No. 4 Minnesota is back in action this Sunday when they host No. 7 Nebraska, in the final regular season Big Ten dual for the 2011-12 campaign.
A VICTORY WILL...
A win by the Gophers will clinch the Big Ten Dual regular season championships. Minnesota is currently 6-1 on the season, with Nebraska and Penn State tied at 5-1 each. Both the Huskers and Nittany Lions will square off Friday night in Lincoln.
ON TV AGAIN
The dual against the Huskers will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network (Same Day Delay). It will be played Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. CST. Tim Johnson and Jim Gibbons will have the call, along with Shane Sparks as the mat side reporter.
Before the dual on Sunday Minnesota will present freshman Logan Storley with the 2011 Junior Hodge Trophy. The award is given to the nation's top high school wrestler by Win Magazine. Storley was announced the winner at the conclusion of his 42-1 season at Webster High School in Roslyn, SD.
A LOOK AT THE HUSKERS
Nebraska is currently 14-1 on the season and is tied for second with Penn State at 5-1 in the conference. The Huskers have won their last four duals against Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Their lone loss in the conference was to Iowa (24-9) back in early January. Nebraska has six wrestlers in the top 20 of the latest InterMat Rankings.
ALL-TIME AGAINST NEBRASKA
Minnesota leads the all-time series against Nebraska 48-19. The Gophers have won the last two meetings by a combined score of 54-22.
THREE GOPHERS PERFECT IN B1G
With one last Big Ten regular season dual of the season three Gophers remain unbeaten in dual action. Freshman 174 pounder Logan Storley (6-0), redshirt sophomore 184 pounder Kevin Steinhaus (7-0) and redshirt sophomore Hwt. Tony Nelson (7-0) all remain perfect.
MAJOR STEINHAUS IN THE HOUSE
Redshirt Sophomore Kevin Steinhaus is currently No. 8 in the country at 184 lbs. Steinhaus has won his last five matches by a major decesion. He has scored 76 points in the five victories and has only given up 28 to his opponents.
LOOKING FOR A BAKERS DOZEN
Heavyweight Tony Nelson is No. 4 in the country with a record of 19-2 overall. He has currently won 12 straight matches including a championship at the Southern Scuffle.
Zach Sanders is 12th all-time on the Gophers wins list. He passed Willy Short with his 19-9 major decesion over Michigan's Mike Pizzo. His overall record is 122-14 and he is five wins away from breaking assistant coach Luke Becker's (126-29-0) all-time record.
STILL TOP FIVE IN THE COUNTRY
With a split last weekend against Michigan (W, 23-15) and Iowa (L, 19-17), the Gophers are still ranked third in the latest InterMat poll and fourth in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.
True freshman Logan Storley continued his hot streak against Iowa last Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the Hawkeyes ninth ranked Ethan Lofthouse. Storley is ranked No.5 in the country by InterMat and has an overall record of 18-3.
WHERE WE GOING NEXT?
After the dual against the Huskers, Minnesota will travel to the east coast to take part in the newly redone NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Duals Presented by Hibiclens and The Marines.
This year's duals will have four (Cornell, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Rutgers) regional site locations across the country. Minnesota has been put in the Rutgers region along with Michigan, Cal Poly, Kent State, and Missouri. This region will take place on Saturday Feb. 11, where the other three regions will be conducted the following day.
Each region will have three rounds with the teams being seeded one through six. In the first round, seeds 1 and 2 will receive a bye with seeds 3 and 6 and 4 and 5 wrestling each other. The winners from the first round matches will move into the semifinals for round two against the No. 1 and No. 2 seed. The winners of the semifinal matches will then advance to the final round. At the same time the final round is being wrestled, the first round teams that lost will wrestle their second match.
The winner of each region will move on to compete on February 19th, for the National Championship. The host site for this event will be announced soon.
FOUR ALL-AMERICAN CAPTAINS
The four returning All-Americans from last season have been named as team captains for the 2011-12 season. Zach Sanders is joined by fellow senior Sonny Yohn and sophomores Kevin Steinhaus and Tony Nelson to guide the team. At the NCAA Championships last season Sanders finished 5th (125 lbs.), Yohn 7th (197 lbs.), Steinhaus 8th (184 lbs.) and Nelson 7th (Hwt.)
DEITCHLER CAREER OVER
As of Jan. 4 redshirt sophomore and former US Olympian Jake Deitchler will no longer be competing for the Gopher wrestling program due to his history with concussions that have dated back since he was 7-years old. Deitchler will still be a member of the team and will continue his education at the University of Minnesota.
BAND OF BROTHERS
This season on the Gopher roster there are three sets of brothers who are wearing the Maroon and Gold. Redshirt freshman twins Chris and Nick Dardanes are the youngest set of brothers on the team. Two other sets, who are not twins are the Yohn brothers (Cody and Sonny) and the Zilverberg's (Danny and David). Danny is a redshirt sophomore, while Cody is a redshirt junior and both David and Sonny are redshirt seniors.
GOPHER COACHING STAFF
Minnesota's coaching staff is led by the legend J Robinson, who enters his 26th season at the helm. Longtime assistant Joe Russell left over the summer to take the head coaching job at George Mason University. Now, Brandon Eggum has moved up to Head Assistant Coach, while Luke Becker is a full-time assistant. Former National Champion Jayson Ness has also joined the staff as an assistant for the Gophers.