AMES (AP) — First-year coach Kevin Dresser came to Iowa State to turn it into a program that could finally beat Iowa.
Sunday's annual dual meet in Ames was a reminder that it's going to take more than one year to compete with the Hawkeyes.
Seventh-ranked Iowa trounced host Iowa State 35-6 in wrestling for its 14th consecutive win in the series. The Hawkeyes have won 29 of the last 30 meetings and 53 of the last 57 — but rarely have things gone as poorly as they did for Iowa State on Sunday.
Freshman Spencer Lee set the tone for Iowa, opening the meet with a 40-second pin. Seven consecutive Hawkeye wins followed before forfeiting at 197 pounds — a move that infuriated Dresser — to give Iowa State its only points.
Alex Marinelli also notched a pin and heavyweight Sam Stoll closed out the rout with a major decision.
"It just shows you that we've got a process here and, yeah, we've made some progress here. But anytime you wrestle good teams, you get exposed," Dresser said.
Dresser, who is signed to a seven-year contract worth $2.25 million plus incentives, is just the latest coach to try and turn around a proud program that produced Olympic champions like Dan Gable, Cael Sanderson and most recently Jake Varner.
Dresser, a former Hawkeye wrestler from nearby Humboldt, left Virginia Tech to take over an Iowa State team that had fallen apart under former coach Kevin Jackson. The Cyclones scored just one point at last year's NCAA meet and finished tied for 56th, an unusual outcome for a school with eight national championships to its credit.
In came Dresser, who brought along three assistants, Mike Zadick, Derek St. John and Brent Metcalf, that like him were highly successful wrestlers for Iowa.
But having former Hawkeyes as coaches isn't the same as having wrestlers as talented as the ones Iowa had compete on Sunday.
The Hawkeyes have five wrestlers ranked in the top-five nationally, including a potential 2020 Olympian in Lee. Iowa State doesn't have anyone ranked in the top 10 — and Dresser said that Iowa's reputation got to a few of his athletes as well.
"We got guys that got 'Black and Gold-itis'... that they're intimidated by the black and gold singlet. And I get it, because I wore one and I saw guys crumble," Dresser said.
This was Iowa State's second-straight rout at the hands of an in-state rival, as the Cyclones lost to Northern Iowa 31-7 on Feb. 10.
Only scoring on a forfeit showed how far Iowa State is from being competitive with top-tier programs.
"In a sport like this, where it's individual in nature, it doesn't matter if it's a mismatch or not. There's knockout blows in this sport where it's one second, both shoulders on the mat, you can get beat," Iowa coach Tom Brands said. "You've got to be ready to go."
Dresser also focused on Iowa State's work on the recruiting trail a day after Iowa's iconic state wrestling meet wrapped up — and he closed his press conference by issuing a promise for the next Hawkeyes-Cyclones dual meet in Ames set for 2020.
"This will be a different day here, next time it's in Ames. I'm just telling you that. It'll be a different day," Dresser said.