|| No. 3 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Illinois
Jan. 19, 2013
Sailing with momentum from last weekend’s dominating road trip, the No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers will compete this week in a Monday night battle against Illinois. The dual is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be featured on Big Ten Network.
The No. 5 Fighting Illini come into the week after a recent upset loss that shook up the rankings. Illinois dropped its dual against No. 14 Nebraska. With the loss, their first of the season, the Illini moved to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
The team boasts seven ranked individuals, four unarguably in the top 10 of their respective weight classes. Wrestlers to watch out for are No. 3 BJ Futrell at 141 lbs. and No. 5 Jesse Delgado at 125 lbs.
SEVEN REMAIN UNDEFEATED IN DUALS
Seven members of the Gophers’ starting lineup are currently undefeated in conference action, five of whom are also undefeated in overall dual competition.
Tony Nelson, Kevin Steinhaus, and Chris Dardanes lead the way with unblemished 8-0 records, 4-0 in Big Ten. Scott Schiller and Cody Yohn are also 4-0 in league play and have each lost only one dual this season. Logan Storley (5-0, 3-0) and Dylan Ness (2-0, 2-0) round out the numbers, having perfect slates since returning from injury.
NELSON’S STREAK COMES TO AN END
Building off of a 32-2 record from 2011-12, heavyweight Tony Nelson was able to build to a 41-match win streak, before falling to Dom Bradley (Missouri) in the finals of the Southern Scuffle. Regardless, Nelson ranks among the school’s best, as the impressive mark is the fourth-highest accomplished by a Gopher in program history.
NESS RETURNS TO THE MAT
After missing the first half of the season due to injury, Dylan Ness returned to the Gopher active roster in Chattanooga, Tenn. He went 3-2 at the tournament after falling in the semifinal round.
Ness saw his first dual action at Indiana and Ohio State, defeating both opponents by earning a major and a fall victory.
STORLEY STORMS TO NO. 2
Tabbed as the No. 4 174-pounder at the beginning of the season, Logan Storley has worked his way up to the No. 2 spot, posting a 15-1 record on the season.
After missing three duals due to injury, Storley came back to place second at the Scuffle. He pinned then-No. 2 Penn State’s Matt Brown but fell in a tight 7-6 decision to reigning No. 1 Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry.
Storley will face No. 8 Jordan Blanton on Monday night. The two last met at the 2012 NCAAs where Blanton won 1-0 to knock Storley out of the winners bracket.
MINNESOTA LOOKS AHEAD TO IOWA RIVALRY
Minnesota Wrestling is looking ahead to this season’s dual match against Big Ten foe Iowa on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. in Williams Arena. This is by far the biggest event of the wrestling season with the largest, loudest crowd there in support of the Gopher grapplers.
Currently, Minnesota is ranked as the No. 3 program in the nation, according to USA Today/NWCA/AWN, with Iowa on its heels at No. 4. InterMat tournament-strength rankings have the positions switched, with Minnesota trailling in fourth. Both the Gophers and the Hawkeyes boast nine wrestlers ranked among the nation’s best.
IOWA DUAL TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
The Minnesota wrestling team will host its annual Gopher/Hawkeye dual in Williams Arena this year on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 3:00 p.m. Don’t miss your chance to see the epic rivalry in person! Tickets are available now online at www.mygophersports.com
LIVE ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Fans will get the opportunity to watch the next two Gopher duals live on the Big Ten Network; In addition, February’s home dual against Michigan State, will receive air-time as well.
DUAL DAY LIVE
Fans will be able to follow all the action this year through the Dual Day Live. GopherSports will be running a blog for each home event this season. Blogs are available at http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-wrestl/spec-rel/game-day-live.html.