BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Iowa pulled the redshirt off of 184-pound true freshman Abe Assad on Friday and he delivered to help the top-ranked Hawkeyes roll to a 41-0 Big Ten wrestling win at Indiana.
"If I told you I didn’t have any nerves, I’d be lying to you," Assad said after recording a 6-2 decision over the Hoosiers’ Jake Hinz in his Iowa debut to help the Hawkeyes open an 18-0 lead in a dual which began at 149 pounds.
"Everyone has nerves, Even matches when I’m at open tournaments I still get a little nervous before every match. Obviously here the nerves are heightened a little more, but I knew that if I went out there and wrestled loose and tried to score points, good things are going to happen."
Good things happened up and down the Hawkeye lineup as Iowa benefited from pins from Alex Marinelli at 165, Tony Cassioppi at 285 and Austin DeSanto at 133 in addition to collecting a technical fall from Spencer Lee at 125.
"We missed some bonus points, too. We had good rides on guys and let them eke out a point at the end," Iowa coach Tom Brands said. "Maybe a little sloppy, overanxious, but there were a lot of points there."
Marinelli’s fall was his team-leading sixth of the season and it came in 5 minutes, 34 seconds.
"When it’s there, it’s there," Marinelli said. "… I think it’s good I got to my attacks, got him on his stomach, arm-barred, stepped over the head, pin."
Iowa’s Michael Kemerer also saw his first action since Dec. 8 in the dual, winning a 9-6 decision at 174 before Assad, a runner-up while competing unattached at the Midlands Championships last month, made his collegiate debut.
Assad’s win gave the Hawkeyes (5-0, 2-0) an 18-0 lead at the break and Cassioppi, Lee and DeSanto worked quickly after the intermission, needing a combined 6:18 to collect their bonus points.
Cassioppi’s pin of Rudy Streck came in :20, Lee needed 3:16 to record a 15-0 technical fall of Liam Cronin and DeSanto recorded his pin of Jonathan Moran in 2:42.