Feb. 2, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Bobby Telford has been in this situation before. Twice to be exact, with a dual meet decision in the balance and with it all coming down to the 285-pound match.
It happened Jan. 13 in Stillwater, Okla., where Telford lost to third-ranked Alan Gelogaev, 7-3, and the University of Iowa lost the dual, 18-12.
It happened last Saturday in Minneapolis, where Telford lost to No. 2-ranked and defending NCAA champion Tony Nelson, 2-1. The Hawkeyes still won the meet, 16-15, on criteria.
Things were different for Telford this time around. And his head coach knew it.
"When a heavyweight is going out there and he is shaking his head and he's winking at you, you know he's a cool customer or at least things aren't getting to him," Brands said. "He's going to manage the situation."
Third-ranked Iowa led No. 1 Penn State 19-16 heading into the final bout of the dual. Telford (12-3), ranked No. 6, was facing 17th-ranked Jon Gingrich (14-6), winner of two straight and three of his last four duals.
This one was seven minutes of Telford. He used a first period takedown and led 3-0 after two periods, thanks to a stalling point against Gingrich. Telford amassed more than four minutes of riding time and won, 9-2.
"This is my third time being in that situation and I was 0-2 against Okie State and Minnesota, two top-notch guys when I could have made a statement," Telford said. "It was one of those matches, looking at it on paper, that we needed. We might have needed it by bonus points or we might just have needed a decision."
Telford stayed away from Medicom Mat during the first eight matches, but he couldn't avoid the ruckus a sellout crowd of 15,077 was making inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"That's why you come here," Telford said. "You see the pictures (when) you come here on your recruiting trips. I didn't come down to the arena until (the) 184 (pound match), warming up upstairs. But I'm sitting there in the lounge, listening to it and I feel people stomping. There are no bleachers, it's 10 or 15 feet of concrete above your head. You know what's going on, you have to keep your mind right."
Telford, a sophomore, delivered like five other Hawkeyes: senior Matt McDonough (125), junior Tony Ramos (133), senior Mark Ballweg (141), junior Derek St. John (157) and sophomore Mike Evans (174). It led to Iowa's 16th dual victory this season against one loss. The Hawkeyes have won four in a row and remain unbeaten in the Big Ten Conference at 6-0.
"This was big. We highlighted it, they highlighted it," Brands said. "Sometimes you can smile a little bit and we're probably smiling a little bit right now -- not to the point where you're slapping yourself on the back so much, but more maybe because there was some toughness."