Following a lethargic performance in its Big Ten dual opener a week ago, line-up changes are likely for the Iowa wrestling team this weekend.
The Hawkeyes visit Rutgers at 7 p.m. today and travel to Maryland at noon on Sunday, and coach Tom Brands wants his 5-0 team to get a quicker start, both as a team and in individual matches.
"We need to shake up some things in those first three weight classes. We need to pick it up," Brands said.
Iowa fell behind Illinois 9-0 a week ago, needing a pin at 285 pounds from Sam Stoll to survive an 18-17 scare.
Brands said he has been pleased with the preparation of the first three wrestlers the Hawkeyes sent to the mat in that dual — Justin Stickley at 125, Phillip Laux at 133 and Vince Turk and 141 — but he wants what he sees daily in the Iowa wrestling room to carry over into competition.
"It’s about performance. It’s go out there and let it fly," Brands said. "That’s what fans want to see."
Toward that objective, Iowa will make changes this weekend.
With freshman Spencer Lee still working his way back from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Stickley will again start at 125.
At 133, Bettendorf’s Paul Glynn and Laux are expected to share starting duties, and at 141, redshirt freshman Carter Happel and Turk are both listed as lineup possibilities.
Brands also expects 165-pounder Alex Marinelli to make his collegiate debut, most likely against in front of an expected full house of about 8,000 tonight at Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) feature seven rated wrestlers in their lineup, including second-ranked Penn State transfer Nick Suriano at 125.
"It’s a weekend where we’re going to have to be ready to go," Brands said. "Rutgers, the atmosphere is going to be a challenge, and it’s two more Big Ten duals on the road. We’ve got to be ready to go."