|No. 14 Minnesota at No. 2 Ohio State | vs No. 12 Illinois|
|Ohio State Dual||Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. CT|
|Live Video||BTN Plus // FloWrestling|
|Illinois Dual||Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. CT|
|Live Video||BTN Plus // FloWrestling|
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|Social Media||@GopherWrestling | Facebook | Instagram|
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers will have a jam packed weekend of Big Ten action. First on Friday, the Gophers will wrestle No. 2 Ohio State on the road, then they will return back home on Sunday Jan. 14 for a dual against No. 12 Illinois.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP - OHIO STATE
125: No. 4 Ethan Lizak (17-1) or Steve Polakowski (4-2) vs Nathan Tomasello (1-0)
133: No. 12 Mitch McKee (9-3) vs No. 2 Luke Pletcher (18-0)
141: No. 11 Tommy Thorn (14-6) vs No. 6 Joey McKenna (6-0)
149: Ben Brancale (8-5) vs No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (18-2)
157: No. 18 Jake Short (8-5) vs No. 6 Micah Jordan (16-2)
165: No. 9 Nick Wanzek (16-2) vs No. 13 Te'Shawn Champbell (14-3)
174: Chris Pfarr (11-5) vs No. 3 Bo Jordan (15-2)
184: No. 20 Owen Webster (8-3) or Dylan Anderson (21-6) vs No. 2 Myles Martin (18-0)
197: Bobby Steveson (4-7) vs No. 1 Kollin Moore (14-0)
HWT: Rylee Streifel (7-6) or Nate Rose (9-4) vs No. 1 Kyle Snyder (4-0)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP - ILLINOIS
125: No. 4 Ethan Lizak (17-1) or Steve Polakowski (4-2) vs No. 18 Travis Piotrowski (11-3)
133: No. 12 Mitch McKee (9-3) vs Dylan Duncan (10-5)
141: No. 11 Tommy Thorn (14-6) vs Mike Carr (6-3)
149: Ben Brancale (8-5) or No. 15 Steve Bleise (14-4) vs Eric Barone (6-8)
157: No. 18 Jake Short (8-5) vs Kyle Langenderfer (6-6)
165: No. 9 Nick Wanzek (16-2) vs No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (5-0)
174: Chris Pfarr (11-5) vs Daivd Riojas (2-7)
184: No. 20 Owen Webster (8-3) or Dylan Anderson (21-6) vs No. 6 Emery Parker (13-1)
197: Bobby Steveson (4-7) vs Andre Lee (6-8)
HWT: Rylee Streifel (7-6) or Nate Rose (9-4) vs Duece Rachal (8-8)
LAST TIME OUT - MICHIGAN STATE
The University of Minnesota began Big Ten wrestling by crushing Michigan State 29-3 in front of their home crowd on Jan. 7. Minnesota had four reserves wrestling in their starting lineup, and all four picked up victories. Steve Polakowski (125), Skyler Petry (133), Ben Brancale (149) and Dylan Anderson (184) all filled in for starters that have wrestled in at least six duals this season. Tommy Thorn also picked up a win in the only ranked matchup of the day, a 6-0 decision over No. 18 Javier Gasca III.
"It was an exciting day," head coach Brandon Eggum said after the dual. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy today, but when you want to do great things, you have to have guys who step up to the challenge and make it happen. We talked about each one of those guys having to be a leader and set an example and get to their spots, and I think they did exactly that."
THE "B1G"-ER STAGE
After a victory over unranked Michigan State, the Gophers now will take on two ranked opponents for the second time this season (first came against South Dakota State and Oklahoma State). Minnesota has been tabbed with one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and that will pick back up starting Friday with the No. 2 team in the nation, Ohio State.
PFARR'S SIX STRAIGHT WINS
Not only has Chris Pfarr eclipsed his career-high with six straight victories, he has done so against quality opponents. Pfarr picked up a win against a returning All-American at the South Beach Duals, and then a Big Ten victory on Sunday. Pfarr's last loss came on Dec. 1, 2017 at the Cliff Keen Invitational.
STILL ROCKING AT 125
Despite sitting out returning NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak, the Gophers had some stand out performances from their 125-pounders on Sunday. Steve Polakowski stepped up and defeated Rayvon Foley at 125, and then Skyler Petry moved up to 133-pounds and won by major decision against Matt Santos in his action at 133-pounds.
MATCHES TO WATCH - OHIO STATE
It will be a star studded weekend on the mat for the Gophers. All of Ohio State's starting 10 come with a top-11 ranking, including three wrestlers ranked No 1. The biggest matchup on paper comes at 125-pounds with Ethan Lizak taking on No. 1 Nathan Tomasello, who made his season debut on Jan. 5 against Maryland. Lizak and Tomasello have never met on the mat. There will be three more top-11 matchups against Ohio State including at 133, 141 and 165.
MATCHES TO WATCH - ILLINOIS
Illinois brings in five wrestlers who are ranked in at least the top-20 in all major polls. Isaiah Martinez brings in the best ranking at No. 2. Nick Wanzek will get the call for the Gophers at 165 against Martinez, who is a two time NCAA Champion (at 157-pounds). Ethan Lizak will see Travis Piotrowski, the No. 18 ranked wrestler at 125 pounds. Owen Webster will take his new No. 20 ranking against No. 6 Emery Parker at 184.
Wanzek, a senior from Inver Grove Heights, Minn, continued to score in bunches on Sunday against Michigan State. Wanzek scored 15-points in his 15-7 major decision on Sunday, marking his fifth time in his last six matches he has majored his opponent. During the six match winning streak Wanzek has averaged 14.3 points per match, which includes a 22-7 tech fall while at the South Beach Duals.
Seven Minnesota Grapplers in Freestyle Top-10
4/20/2018 - Wrestling
The Gophers currently have seven in the top 10 of TheMat.com's U.S. Senior men's freestyle rankings.
Three Gophers Named to NWCA All-Academic Team
4/19/2018 - Wrestling
The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) announced today their Division I All-Academic individuals, with the University of Minnesota wrestling team having three selected this year.
Catching Up with Logan Storley
4/18/2018 - Wrestling
Logan Storley is coming off his Bellator 197 victory over Joaquin Buckley, where he won by unanimous decision in St. Charles, Mo.