Buckeyes vs Hawkeyes in Carver-Hawkeye
Christian Pyles, College Analyst

Last year when these two teams met, you had the Hawkeyes run out of the gym in Columbus.  It was a rough day for the Hawks, with Ramos, Marion, St. John and Evans all taking losses in a 21-9 upset by the Buckeyes, their first over Iowa since 1966.

This year we know the Hawkeyes have circled this date, making it very clear they intend to be fresh and ready, foregoing the Midlands altogether due to this duals proximity to the Chicago tournament.

There are a number of exciting and interesting match ups in this years dual.  Compile the exciting individual match ups, the team rivalries, and the Carver-Hawkeye atmosphere, it has all the makings of one of the most anticipated duals of the season.

The match will take place in prime time starting at 7:00pm CST and will be shown live. Wrestling fan will be able to watch this dual live as the Big Ten Network will broadcast the dual on both their television network as well as on the web, smartphone and tablets at
 http://www.btn2go.com. The Big Ten Network has increased their wrestling coverage and is bringing wrestling into the more homes this wrestling season. A complete list of the Big Ten Network wrestling coverage can be seen here.

Flowrestling will be at the meet and will bring you the best highlights from the evening.


*Iowa Listed First


125: 
#1 Matt McDonough v. #14 Nikko Triggas

The last time these two met it was an 8-0 major for McDonough, that was during McD’s freshman campaign.  Triggas has been away from the folkstyle for the last two seasons training Greco.    The jury is still out on whether or not Nikko is at the All American level he was the last time he was wrestling for the Buckeyes, but one thing is for certain, McDonough is a better wrestler. 

Nikko struggles on his feet, and loves to be on top.  McDonough has shown some vulnerability on the mat this year, getting turned by UVA’s Snyder(who is a freak on top, for the record).  All that being said, McDonough will recognize how important bonus points are and will get the major decision.  I think he will earn several takedowns, riding time, but no turns.  Last time the two wrestled it seemed Matt was content to ride a bit more,  I see him kicking Nikko loose to get back where he thrives and Nikko struggles, neutral.

Matt McDonough WMD Nikko Triggas

4-0 Iowa


133: 
#2 Tony Ramos v. #1 Logan Stieber

Yeah baby!  No love lost between these two.  Ramos has made it well known that he has been looking forward to this date for a long time.  Stieber currently owns  a 3-0 record against Logan in collegiate competition.   Tony has managed to narrow the gap on each occasion.  Their NCAA semi-final match ended with Tony deep on the match tying shot.  

Now a breakdown of sorts.  Logan has been dominant in all 3 positions in each match.  Earning more takedowns in each match, getting away on bottom, and riding tough on top.  Ramos best position by far is the neutral position.  If Tony is to win, he needs to either 1) escape when he takes down right away(something he’s struggled to do) or 2) keep it on the feet and wear Logan out.  

Both are off to fantastic starts so far this season.  Stieber and Ramos are not only undefeated, but have also earned bonus point victories in each match.  I have been on the record saying that both of these guys are top 10 pound for pound wrestlers, and nothing so far this year will alter that opinion, nor will  it change probably after the match.

Logan is not impervious to the upset defeat, losing to Chris Dardanes last year, and everyone(I mean everyone) remembers Ramos last BIG match at Carver Hawkeye against Jordan Oliver.  

I tend not to make predictions based on “Carver magic” and believe that Logans experience on the biggest of stages will keep him mentally tough and able to weather the storm, boo’s, stall calls from the stands and unwarranted TWOOOOOOOO’s that makes Carver Hawkeye the greatest atmosphere to compete in in the sport.

Logan Stieber WBD Tony Ramos

4-3 Iowa


141: 
#9 Mark Ballweg v. #2 Hunter Stieber

Two top ten wrestlers, both undefeated.  Hunter has faced and defeated much superior competition both this year and years prior(wins over Mangrum x2, Russell, Marion come to mind).  Unfortunately for Ballweg, I don’t think he matches up great against Hunter who has looked unreal from neutral this year.  His single leg to cut back finish is beautiful, and seemingly unstoppable.  

