue in front of 6,043 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Seven wins,” said Brands. “I think we looked OK.”
The Hawkeyes (12-0, 2-0) appeared more active and aggressive against the Boilermakers (10-3, 1-1), posting five bonus-point victories. Brands words Friday calling for more hustle and mat awareness resonated with the team, which was without two-time NCAA champion and three-time national finalist Matt McDonough, who was given the day off, according to Brands..
“Anything Tom says is going straight into our brain,” said Lofthouse, who scored seven takedowns in a 16-5 major decision at 184. “I know for myself, I analyzed it that night. I’d like to improve on the areas that he mentioned.
“There was more hustle, more discipline. I think we did a good job tonight.”
Iowa dominated statistics. The Hawkeyes racked up 35 takedowns, allowing only four. They earned riding time points in five matches with eight nearfall points. Iowa owned a 94-42 match-point advantage. The statistics don’t impress Brands as much as the effort and good overall wrestling.
“It’s not necessarily about a quota,” Brands said. “It’s about wrestling a match to get done team-point wise what we need to get done, regardless.”
Iowa senior Mark Ballweg received some criticism after Friday’s loss to second-ranked Hunter Stieber. He rebounded with a technical fall, drubbing Purdue’s Brandon Nelson, 23-7.
“I felt a lot better tonight,” Ballweg said. “I think I was more disciplined in a few areas. Tom mentioned my weight was a little too high, so I have to get that under control. That will definitely help.”
Ballweg tallied nine takedowns, putting Nelson on his back for a five-point move at the end of the first. Instead of coasting, Ballweg remained active, earning bonus points, which Brands liked.
“When we got those back points, it was 9-2 at the end of the first period,” Brands said. “We’re going for the five-point team decision, and he did a good job of getting that.”
On the heels of a big win Friday, Mike Evans provided another boost to the crowd, pinning Chad Welch in 4:52 at 174. He continued his roll, but for him it was just business.
“That’s what you try to do every match,” Evans said.
Nick Moore posted a 12-4 major decision over Pat Robinson at 165. He seemed indicative of the more active Hawkeyes, scoring two takedowns in the last 24 seconds for bonus points. Brands praised his intensity and wrestling a complete match.
“Good job by Nick Moore,” Brands said. “If you’re going to get excited about a match, I would get excited about his match and Evans.”
Tony Ramos (133) added a major decision, and Derek St. John (157) and heavyweight Bobby Telford also won for the Hawkeyes.
Things were far from perfect, and Evans said the Hawkeyes need to put an "exclamation point" at the end of their matches. Ballweg said the weekend overall was sluggish.
"That’s the word I would say, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement, fine-tune some things and be sharper," Ballweg said. "We’ll have better performances, I think."
The Hawkeyes might have to be at their best soon. Iowa heads to Stillwater, Okla., for a dual with No. 2 Oklahoma State (7-0) , next Sunday. The Cowboys have strong upperweights with emerging lighter wrestlers. At 141, Ballweg is expected to see Julian Feikert, who is a former Keokuk prep.
“There’s a lot to get excited about,” Brands said. “They probably feel some of their guys down below are wrestling well. You have an all-Iowa match at 141.
“That is where I’m at in my head right now.”
Before Sunday's dual started, USA Wrestling held a wrestle-off for the 84-kilogram spot for the 2013 U.S. World Cup team, competing Feb. 21-22 in Tehran, Iran. Former Hawkeye Phil Keddy and Max Askren, a former University of Missouri wrestler, competed in a best-of-3 period bout. After a scoreless first, they went to the clinch where Askren defended a Keddy takedown and expose his back for a 2-0 win. Askren’s defense led to a second-period 2-1 win, getting back exposure off a Keddy takedown attempt.
#5 IOWA 29, #21 Purdue 9
125 – #17 Camden Eppert (PU) dec. Matt Gurule (IA), 4-2
133 – #2 Tony Ramos (IA) major dec. Danny Sabatello (PU), 13-4
141 – #8 Mark Ballweg (IA) tech. fall Brandon Nelson (PU), 23-7
149 – #13 Ivan Lopouchanski (PU) dec. Brody Grothus (IA), 10-9
157 – #1 Derek St. John (IA) dec. #20 Tommy Churchard (PU), 7-3
165 – #19 Nick Moore (IA) major dec. Pat Robinson (PU), 12-4
174 – #7 Mike Evans (IA) pinned Chad Welch (PU), 4:52
184 – #9 Ethen Lofthouse (IA) major dec. Andy Wiseman (PU), 16-5
197 – #17 Braden Atwood (PU) dec. Nathan Burak (IA), 4-1
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (IA) dec. Alex White (PU), 4-1
Takedowns - Purdue 4, Iowa 35; Reversals - Purdue 2, Iowa 1; Escapes - Purdue 28, Iowa 7; Nearfall points - Purdue 0, Iowa 8; Penalty points (awarded) - Purdue o, Iowa 1, Riding time points - Purdue 2, Iowa 5. Total match points - Purdue 42, Iowa 94. Attendance - 6,043.