Iowa/Nebraska National Duals RECAP

Iowa doubled-up Nebraska in the semifinals of the National Duals in Cedar Falls, but it likely wasn't quite was Tom Brands was looking for, with several close losses. Read thoughts and recaps from Brian Finley.

JJ Krutsinger (Iowa) dec Andy Pokomy (Nebraska) 7-4
- JJ looked a little sluggish at the beginning. Not sure if He was going to be able to turn it on enough to get a win, but a couple nice scramble situations helped him pull away late. He's a VERY tough rider, I was a little surprised. That's not usually something a real young guy should be that skilled at.

Daniel Dennis (Iowa) dec Patrick Aleksanyan (Nebraska) 4-0
- A pretty slow paced match, if I remember correctly. Dennis rode hard all match long, but I'm guessing the coaching staff would have liked to see a bit more from him.

Alex Tsirtsis (Iowa) dec Curtis Salazar (Nebraska) 7-2
- Alex is definitely improving on on offense. He was in a couple scary scramble situations, but that's about part for the course with Alex. He was much more active on the bottom that we're used to, hopefully it's a sign of things to come. He was called several times for potentially dangerous, owrking on the shoulder of his opponent, but continued to go with it. There was never a real conference about the call, the ref didn't get too concerned, which seemed odd.

Brent Metcalf (Iowa) TF4 Robert Sanders (Nebraska) 24-9
- Brent Metcalf has got to be extremely frustrated with how people are wrestling him lately. That's two dual meets in a row he's scored a tech fall without back points. Once a wrestler accepts that he's been "beaten," he'll curl up in a ball and lay on the mat. Metcalf has his guy wrapped and nearly turned, but couldn't get the extra 10 or so degrees, and settled for four team points. I can only assume it's going to get worse as Big Ten season hits, with team points being the main concern.

Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska) TF5 Matt Ballweg (Iowa) 22-7
- Give Matt Ballweg credit for staying active throughout the match, but he was obviously the lesser skilled wrestler in this match. He was still attempting shots and working, but had no chance. Brands seemed frustrated though, as Ballweg found himself on the edge of the mat quite a bit, and lit into him just before one restart.

Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec Stephen Dwyer (Nebraska) 3-2
- A win is a win, but again, Morningstar took way too long to get to his offense. I believe both wrestlers were warned for stalling during this contest, and neither seemed too interested in taking a lot of shots. Morningstar was able to squirm out of a few tough shots and scrambles, and finish off a shot of his won to take the 3-2 lead, but it wasn't the way Brands wanted the match to go. As soon as Morningstar got off the mat, he got a good talking to from the coaches, especially with regards to his offense.

Brandon Browne (Nebraska) dec Jay Borschel (Iowa) 5-4
- Back to 'old Jay.' He was very tentative with his offense, and against a guy as good as Browne, you're not going to be able to work out of a single-leg shot, the way he's able to against other wrestlers. Yes, Browne was highly ranked, but these are the sort of matches Jay Borschel should be able to win. 174 is not an easy weight, he'll see guys like this throughout the rest of the season.

Phil Keddy (Iowa) dec Vince Jones (Nebraska) 8-5
- Phil got off to a quick start, and looked like he was trying to vary his offense. I did not see (maybe I missed it) a single double-under attempt from Phil. Not sure if that was by design or something Jones was doing to stop him, but Phil may need to rediscover that before March.

Craig Brester (Nebraska) dec Chad Beatty (Iowa) 7-5 SV1
- Early on in the match, Brester took an injury time out for some type of head issue, he looked unsteady on his feet and really cloudy. Beatty didn't seem to take advantage as much as he might have been able to. Still, Beatty had a lead late, and just couldn't hold it. It stings now, but hopefully this match helps his confidence, as 197 only has 4 ranked wrestlers at 197, and Beatty surely has the ability to make it to St. Louis.

Dan Erekson (Iowa) dec Tucker Lane (Nebraska) 8-3
- A very good win for Erekson, in typical Erekson style. He used his athleticism and quickness to come away with a win, outhustling his opponent. He had a pretty bad bloody nose throughout most of the match, but with two hours to go until the finals, he should be fine. He tried to secure the same hold and throw that worked for a fall earlier in the duals, but was called for potentially dangerous one time, and time ran out on the other.

Final Score:
IOWA - 22, NEBRASKA - 11

Overall Thoughts: Not as sharp as Iowa could have been. So many close mathches could have easily gone the other way, resulting in Iowa's exit from the championship side of the bracket. Jay Borschel and Ryan Morningstar will probably get the most fire from the coahces during the two-hour break, based on their sluggish offensive performances. The dual against Cornell may go very similarly, as Iowa will be heavily favored through three of the first four matches, before Cornell jumps in with #4 Jordan Leen at 157, #1 Mack Lewnes at 165, and #3 Steve Anceravage at 174. Iowa will need bonus points from their guys up front, particularly Dennis and Tsirtsis, to try and open up a gap. Losses are possible, maybe even likely, against each of those three wrestlers.


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