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Grapple on the Gridiron - Wrestling meet - Okie State vs Iowa at Kinnick Stadium

Discussion in 'Iowa Hawkeyes' started by iowajerms, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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    I like this article about it and excited to attend it.
    Meet is this Saturday afternoon before Minnesota football game.

    OkSt is ranked #1 and Iowa #4.

    Grapple on the Gridiron: Iowa readies for unique Saturday twin bill

    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three decades ago, as Kirk Ferentz cut his teeth in coaching under Hayden Fry, Iowa linemen occasionally wandered into the practice room of the wrestling team, eager to relive high school glory on the mat.

    Generally, the experience did not go well for the football players.

    “As a line coach,” Ferentz said, “I thought that was the greatest thing in the world.”

    Now in his 17th year as Fry’s successor and bidding Saturday night against Minnesota for the first 10-0 start in Iowa history, Ferentz appreciates the attributes of wrestling more than ever.

    Toughness, discipline, confidence -- all requirements as much in football as wrestling.

    A unique marriage of sorts arrives Saturday for the two Iowa programs. Eight hours before the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes don their alternate blackout uniforms against Minnesota, the No. 4-ranked Iowa wrestling team opens its dual-meet season in the south end of Kinnick Stadium against top-ranked Oklahoma State.

    The football stadium, to clarify, is not the Hawkeyes’ traditional wrestling venue.

    Iowa, as of Thursday morning, had sold 35,431 tickets to the wrestling event, on track for smashing success in its bid to the break the NCAA dual-meet attendance record of 15,996 set by Penn State in 2013.

    Iowa wrestling has led the nation in attendance for the past nine years. Last year, it averaged 8,358 per meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (capacity 15,400). This “Grapple on the Gridiron,” as the school has christened it, was the brainchild of Tom Brands, the 10th-year wrestling coach and a 1996 Olympic gold medalist.

    “Our fans are the No. 1 motivation for us,” Brands said, “because they want to have the record. They take a lot of pride in it.”

    Brands approached administrators about the idea to use Kinnick and quickly got approval from football.

    The mutual admiration and connection between the programs is evident.

    “I’m a Ferentz fan,” Brands said. “I’ve said it again and again and again. The best compliment I can give him is I could have played for him. He’s a no-nonsense guy. He expects accountability. He expects a high standard every time.”

    The same is true of Iowa wrestling, which has won 23 NCAA team titles, the most recent in 2010.

    Ferentz attended his first Iowa dual at the school’s old field house, he said, in the winter of 1982, after joining Fry’s staff the previous year.

    “It seemed like everybody in the place knew everything that was going on,” he said, “like every move. They're coaching every move, and I was just like in total amazement. That blew me away.”

    Ferentz developed a relationship with iconic former Iowa coach Dan Gable, for whom Brands won three individual NCAA titles.

    Though his linemen no longer jump into wrestling practice, many of Ferentz’s recruits have the sport in their athletic backgrounds. Iowa center and senior co-captain Austin Blythe won three state titles and left Williamsburg (Iowa) High School in possession of the state record with 143 career pins.

    Blythe said he checks in on Hawkeyes wrestlers when his schedule permits.

    “To watch those guys compete is pretty special,” Blythe said. “That’s the kind of competitive fire that I want to emulate on the football field.”

    Iowa planned the mid-November outdoor wrestling meet with the understanding that weather might intervene. If necessary, the school planned to make a call on moving the dual to Carver-Hawkeye no later than Friday morning. Low temperatures were not a concern as much as moisture, but neither appears to pose a threat.

    The forecast calls a cold sunrise Saturday in Iowa City, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Bob Larson, with sunny skies and temperatures rising into the 40s.

    “As long as we’re warmed up, it doesn’t matter,” said Thomas Gilman, Iowa’s fourth-ranked junior in the 125-pound class. “Cold air hits our lungs, we’re going to excel. Those Oklahoma State guys, I’m not sure how it’s going to affect them.”

    No problem for the Cowboys, said longtime coach John Smith, himself a former two-time Olympic medalist and two-time NCAA champ.

    “We’ll wrestle in whatever weather,” Smith said.

    Smith said he’s never wrestled or coached outdoors, but he watched former Oklahoma State wrestler Coleman Scott earn a spot on the 2012 Olympic team by winning a match at Times Square.

    It was exhilarating, Smith said.

    Iowa is hoping for something similar at Kinnick.

    “It’s something nobody’s ever seen before,” 184-pound Iowa junior Sammy Brooks said, “where there’s going to be this many fans outdoors for college wrestling. It’s awesome that [the football team is] 9-0 right now, and that’ll help make this a bigger event.

    “I think we feed off each other.”
     



    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  2. wingsauce7

    wingsauce7 Well-Known Member

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    What's the weather looking like for Sat?
     
  3. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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    Really nice. 52° at noon and 58° by 3 oclock. Supposed to be sunny as well.

    49° at 6pm and 42° at 9pm
     
  4. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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    I got to give John Smith and Oklahoma State credit for doing this.
     
  5. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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    I believe they said it was 42,187 in attendance. What an awesome meet!

    #4 Iowa defeated #1 Oklahoma State 18-16!!!
     
  6. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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  7. iowajerms

    iowajerms Well-Known Member

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