Iowa wrestling: Backups shine as No. 1 Hawkeyes win 10th straight over Michigan State

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

There was no hangover from Friday’s thrilling victory over Penn State for the Iowa wrestling team.

Just two days after winning perhaps the most anticipated dual of the 2019-20 season, the top-ranked Hawkeyes easily dispatched Michigan State, 32-3, at Jenison Field House in East Lansing on Sunday afternoon. It was Iowa’s 10th-straight win over the Spartans.

It was a slightly irregular lineup for Iowa, which is now 10-0 overall and 7-0 against Big Ten competition. Three backups took the mat: Paul Glynn in lieu of Austin DeSanto at 133, Carter Happel instead of Max Murin at 141 and Jeremiah Moody in place of Alex Marinelli at 165. 

They all won, too — and produced plenty of excitement along the way.

After DeSanto injury-defaulted on Friday night, Glynn got the nod on Sunday. He trailed Michigan State’s Garrett Pepple 3-0 in the third period, then scored a takedown, let Pepple up, and scored another, plus four nearfall points, on a cement-mixer with 10 seconds left to win, 9-4.

Iowa's Paul Glynn gets set back at the center of the mat in his match at 133 pounds during a NCAA non-conference wrestling dual, Sunday, Nov., 17, 2019, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Happel made an appearance for the third-straight dual after Iowa coach Tom Brands said Murin was “nicked up” ahead of Friday's dual against Penn State. On Sunday, Happel beat Matt Santos, 4-1, thanks to a first-period takedown and a mean third-period rideout.

Moody made his first appearance in the Iowa lineup this season, starting at 165 after Marinelli’s bloody 7-5 loss to Vincenzo Joseph on Friday. Moody took Austin Hiles feet-to-back in the first period on his way to a 9-5 win.

On the whole, Iowa totaled 19 takedowns while allowing just 3, and scored 71 total match points while Michigan State (6-8, 1-6) scored only 23 — including 17 via escape.

Spencer Lee opened the dual with a first-period pin over Logan Griffin at 125 pounds. Pat Lugo and Kaleb Young both won by decision at 149 and 157, respectively. Michael Kemerer followed Moody with a 13-3 major over Layne Malczewski at 174. Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi closed with a decision and major decision at 197 and 285.

The one match that carried significant intrigue was at 184 pounds, between Iowa’s true freshman Abe Assad and Michigan State’s wildly talented Cameron Caffey, who’s ranked 15th nationally by Trackwrestling and was on the Junior world team in Greco-Roman last summer.

Assad, who entered ranked No. 6, was in on plenty of shots throughout the match, but Caffey defended well, sometimes with hips and other times with his hand-fighting and scrambling ability. He countered an Assad shot in the second period for a takedown, which held up to give Caffey a 3-2 victory.

Only three duals remain for the Hawkeyes this season — against No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor next weekend, followed by back-to-back home matches against No. 4 Minnesota and No. 7 Oklahoma State. 

After Sunday’s dual, the Hawkeyes are now 59-11 in individual matches in their seven Big Ten duals this season. If they can beat both the Wolverines and Gophers, they would clinch the Big Ten regular season dual title.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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No. 1 Iowa 32, Michigan State 3

  • 125: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) over Logan Griffin (MSU) by fall, 2:21
  • 133: Paul Glynn (IA) dec. Garrett Pepple (MSU), 9-4
  • 141: Carter Happel (IA) dec. Matt Santos (MSU), 4-1
  • 149: No. 3 Pat Lugo (IA) dec. Alex Hrisopoulos (MSU), 8-3
  • 157: No. 4 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. No. 19 Jake Tucker (MSU), 6-2
  • 165: Jeremiah Moody (IA) dec. Austin Hiles (MSU), 9-5
  • 174: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (IA) maj. dec. No. 23 Layne Malczewski (MSU), 13-3
  • 184: No. 15 Cam Caffey (MSU) dec. No. 6 Abe Assad (IA), 3-2
  • 197: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. Nick May (MSU), 5-2
  • 285: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) maj. dec. Christian Rebottaro (MSU), 10-0

Rankings from Trackwrestling.