CP's Superdual Breakdown: #3-Iowa at #4-MINN
Christian Pyles, College Analyst


It seems like every week there’s a dual (or 2) that is absolutely must watch. This week is no different as we have two legendary programs rekindling their rivalry. The Minnesota Golden Gophers play host to the Iowa Hawkeyes this Saturday.  As always when these two teams meet, it will feature two well-coached, hard-nosed teams with a number of highly ranked invididuals and exciting match ups.

The Gophers are coming off a very tough dual against an upset minded Illinois squad.  While they didn’t look great last week, nobody should expect the same Minnesota team to take the mat this Saturday.  Whether they were looking ahead to this dual, had under the weather, or simply trained through, Minnesota will be ready to go against Iowa.  

Iowa had some bright spots against Michigan and MSU last week, but they weren’t challenged on the level Illinois pushed Minnesota.

This dual can be seen live on the Big Ten Network as well as BTN2Go.com can can be viewed from smartphones as tablets as well today at 3:00pm CST.


*Gopher wrestler listed first.


125: #13 David Thorn v. #1 Matt McDonough

Without repeating much of what I’ve previously said about David Thorn, he's continued to be much of the same guy he’s always been: tough, but not able to knock off the upper echelon guys. He likes to work from a front headlock and horse guys around.  Not a recipe for success against McDonough.  

McDonough has not been scoring at quite the clip Iowa fans may be used to, but he’s going to be fine in this spot.   Thorn has been struggling to get takedowns, and McD is essentially only vulnerable to quick guys who can scramble.  Thorn is not that guy.  I see this as a 5-2 type of match.  McD controls the action, gets a takedown or two, and earns the decision.  Unless Thorn tries a wild move and puts himself on his back, I don’t see McD earning the bonus point.  

Matt McDonough WBD David Thorn. 

Team Score: 3-0 Iowa


133: #7 Chris Dardanes v. #2 Tony Ramos

Lots of familiarity here. Three previous meetings between these two, with Ramos being the victor in each match.  Both are brutal hand fighters who excel with short offense and leg attacks.  Neither bring much to the table from the top position, and neither will struggle to get away from bottom.  Dardanes did not look himself against Thomas. Rumors of illness swirled, and it makes sense to me. Though he worked hard, he simply didn't have his usual horsepower.  I see this more like their first two meetings, and less like their NCAA match where Tony stuck Chris for 3rd place.  A takedown or two for Ramos earns him the win over a closer-to-100% Dardanes.

Tony Ramos WBD Chris Dardanes

Team Score: 6-0 Iowa


141: #11 Nick Dardanes v. #10 Mark Ballweg

Sometimes ranking disparities don’t really tell the tale.  For this case, however, they really do.  This was one of the matches that was most difficult to predict.  I wavered back and forth.  Ballweg has been probably the biggest and best surprise for Iowa fans.  Many remember his stint as a starter two years ago where he did a nice job filling in for then-suspended Montel Marion.  During that time, he was essentially a wrestler who relied on scrambling and counter offense to score, and tough mat wrestling.  This year, we’ve seen much of that wrestler, but with the addition of more leg attacks.  Mark has shown the ability to get to legs consistently, and has the explosiveness to finish. 

Nick Dardanes is much the same guy he was last year.  Brutal hand fighter, nice double legs, but can struggle on bottom.   Ballweg has a win over Luke Vaith who beat Dardanes, and a win over Julian Feikert who Dardanes has split with.  Part of me feels like Ballweg is wrestling at a higher level right now.  Another part of me feels that Dardanes' best shot is a double leg which may neutralize much of Ballweg's scrambling ability.  It’s going to be close. I got Dardanes, what the heck.  

Nick Dardanes WBD Mark Ballweg 

Team Score: 6-3 Iowa


149: #10 Dylan Ness v. Mike Kelly

Will the real Dylan Ness please stand up?  Tough to get a read on this guy so far.  While I'm at it, that goes for Mike Kelly as well.  He seemed to be on the cusp of becoming a rankable guy, then he drops a head scratcher to Osterman from MSU.  Despite the weird loss I think that Kelly is better than he was last year, and I also believe Ness is not clicking on the same level that propelled him to the NCAA finals.  If Kelly can erase the thoughts of going upper body with anyone again, I think he can at least keep this close with Ness.  Ness will be looking to send a message here, and I see him being aggressive and building a decent lead. But I’d be surprised to see this enter the bonus realm.

