The Iowa Hawkeyes will welcome the Pennsylvania Quakers to an incredible duel on Saturday, November 26 at 3:00 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Take a look at the probable lineups below and preview the expected encounters.
125: Aidan Harris, Iowa vs. #23 Ryan Miller, Penn
133: Cullan Schriever, Iowa vs. #10 Michael Colaiocco/Evan Mougalian, Penn
141: Drew Bennett, Iowa vs. Carmen Ferrante, Penn
149: #6 Max Murin, Iowa vs. #10 Doug Zapf, Penn
157: Caleb Rathjen/Cobe Siebrecht, Iowa vs #10 Anthony Artalona, Penn
165: #15 Patrick Kennedy, Iowa vs. Lucas Revano/Adam Thomson, Penn
174: Drake Rhodes/Carson Martinson, Iowa vs. Nick Incontrera, Penn
184: #9 Abe Assad, Iowa vs Max Hale/John Stout, Penn
197: #3 Jacob Warner, Iowa vs. HM Cole Urbas, Penn
285: #4 Anthony Cassioppi, Iowa vs. #24 Ben Goldin/Nate Hoaglund, Penn
Iowa favorites need veterans to lead for a win
At first glance at the likely lineups, Iowa is missing 3 of their starter and ranked wrestlers at the top 3 weights in #1 Spencer Lee, #11 Brody Teske and #3 Real Woods. On paper, that means Iowa only wins favorably at 149, 165, 184, 197, and 285. This makes the duel a 5-5 split, and if it does, the winner will likely be determined by whoever gets the most bonus points.
The good news for the Hawkeyes – where they are favored, they have some of their best and most experienced wrestlers who are known for racking up bonus points. They need those bonus point wins to lead them to victory over Penn. At 184, #9 Abe Assad will wrestle an unranked Max Hale or John Stout. Assad’s last two victories came from a teaching lapse and a crucial decision. At 197, #3 Jacob Warner will step on the mat against HM Cole Urbas. The two have never wrestled in a match before, but Warner will be a big favorite and has earned bonus points from all three of his wins this year. Then there’s #4 Anthony Cassioppi who will meet #24 Ben Gold. He has posted first-third pins in all of Cassioppi’s four wins this year and will look to lead the Hawkeyes to victory with another dominant win on Saturday.
Cassioppi’s victory over Army’s Kade Carlson:
The Hawkeyes will also depend on senior Max Murin and sophomore Patrick Kennedy. Murin has a top ten matchup with Doug Zapf and Kennedy will face national qualifier Lucas Revano. Despite Murin beating Zapf 7-1 back in 2019, Zapf has shown major improvements since then, recently notching a win over #11 Caleb Henson. It will certainly take Murin’s best performance to take out Zapf in Carver-Hawkeye. Kennedy has never wrestled against Urbas but he is 3-0 a year with 3 bonus point wins. If Kennedy can continue this streak, he will put the Hawkeyes in a great position to secure a victory over the Quakers.
Murin’s victory over 2019 Midlands’ Zapf:
Penn’s Road to Victory
Though Iowa is the paper favorite, there’s a path to victory for the Quakers, and it’s not a crazy one. First, Penn has to win every match they prefer – this earns them 5 wins and at least 15 team points. After that, the Quakers need Doug Zapf to end the excitement against Max Murin at 149. As previously mentioned, Zapf has made major improvements since the two met in 2019. Zapf not only beat Caleb Henson at the Keystone Classic last week, but he also defeated Sammy Sasso and Anthony Ashnault at the US Open last April. If Penn wins the weights they are favored in and get the surprise at 149, they secure at least 18 team points and are in a great position to pull the massive surprise.
Doug Zapf’s victory over #11 Caleb Henson:
However, as unbelievable as it sounds, those 6 wins may still not be enough to stop the Hawkeyes from winning. If Iowa gets bonus points on 3 or 4 of their wins, they can still win the duel. For example, 2 pins, a technique and a regular decision bring 20 points. Because of this, the final key to angering Penn is limiting bonus points in the games where they are underdogs. Penn will need her upper class in Lucas Revano, Max Hale, Cole Urbas and Ben Goldin to all “know their roles” and wrestle smart matches not to lose big for the team’s sake.
Who wins on Saturday?
Saturday’s duel between Iowa and Penn should be outstanding from start to finish and is extremely difficult to predict. However, since Iowa will have the support of an electric fanbase at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, I’m picking the Hawkeyes in a close duel. I’d say it’s a 5-5 split in games, but the Hawks win by 20-17 bonus points.
This too will be a must-watch dual, ending at 3:00 p.m. ET. You can watch on Big 10+ or follow along on our live blog for game-time updates!