Jan. 16, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- There may have been a little monkey hanging on to the back of University of Iowa 165-pounder Nick Moore, but it's there no more.
After losing the first six matches of his career against top-five ranked opponents, Moore broke through with the biggest victory of his Hawkeye career, downing No. 2 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State, 3-1 in sudden victory, on Jan. 10 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The win helped Iowa to a 24-6 dual victory over the fifth-ranked Cowboys. It was Moore's third over a ranked opponent this season and his second against a top-six ranked foe (No. 6 Mike Moreno of Iowa State).
"If there was any doubt, you can erase the doubt," said Moore, who has compiled a 13-2 record this season. "It's not like I didn't believe in my wrestling, but it helps you move forward."
"If there was any doubt, you can erase the doubt. It's not like I didn't believe in my wrestling, but it helps you move forward."
Junior Nick Moore
The win was significant for Moore because it avenged a 3-2 loss to Caldwell during last season's dual in Stillwater, and it came over a wrestler that finished third at 165 pounds last season and was the NCAA runner-up in 2011.
"Any time you have a win like that it is big, and it kind of got a monkey off his back," said UI head coach Tom Brands. "I am not saying there was a big, heavy monkey, but he has had these matches against ranked guys and now he's starting to knock them off. (Caldwell) was an even bigger one to knock off, and he got it done."
There was no "let-down" for Moore, as he followed the Caldwell victory with a 13-3 major decision over Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc on Jan. 12. The 2-0 weekend propelled Moore to USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week honors and moved him up to No. 4 in the national rankings.
"He's finding out a lot of things about himself that are very positive," said Brands. "The way he is wrestling and with his confidence, that's what it is going to take to wrestle and compete with the best. You have to keep moving forward. Now we have another ranked guy at Nebraska, and we have to be ready."
Moore will square off against Nebraska's 14th-ranked Austin Wilson on Saturday, a wrestler who brings a 15-7 overall record into the dual.
"I am getting ready, focused and when it's time to step out on the match, I have to be ready to compete," said Moore. "That's how it has been and will be all year."
Moore has filed away the Caldwell victory and is focusing solely on what lies ahead.
"The win over Caldwell is on the back-burner for a while," he said. "It's over and it's on to something else."
Saturday's dual in Lincoln, Neb., will begin at 4:30 p.m. (CT) from the Bob Devaney Center. It will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons and Shane Sparks on the call.