Wrestlers Head to Illinois, Indiana Golden Gopher Wrestling makes their final regular season road trip this weekend, heading to Illinois and Indiana.
The Home Stretch The Golden Gophers are in the home stretch of the season with just four regular season matches left and their last two in the road this weekend. On Friday, Feb. 5 Minnesota travels to No. 21 Illinois for a 7:00 p.m. match-up, and on Saturday, Feb. 6 they are at No. 14 Indiana for a 6:30 p.m. dual. The Indiana match on Feb. 6 will be held at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Ind.
The Records The Gophers enter the weekend with a 9-4 overall record and a 4-0 mark in the Big Ten, and have won four straight. Illinois carries a 7-5 overall mark on the season and is 2-2 in the Big Ten. Indiana has an identical 2-2 conference record, and is 13-2 overall.
The Series The Gophers and Illini have met 51 times since their initial meeting in 1926, with Minnesota leading the all-time series 27-22-2. The Gophers and Hoosiers have dualed 45 times since the first meeting in 1945 with Minnesota dominating the series 41-4-1.
Last Match-Up Last season the No.12 Gophers and No. 18 Hoosiers met in the regular season finale at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis. The match started with an Angel Escobedo upset over Zach Sanders, and Indiana led 13-12 with just three matches left. Minnesota, however, won the three bouts to seal the 22-13 win. The Gophers and Illini last met in the 2007-08 season at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. No. 4 Minnesota won five of the first eight matches, but No. 8 Illinois win the last two and had enough bonus points for the 19-17 win.
Follow Along The Gophers and Illinois will be Live on Big Ten Network on Friday Night, with the broadcast starting at 7:00 p.m. (CT). Check you local cable provider for channel availability. A Live Blog will also be available on FightingIllini.com. Against Indiana, the match will also be available via Live Blog at IUHoosiers.com.
Last Time Out Last weekend the Gophers stayed perfect in conference action with two wins, improving to 4-0 in the league. The weekend started with a narrow 20-18 win over Wisconsin, and was capped two night later with a 30-9 blowout of Purdue.
Next Up Things slow a big for the Gophers after this weekend, with just one match each of the next two weeks. Next weekend is the most anticipated match of the year, with the Iowa Hawkeyes coming to town. The Gophers and Hawkeyes square off at 6:00 p.m. in Feb. 14 in Williams Arena.
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Scouting Illinois - Currently ranked No. 21 in the latest NWCA Rankings - 7-5 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten - Led by first year head coach Jim Heffernan, who is in his first season as a collegiate head coach - Big Ten Wins have come against Michigan State (23-12) and Northwestern (30-6) - Big Ten losses have come against then No. 13 Penn State (11-24) and then No. 14 Indiana (13-22) - Went 16-2 in 2008-09 and 6-2 in the Big Ten to place third - Placed second at the 2009 Big Ten Championships, led by 157 champion Mike Poeta - Placed eighth at the 2009 NCAA Championships, led again by Poeta who wa second at 157 - Boasted three All-Americans in 2009 - Individual ranked in the latest InterMat Rankings: 141: #14 Ryan Prater 149: #19 Eric Terrazas 174: #14 Jordan Blanton 184: #2 John Dergo 197: #14 Patrick Bond
Scouting Indiana - Currently ranked No. 14 in the latest NWCA Rankings - 13-2 on the season and 2-2 in the Big Ten - Led by 18th year head coach Duane Goldman who entered the season with a 216-116-5 record at Indiana - Big Ten wins have come against Northwestern (31-9) and Illinois (22-13) - Big Ten losses have come against Wisconsin (18-21) and Ohio State (13-22) - Went 15-7-1 in 2008-09 with a 2-5-1 mark in the Big Ten to finish in seventh place - Placed ninth at the 2009 Big Ten Championships with Angel Escobedo winning an individual Championship at 125 - Escobedo was fifth at the 2009 NCAA Championships - Individual ranked in the latest InterMat Rankings: 125: #1 Angel Escobedo 157: #6 Kurt Kinser 165: #12 Paul Young 197: #13 Matt Powless HWT: #2 Nate Everhart