The over two-hour bus ride back to Ames is what Ian Parker remembers most about the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk dual 10 months ago.
"A lot of guys [were] not happy with what happened," Parker said. "Lot of guys won close matches, but we didn't get any bonus [points]. As a team, we did not do what we wanted to do."
With second-ranked Iowa traveling to Hilton Coliseum on Sunday afternoon to face off with the ninth-ranked Cyclones, the memory of a 19-18 defeat at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season still sits with the eight returning Iowa State starters.
"I'm ready to go; I like it kinda early," 149-pounder Jarrett Degen said. "We can't dig a hole, we can't get behind."
The Hawkeyes have won 15 straight duals over Iowa State. The last time the Cyclones defeated Iowa was a 19-16 win in Ames during the 2004-05 season. Iowa leads the all-time series 65-16-2.
Since the 2005-06 season, Iowa has amassed an average of 24.4 dual points. The closest margin of a win was the aforementioned 19-18 victory on the first day of December in 2018.
"Big weekend, we're excited," said Cyclones head coach Kevin Dresser. "They've got a great squad and we got our work cut out for us. I think it's a good test."
A major decision from Iowa's Spencer Lee and a pin from Alex Marinelli, as the only two bonus-point victories of the match, gave the Hawkeyes the edge after each side had a right-down-the-middle split record of 5-5.
Familiar faces will show again at 2 p.m. Sunday. Lee and Alex Mackall will look to grapple again at 125; Degen will try to push his winning streak to three over Pat Lugo at 149; and a possible rematch will rage at 184 between Cash Wilcke and Sam Colbray.
Those matchups, plus the toss-ups at 133, 141 and heavyweight will determine the dual once again in the eyes of the Iowa State wrestlers.
"We absolutely have to win every single one of those, even more than last year," Parker said. "I don't think they have really any holes. We're gonna have to dogfight in every single match. That's kind of the mentality we brought last year — not one of them didn't come to wrestle and we're gonna need that and even more this weekend."
Parker and Todd Small might have to wait until starting lineups are announced to find out who they will wrestle.
Penn State transfer Gavin Teasdale, junior Austin DeSanto and senior Paul Glynn are the three guys who Small could potentially face.
Dresser has been impressed with the preparation of the Iowa Central transfer following a 3-1 loss in his first NCAA dual match against Bucknell's Darren Miller.
"He came out of that match, and he wanted to fix it," Dresser said. "When you come out of a match — win or lose — but especially after you lose and have the mentality you want to fix it, you got a good season ahead of you. If Todd Small continues that mentality, he'll be a force to reckon with."
DeSanto moved up to 141 in the Hawkeyes' opener against Chattanooga — even though afterward Iowa head coach Tom Brands said he weighed in around 133 pounds — and put together a technical fall victory.
If it is a DeSanto/Parker matchup, it'll be the first time they have wrestled since Parker was a true freshman and DeSanto was at Drexel. Max Murin could also await Parker in a rematch from last year.
"He's kind of an infamous guy with his style," Parker said. "I'm extremely excited — it's going to be a high pace match. My style clashing with that style is exciting for me"
The returners at 157, 165 and 197 for Iowa will face off against someone new, as will Marcus Coleman at 174 and Gannon Gremmel at heavyweight for Iowa State.
Second-ranked Kaleb Young will go up against 11th-ranked David Carr at 157, while unranked Chase Straw looks to pull an upset against Marinelli, who is slotted as the second-best wrestler at 165.
Iowa's Jacob Warner, ranked second at 197, will face Joel Shapiro.
"Anytime you get a good opponent like Kaleb Young, it's gonna be a fight. I look froward to wrestling the top guys, the best guys," Carr said. "We have the home field advantage, so that's awesome. It's going to help us wrestle hard."
Coleman will get a test from two-time All-American Michael Kemerer at 174. After missing last year due to injury, the senior is back in the lineup and up two weight classes.
Gremmel is coming off a disqualification in the first period in the Bucknell dual and now faces redshirt freshman Tony Cassioppi, who pinned his opponent in the first period last week.
"It's those close ones that count the most, maybe get an upset here or there," Degen said.
Still, for Dresser — an Iowa grad — and his two assistants Derek St. John and Brent Metcalf, who also wore the black and gold in college, this provides an excellent opportunity to show the progress Iowa State has made over three years.
"We don't get to play the underdog as much as we used to, but obviously we get to play the underdog role this time," Dresser said. "It's fun to walk around campus on Monday when you beat a top-10 guy, and I think that's what we're most excited about."