AMES — Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser spoke blunty about facing Iowa this weekend.
“Let’s face it, on paper they’re supposed to slam us, slaughter us and all the other ‘s’ words,” Dresser in his Monday morning press conference. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Cyclones will face the No. 3 Hawkeyes at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa is coming off a tough 28-13 loss to No. 1 Penn State.
“Obviously the focus is moving forward,” Dresser said. “I tell our team all the time that the biggest match of the year is always the next match.”
After an inconsistent weekend with a win Friday night and a tough loss on Saturday, the Cyclones have a lot of work to do in the wrestling room to come in confident to face their biggest rival.
As of Feb. 6, the Hawkeyes had seven ranked weight classes (125, 149, 157, 165, 184, 197 and 285), six of them being in the top ten.
If there is any matchup to have some confidence going into this weekend, it’s in the return of Ian Parker (141). After getting hurt in practice and having to sit out, he was cleared Saturday morning, but the team decided he’d sit out against UNI to continue to focus on his health for the Iowa dual. He will most likely be facing Vince Turk who is now 8-6 overall after a loss to Penn State.
Guys like Jarrett Degen (141) and Marcus Harrington (285) will face top-ten opponents after losing both their matches this past weekend.
The match up at 165 will be extremely tough with No. 7 freshman Alex Marinelli for the Hawkeyes coming in after an extremely notable win having defeated No.1 Vincenzo Joseph.
It is unclear whether Skyler St. John and Brady Jennings will have another wrestle off for 165. Coach Dresser said he will have a better idea Wednesday evening of who will be starting this weekend.
“We just need to compete well and we need to fight,” said Dresser.
When Iowa and Iowa State compete, no matter the sport, the rivalry thrives. Although Iowa is clearly the better team on paper, as history has shown, when these two face off crazy things can happen.
The expectation with fan attendance is questionable but there will be probably be a lot more in attendance then we have seen all season.
“I’ve been gone for a while but I don’t think we’ll have to work real hard to get these guys fired up,” said Dresser, in reference to him being away from the state of Iowa having coached at Virginia Tech since 2006. The last time Virginia Tech faced off against Iowa was in the 2011-2012 season that resulted in a 31-3 loss.
Coach Dresser expressed just being excited to have a tough team in town to help this team figure out where they are — and to face a tough test — as they look toward the Big 12 championships.
“There’s nothing bigger than bringing Iowa to town,” said Dresser.