Ballweg likes to push pace with a lot of forward pressure, this plays right into Stiebers hands as this allows him to hit the slide bys he also loves to use.  Ballweg is a tough rider, but Hunter has not shown to have many vulnerable areas, including the mat.  Hunter is night and day different from his brother Logan on top.  Hunter will ride tough and earn his riding time point, but he is far from the turner/pinner Logan is. 

I think Hunter wins this match from neutral and doesn’t allow Ballweg’s pressure or the Carver Hawkeye atmosphere get to him.  Ballweg is an athletic and strong wrestler with some good scrambling ability, which is why I don’t believe bonus is any sort of possibility.

6-4 Ohio State


149: 
Mike Kelly v. #14 Cam Tessari

Cam has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride this season.  Expectations were high for the true Sophomore coming into this season after placing 4th at NCAA’s last year.  He currently sits at 7-5 with a few surprising losses, most recently, a loss to Kent States Nick Carr.  While injuries have been speculated for Cam, it is certain that this season has not begun how Buckeye fans had hoped.

Whether he wrestles this dual is certainly a question, especially given the fact that the Buckeyes have a very game backup Ian Paddock.   

Meanwhile Kelly sits at 10-2 with losses to two Cowboys: Kindig and Oliver.  Kelly’s taken care of business this year, but is yet to beat many wrestlers of note.  The last time these two wrestled it was a 9-4 decision for Cam.  I think that Kelly has made significant improvements, and Cam has scaled back slightly to this point.  

All that being said, Cam’s strength is his defense, and Kelly struggles to fire off strong leg attacks consistently.  I like Cam to win this match very close with a counter TD or a slide by earning him the game winning takedown.

Cam Tessari WBD Mike Kelly

9-4 Ohio State


157: 
#1 Derek St. John v. #19 Josh Demas

While little stock can be put into their previous match last year at the dual(DSJ was a shell of himself), there can be little doubt that St. John will have revenge on his mind coming into this match.  Derek has looked phenomenal this year, earning bonus in all but two of his matches(6-0 over #10 and climbing Jedd Moore and 6-0 over #3 Joey Napoli).  

 Demas is good for about one lightning quick takedown a match, but I don’t see him being able to keep St. John at bay for this match.  Derek will earn his living on his feet, racking up enough riding time for the point, and getting out on bottom.  Demas struggles on the mat and makes a living on his feet.   I’d be somewhat surprised if this match was close and expect Derek to earn bonus points for the hawkeyes.

Derek St. John WMD Josh Demas

9-8 Ohio State


165: 
#17 Nick Moore v.  Mark Martin

Some may think this is a potential upset match for the Buckeyes.  I personally don’t see it that way.  Martin is a real talent, no question, but his results so far have not suggested he’s ready for this stage.  He has 7 losses,  5 were losses to unranked wrestlers.  

While Nick Moore is certainly not a world beater at this point in his career, the Sophomore has done well for the Hawkeyes so far this season.  He, like many of the Hawkeyes has not faced the toughest of opponents yet, but he has taken care of business by and large and won the matches he should win.  His two losses came to Corey Lear(who  just beat Tyler Caldwell) and Mark Lewandowski.  This might not be the most exciting match, but in a dual, each match is equally important, regardless of match up.  

I like Moore to take care of business earning a decision for the Hawkeyes.

11-9 Iowa


174: 
#6 Mike Evans v. #2 Nick Heflin

We haven’t seen Heflin since he injured his hand warming up for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.   That being said, I’d be pretty surprised to not see Heflin wrestle this dual.  Meanwhile Evans, who began the year at 165 is settling in nicely.  Undefeated at both weights he has earned bonus points in all but one match (A 7-4 win over Nick Sulzer).

As far as analyzing these two,  it features two rather clunky wrestlers on their feet.  Heflin likes to hold position and take only a few shots a match, maximizing his opportunities.  Evans is aggressive and pushes the pace, yet his leg attacks, while improved, often lack quality set ups.  