Dylan Ness WBD Mike Kelly

Team Score: Tied 6-6 


157: Daniel Zilverberg v. #1 Derek St. John

This is a match where I don’t see the outcome in doubt in any way.  St. John is the superior wrestler in all aspects.  He should be able to score a few takedowns on Zilverberg and I don’t see Danny’s top game giving him any problems.  Still I’m only giving St. John the decision here.  Zilverberg is tough, and can slow things down with his top game and counters.

Derek St. John WBD Daniel Zilverberg

Team Score: 9-6 Iowa


165: #12 Cody Yohn v. #17 Nick Moore

Could be a big swing match here. Yohn looked tough against Polz last week. On the other hand, Moore was denied a big matchup against Michigan when Massa didn’t wrestle, so it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Nick truly tested. To his credit he has taken care of business against the lesser accomplished opponents. 

Moore can be pretty stingy with takedowns, but can struggle to get takedowns of his own.  I’ve always appreciated Yohn a bit more than most, so picking him to win in this spot is not too hard for me.  I like him to get a takedown on Moore and that should be enough for him. His top game might be a bit overstated, but Yohn is definitely tough there, at least when it comes to riding.

I like Yohn in a close one.  

Team Score: Tied 9-9 


174: #2 Logan Storley v. #4 Mike Evans

Yeah baby!  Should be a dandy.  I like Storley here.  He’s looked awesome this year and a level above from what I’ve saw last season.  He won a wild one over Blanton and stopped the bleeding and an upset bid for the Illini. 

I still am not sure if I believe in Mike Evans neutral game at this point.  Storley’s motion and ability to work angles should be enough to get him the win, as I don’t see Evans being able to respond.  Evans hope may be to get the riding time point and avoid Storley’s takedown.  It would be a huge statement for Evans to win in this spot. But, I’m not predicting it. 

Logan Storley WBD Mike Evans

Team Score: 12-9 Minnesota


184: #5 Kevin Steinhaus v. #15 Ethen Lofthouse

Big spot for Ethen here.  He’s been pretty disappointing up a weight so far and a loss to Rizqallah does little to suggest he’s ready for this match against Steinhaus.  I like this match to be somewhat close, but Kevin has the advantage in each of the three positions.  He’s got a great motor and I love watching him work his ducks.  His motion and movement are what makes him so dangerous on his feet.  There are some guys he simply does not match up well with (Hamlin, Bosak), but Ethen does not have many of the qualities that those two possess.  Steinhaus can be tough on top where he gets wrists and can work tilts as well.  We saw Kevin flirt with bonus points against Dallago, and he may well do the same here.  

Kevin Steinhaus WBD Ethen Lofthouse

Team Score: 15-9 Minnesota


197: #12 Scott Schiller v. #19 Nathan Burak

Super excited for this match. Watching the evolution of Nathan Burak's career in just a few months has been a real treat. He’s gone from a guy struggling to beat non-D1 opponents to beating Camp and Huntley.

He’s still in love with his Russian tie on his feet, but is developing other parts of his game.  Has a great motor and good physical strength for a True Freshman.  Showed a really nice counter against Huntley that was a huge point in the match. 

Schiller is an aggressive neutral wrestler who takes lots of leg attacks, especially for an upperweight.  I have seen him get in deep on quite a few guys, yet struggle to finish.  I’m curious to see the two strengths of these wrestlers (Schillers leg attacks v. Buraks hips) collide.  The guy who can come out on top of those exchanges will be the winner in my opinion.  I like the more experienced Schiller to win in this spot, but an upset would not surprise me in the least.  Not a hedge, simply the truth.

Scott Schiller WBD Nathan Burak

Team Score: 18-9 Minnesota


HWT: #2 Tony Nelson v. #7 Bobby Telford

Getcha popcorn ready!  Ok, not really.  This will probably be really boring. I really don’t see any reason Telford beats Nelson to be honest.  He’s not going to take him down, and he’s not going to ride him. So there it is.  Of the 10 matches I would be the most surprised if this match if it went opposite of my prediction.  Tony gets his TD, or gets his RT point, but he’s going to win barring something crazy happening.

Tony Nelson WBD Bobby Telford

Final Score: 21-9 Minnesota



Lopsided score, but not very indicative of how close these two teams are and this dual is.

Of the 10 match ups I think it’s very reasonable to say that 141,165,174 and 197 could go opposite of my current predictions and I wouldn’t even blink.  I will be very proud of myself if I even can get 8 of these correct because there are just so many matches that could go either way.  If you can find a way to watch this dual watch it!  I do not anticipate Minnesota looking as flat as they did against Illinois.  It’s possible that that perception is incorrect and the effects of J Rob’s absence are being felt more than I would have anticipated.  Again, I think they’ll respond.  It’s Iowa.