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  • Photo: Photo/Mark Lundy

    Photo: Photo/Mark Lundy

    Brands, McCoy share post-match comments

    Tom Brands (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- On Sunday the No. 7 Iowa Hawkeyes finished their two-match roadtrip with a 40-6 victory over Big Ten rival Maryland at the Xfinity Center. Iowa swept the first nine matches before forfeiting at heavyweight.

    After the match, InterMat spoke with both Iowa coach Tom Brands and Maryland coach Kerry McCoy.

    Carter Happel upsets No. 12 Ryan Diehl

    After starting the season in a reserve role, Carter Happel started at 141 for Iowa against No. 19 Rutgers and Maryland. Against the Terps, he picked up a decision victory over returning NCAA qualifier No. 12 Ryan Diehl.

    "I think that is a great win for Happel with how he wrestled himself out of a hole," Brands said. "That was a big win, and sometimes that is what it takes, a spark. Some of these guys are not representing themselves the way they need to, and you never know what unlocks that."

    Despite Happel's victory over a ranked opponent, the starting job at 141 is still up for grabs. Vince Turk, who started the Hawkeye's first five matches, could still end up being the starter.

    "We got the Midlands coming up, and we will have two at that weight. Turk is very capable, and we love him. We love both guys there," Brands said. "We just want to see someone emerge."

    Phillip Laux returns to the starting lineup

    At 133 the situation appears to be much more settled. After sitting out against Rutgers, Phillip Laux returned to the lineup against Maryland and put up a major decision against Jhared Simmons. Brands indicated that Laux will hold down the weight class for the foreseeable future.

    "I think Laux has the nod. I don't think that's a secret. He looked good." He continued, "If your pace is high and things are at a higher pace, you can rattle some thing offs. Sometimes we think too much."

    Iowa forfeits against No. 10 Youssif Hemida

    On paper the marquee matchup of the dual was at heavyweight. No. 6 Sam Stoll (Iowa) and No. 10 Youssif Hemida (Maryland) both came in undefeated with wins over ranked opponents. However, with the dual meet decided, Iowa chose to not send out Stoll and forfeit the match. Brands indicated that Stoll is not injured and stressed that it is still early in the season.

    "That's not a popular one with the fans, but it is just one of those things where you've got to do the right thing. It's early December."

    McCoy explained that Hemida was looking forward to the match, but he would get his shot later in the season.

    "We have got two weeks until the Midlands Tournament, so we will probably see him at the Midlands Tournament. We'll probably see him at Big Tens and probably see him at Nationals. For them it might have been a smart move to not go out there and show their cards too early," McCoy concluded. "I know that Youssif was looking forward to it, but it shows the level of respect that they have for him… He should be proud about that."

    Spencer Lee wins the UNI Open back in Iowa

    So far this season, the number-one recruit from last year, Spencer Lee has not been in the lineup for the Hawkeyes. On Saturday he wrestled unattached for the first time at the UNI Open and picked three dominant wins on the way to winning the tournament. Brands watched Lee's matches from the road, and he liked what he saw.

    "I loved it. I loved talking to him about it by text. He feels really good about being able to compete. That's what he loves. When you get on the mat for real then that training takes over, good things happen."

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