The Gophers hit the road for the first time during the Big Ten season this weekend to face a pair of ranked conference opponents. Minnesota will meet the 18th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m., in Bloomington and stop in Champaign, Ill., on Sunday, Feb. 4 to take on No. 11 Illinois at 1 p.m.
#1/1 MINNESOTA (14-1, 3-0)
#18/19 INDIANA (10-2, 1-2)
Location: Bloomington, Ind.
Arena: University Gym (2,500)
Date: Friday, Feb. 2, 2007
Time: 6 p.m. (CST)
Live Updates: Live updates will be available on Indiana’s website at www.iuhoosiers.com.
#1/1 MINNESOTA (14-1, 3-0) at #11/9 ILLINOIS (8-0, 4-0)
Location: Champaign, Ill.
Arena: Huff Hall (4,500)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007
Time: 1 p.m. (CST)
Live Webcast: A live webcast of the meet will be available on Illinois’ website at www.fightingillini.com.
Gopher Wrestling Notebook
Streaks, streaks and more streaks...
...Konrad Goes for 63 In a Row
Senior heavyweight Cole Konrad is currently riding the second-longest winning streak in the nation at 61 consecutive matches. He trails only Missori’s Ben Askren, who has won his last 73 contests. Konrad broke Tim Hartung’s school record of 58 consecutive wins with his win against Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 21 and will be going for numbers 62 and 63 this weekend.
...Schlatter Not Far Behind
Sophomore Dustin Schlatter is right on the heels of Konrad, currently with 54 straight wins of his own, good enough for the third longest streak in the country. Overall, Schlatter has won 66 of 67 matches for a .985 win percentage in his collegiate career, which currently ranks as the highest career winning percentage in school history.
...Rivera on a Roll
Junior Manuel Rivera has attracted the attention of fans across the nation with his performance this season. Unbeaten at 29-0, Rivera currently possesses the nation’s fifth-longest winning streak at 29 consecutive matches. He has earned bonus points in 16 of his 29 wins this season.
Mack is Back!
Two-time All-American Mack Reiter made his first appearance of the season competing unattached last weekend at the Jimmie Open in Jamestown, N.D. Reiter dominated the competition on his way to the 133-pound title, pinning all four of his opponents. Reiter, who has been out since the beginning of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is scheduled to make his first dual meet start this weekend.
The Series vs. Indiana
Minnesota has dominated the series against the Hoosiers, holding a 39-4-1 advantage all-time. The last time Indiana defeated the Gophers was on Feb. 23, 1992 by a score of 29-13. Prior to that, Indiana had not beaten the Gophers since 1968.
Minnesota downed Indiana, 25-13, on Senior Day last year in Minneapolis to finish unbeaten at home for the fifth time under Head Coach J Robinson. The Gophers broke a 13-13 tie with three wins to close the dual.
The Series vs. Illinois
The Gophers hold a 26-21-2 advantage in the all-time series against Illinois, but the Illini have held the upper-hand in the last two meetings. While the two schools did not meet last year, Illinois topped the Gophers twice in dual meets during the 2004-05 season and went on to capture to its first conference title since 1952, finishing 6.5 points ahead of the Gophers at the 2005 Big Ten Championships.
Both of Minnesota’s opponents this weekend boast rosters stacked with ranked opponents. Jayson Ness and C.P. Schlatter will face the stiffest tests, as both are scheduled to face a pair of top-10 opponents. Ness will take on No. 8 Angel Escobedo of Indiana on Friday and No. 6 Gabe Flores of Illinois on Sunday. The featured match of the weekend will most definitely occur in the 157-pound bout on Sunday when Schlatter, ranked third in the country, meets Illinois’ top-ranked Mike Poeta. First, he must get through No. 7 Brandon Tucker on Friday night.