That being said, I believe Evans’ relentless approach and great physical strength(when he DOES get to a leg, he’s a very good finisher) will help  him control this match.  Even if I were to say that the two wrestlers were equal on their feet(very possible), Evans still has a strong advantage on the mat.  He is a ferocious leg rider who dishes out as much pain as he does back points, with his brutal power half.  

This is not a great spot for a rusty Nick Heflin.  Evans is a Carver favorite, and he will be ready to go.

Mike Evans WBD Nick Heflin

14-9 Iowa


184: 
#6 Ethen Lofthouse v. Kenny Courts

Another big spot for a Buckeye Freshman.  Courts, like Martin has shown flashes of the talent that made them heralded recruits.  However, also like Martin, Courts will be against a more skilled and experienced opponent.  Courts sits at 16-6 with only a few losses to unranked wrestlers.  Lofthouse, who has not been terribly sharp at 184 so far, has still held served and won the matches he’s supposed to.  His only blemish is a 9-4 beating at the hands of Robert Hamlin.

Lofthouse wins the match here with little issue.

17-9 Iowa


197: 
Nathan Burak v. #7 Andrew Campolattano

To me this is the first really lopsided match up. Camp has had a nice start to his season.  You feel for the guy, given that he’s had to wrestle Dustin Kilgore four times already this season.  Apart from those matches, his only other loss is to #6 Jake Meredith.    

His opponent, like Camp was a big recruit coming out of high school, thrust into competition during their true Freshman year.  Burak, has had his struggles to be sure this year, but has shown glimpses of hope that keep Hawkeye fans holding on that this will be a contributing spot at NCAA’s this year.   He currently sits at 9-5 with 3 of his losses to unranked opponents.  

Burak is fairly plodding and slow footed from neutral, which does not make him a good matchup against the electric Campolattano.  Burak exclusively generates offense from at Russian tie on his feet.  If Camp and Coach Ryan do their homework, I think they’ll neutralize this strength and blow out Burak.

I like Camp to dominate the neutral game and accumulate riding time through it.  

Andrew Campolattano WMD Nathan Burak

17-13 Iowa


285: 
#4 Bobby Telford v. #16 Peter Capone

Two wrestlers who have had solid starts to both of their seasons.  Capone has notched a few solid wins over ranked, or previously ranked wrestlers, with his only losses to Hanke, Thomusseit and Felix.  All are top 15 wrestlers.   

Last time these two met, Telford was the victor 4-1.  Telford currently sits at 9-0 with 5 bonus point victories.  He has only faced one ranked opponent to date, Matt Gibson, who proved to be quite pesky during the dual, nearly tying the match late.  

I like Telford to get a takedown off of a Capone shot.  Telford very rarely shoots, even for a heavyweight.  He waits for his opponents to get out of position.  Bad shots, and on top are where Bobby makes his living.  He is a very tough rider able to get a variety of turns for a big man.  I don’t see a turn happening this match, but I do believe he will earn riding time.

Bobby Telford WBD Peter Capone

20-12 Iowa

Iowa gets their revenge from last year and sends the Buckeyes back to Columbus defeated, but not without taking a few matches from the Hawkeyes. 



Last Year's Box:
125 - Matt McDonough (Iowa) DEC Johnni DiJulius (OSU), 5-2 
133 - Logan Stieber (OSU) DEC Tony Ramos (Iowa), 7-0 
141 - Hunter Stieber (OSU) DEC Montell Marion (Iowa), 4-2 
149 - Cam Tessari (OSU) DEC Mike Kelly (Iowa), 9-4 
157 - Josh Demas (OSU) DEC Derek St. John (Iowa), 7-3 
165 - Derek Garcia (OSU) DEC Mike Evans (Iowa), 6-5 
174 - Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) DEC Joey Grandominico (OSU), 7-1 
184 - Nick Heflin (OSU) DEC Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 7-4 
197 - Andrew Campolattano (OSU) DEC Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 8-6 
HWT - Blake Rasing (Iowa) DEC Peter Capone (OSU), 6-2