Iowa State vs UNI – Preview + Predictions
While the in state rivalry may not be as fierce and competitive as the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes have been throughout the years, make no mistake, there is no love lost between the Cyclones and the Panthers either. It’s a rivalry all in its own. For year’s Iowans have ranked the teams, Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa, in that order. Panther head coach Doug Schwab isn’t happy about that. He doesn’t like being third in the state. He doesn’t even like being third in the country. He’s on a mission to lead Northern Iowa to a status of competing for team national titles. Kevin Jackson on the other hand looks to silence the critics and spread hope to the doubters. A victory over the #17 Northern Iowa Panthers this Friday night would do just that, as well as propel the Cyclones into the top 20.
125 lbs – #10 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) Vs #19 Markus Simmons (Iowa State)
Two-time All-American Dylan Peters started off the season as a threat to the national title. A bad weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Southern Scuffle and we’re left wondering it was a sign of times to come or nothing more than a couple of bad matches. We’ll know after Friday when he takes on Simmons, who will be a great test as to where he’s at.
133 lbs – #10 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) vs #12 Earl Hall (Iowa State)
Rankings favor the Panther, although prior results favor the Cyclone. Hall and Alber have met three times, and all three times have ended in victories for Hall. A 17-7 major decision, a 4:17 fall and a 9-7 decision. Taking place in Ames, this one goes to Iowa State.
141 lbs – U.R. Jake Hodges (Northern Iowa) vs U.R. John Meeks (Iowa State)
A tossup match that could go either way.
149 lbs – #8 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) vs U.R. Chase Straw (Iowa State)
More points on the board for the Panthers in this match. Perhaps even bonus points.
157 lbs – U.R. Paden Moore (Northern Iowa) vs U.R. Colston DiBlasi (Iowa State)
The inconsistent and unpredictable, as well as unorthodox and funky DiBlasi keeps the cardinal and gold faithful guessing. He wrestlers like a box of chocolates. In this case, you confidently predict a win, yet you never know what you’re going to get.
165 lbs – #10 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) vs U.R. Dane Pestano (Iowa State)
Another win for the Panthers, yet another match the Cyclones should be able to keep to a decision.
174 lbs – #11 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) vs #9 Lelund Weatherspoon (Iowa State)
The last time these two met, Weatherspoon won a wild 12-11 match. Hopefully their second meeting has as much action. While this match could go either way, Weatherspoon has a reputation for improving as the season goes on and could open this one up to win by a larger spread.
184 lbs – #15 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) Vs #8 Patrick Downey (Iowa State)
Still unsure if Downey is 100% or not, this would be great opportunity for Foster to record yet another upset in his sophomore campaign.
197 lbs – U.R. Jared Bartel (Northern Iowa) Vs Marcus Harrington (Iowa State)
It won’t be by more than a takedown, escape or riding time point, but Harrington should give the Cyclones three more points in the team score in this one.
285 lbs – U.R. J.J. Everard (Northern Iowa) vs U.R. Quean Smith (Iowa State)
Some days Smith seems like he’ll contend for All-American honors at the end of the season and other days it seems like he’ll end his career having never made the NCAA tournament. His inconsistency makes it hard to make predictions, but he usually wrestles his best at home. This should be another victory for the Cyclones.
FINAL OVERALL PREDICTION
IOWA STATE 22
NORTHERN IOWA 10