Purdue wrestling faced its first Big Ten opponent of the season against No. 2 Iowa on Sunday and suffered a 31-point loss to the Hawkeyes.
Purdue is the fourth team this season that Iowa has held to less than 10 points while scoring more than 30. Hawkeye fans maintained the gold and black theme in the bleachers, easily matching, and perhaps outnumbering, the home crowd.
“They love wrestling in Iowa, and they do travel well,” said head coach Tony Ersland, a 1997 Hawkeye alumnus, “and I love the fact that they traveled. It’s a good environment to compete in.”
Purdue started the meet as it had all season with Matt Ramos wrestling at 125 pounds. Ramos, who claims the overall No. 9 spot at his weight, was up against the No. 1 in Spencer Lee.
The Boilers looked to get the ideal start they usually get from their lead-off man as Ramos pulled off a four-point near pin and stretched out an early 8-2 lead. Lee countered, flipped Ramos with less than 30 seconds left in the first period and pinned him — picking up his 45th consecutive win and burying Purdue 6-0 early.
Parker Filius and Kendall Coleman, who competed at the 141- and 157-pound weights, respectively, were the only Boilermakers to earn points for the team. Filius won 6-2 after returning from an injury that kept him out of last week’s Chattanooga Scuffle.
Coleman managed a 3-2 decision over his opponent, holding onto his lead and opponent for dear life in the final period to prevent a last-second escape that threatened to send the match to overtime.
Ersland said there’s no question Iowa is a great program, and it’s ranked No. 2 in the country for a reason.
“Where my disappointment is, is we came out and scored early,” he said, “but we needed to sustain that through our match. We showed flashes against a good team, but that’s what separates good teams, right? You got to do it early, and you got to do it late.”
Purdue ended the match with a forfeit at 285 pounds, considering its injuries at that weight and the futility of the matchup given the score.
“We are beat up at heavyweight right now. That’s why I didn’t send (Tristan Ruhlman) out,” Ersland said. “Both (Hayden) Copass and Ruhlman, are nursing injuries, so we’re just trying to get them back.”
Purdue’s next outing will be against Illinois on Saturday for the second of eight Big Ten matches this season. The Boilers are on the road the next few weeks, returning home to play Indiana at the end of the month on Jan. 29.