Gophers Prep for Big Ten Opener

MINNEAPOLIS — The No. 5 Golden Gophers (8-3 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) return to action this weekend with a pair of duals including just the second home dual of the season for Minnesota. The Gophers open the Big Ten season on Friday night against Indiana at 7 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion. The Hoosiers (10-2 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) are coming off a dominating performance at the IU Duals, combining to outscore its opponents 140-9. Minnesota follows up the conference opener with a short bus ride to Ames, Iowa on Sunday for a 2 p.m. dual against Iowa State. The Cyclones (6-4 overall) are coming off 2-3 performance at the National Duals that led to an eighth-place finish at the event.

Follow the Action
Can’t see the Gophers live and in person? Both of this weekend’s duals will be broadcast online. Friday’s home dual will be streamed online at, and Sunday’s dual at Iowa State can be watched in the GoldZone at You can also follow the action with live stats, and results on and the Golden Gopher Wrestling social media sites.

Match of the Meet(s)
Each and every Gopher wrestling match is full of excitement and entertainment but this weekend two bouts stand out among the rest. Friday’s Match of the Meet is a heavyweight contest between No. 5 Tony Nelson of Minnesota and No. 17 Ricky Alcala of Indiana. The two heavyweights met in the wrestlebacks of this year’s Southern Scuffle with Nelson picking up a 2-0 decision. Sunday’s Match of the Meet pits No. 8 Scott Glasser against top-ranked and unbeaten John Reader in a battle of 174 pounders.

2001 NCAA Title Team Honored
Minnesota will honor the 2001 NCAA Championship team during Friday’s dual against Indiana as the team celebrates the tenth anniversary of Minnesota’s first-ever national title. Not only was the 2001 team the first program in college wrestling history to field a team of 10 All-Americans, but the Gophers also won the team title without having a single wrestler in the championship round — another first for the NCAA tournament.

Last Time Out
The Gophers are coming off a 4th-place finish at the 2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Minnesota opened the event with a 26-9 win over Northern Illinois and added an 18-17 come-from-behind win over No. 6 Boise State to close out Day One. But a semifinal matchup against No. 1 Cornell ended in a 20-16 loss for the Gophers and No. 4 Wisconsin added salt to the wound with a 19-17 win over the Gophers in the consolation finals. Zach Sanders (125 lbs.), Mike Thorn (141 lbs.) and Tony Nelson (285 lbs.) each posted four wins for the Gophers over the weekend.

Next Up
Minnesota heads back on the road next weekend with a pair of Big Ten duals against nationally ranked teams. The Gophers take on No. 21 Purdue in West Lafayette next Friday at 6 p.m. CST before competing against No. 15 Illinois on the road on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST.

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