Jackson’s judgment day almost here

Kevin Jackson can hardly wait.

Iowa State’s first-year coach has been talking about Dec. 6 since the day he was hired.

Iowa vs. Iowa State.

No. 1 vs. No. 2.  

Two-time defending NCAA champions vs. national championship hopefuls.

Sundays’ 6 p.m. dual meet at Hilton Coliseum is about as good as it gets in the sport of wrestling.

“We circled it. I know they circed it on their calendar,” Jackson said. “It’s a big part of the sport and one of the reasons I’m happy to be here.”

Jackson inherited a team capable of achieving some lofty goals.

The Cyclones boast a handful of All-Americans and a national champion in Jake Varner. One thing ISU’s talented senior class has yet to do is beat its in-state rival.

A victory Sunday would be the first step towards a big finish to their careers. 

“Our goal is to win a national championship and the national championship goes through Iowa City,” Jackson said. “We are going to see where we are at right away. I anticipate our guys performing at a high level.”

Jackson and his coaching staff — along with volunteer assistants and training partners Nate Gallick and Trent and Travis Paulson — have been pushing a more scoring-driven approach.

Varner has made a living off winning matches 3-1 or 4-2. Jackson wants to see the star 197-pounder light up the scoreboard.

That goes for everybody. He’d like it to start this weekend.

“We are getting after some points,” Jackson said. “We are trying to wrestle with a higher level of intensity and take advantage of all scoring opportunities.”

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