MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota returns to action this Saturday with its final road dual of the year, taking on Ohio State at 6 p.m. CST in Columbus.
Minnesota (13-3 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) looks to remain perfect in conference competition and continue its five-dual winning streak this Saturday against the unranked Buckeyes. The Gophers are 37-12-3 all-time against Ohio State, which enters the weekend on a two-dual losing streak and hosts Indiana on Friday night. The Buckeyes (2-7-0, 1-3-0) dropped duals to No. 2 Iowa and No. 13 Michigan last weekend and currently sit in a three-way tie for seventh in the conference. Minnesota sits tied for first in the Big Ten with the Hawkeyes and Wolverines.
Follow the Action
Can’t make it to Columbus to watch the Gophers up close and in person? The Big Ten Network will broadcast the dual live on Saturday night — the first of three-straight Minnesota duals broadcast by the network along with Penn State and Iowa. You can also follow live stats online atnwcaonline.com.
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Fans can get scoring updates from all of Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter pages @GopherScores and @GopherWrestling. Just find and follow the selected Twitter accounts, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive the text updates. If you are not already on Twitter, you will need to create an account.
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With the road schedule complete, Minnesota returns home to take on No. 3 Penn State and No. 2 Iowa on successive weekends. The Gophers host the Nittany Lions, who dropped a shocker to Iowa last Sunday for the team’s only loss of the year, next Sunday at 2 p.m. before hosting the Hawkeyes — the nation’s only unbeaten team — the next Sunday. Both games will be shown on the Big Ten Network on tape delay.
Last Time Out
Minnesota picked up its fourth-straight win over a ranked opponent last Sunday when the Gophers took down then No. 3 Wisconsin 21-15 in a battle of top-five teams.
The Gophers opened the dual with wins in three of the first four matches. No. 5 Zach Sanders scored a decision win at 125 lbs over Tom Kelliher before No. 3 Tyler Graff snagged a decision over David Thorn at 133 lbs. Minnesota jumped out to a 10-point lead over the next two matches though when No. 2 Mike Thorn scored a fall at 141 lbs., and Danny Zilverberg notched a 12-3 major decision at 149 lbs.
The Badgers would cut into the lead with a decision at 157 lbs., but No. 11 Cody Yohn would tally a five-point technical fall over Ben Cox at 165 lbs before Wisconsin mounted a near comeback with three-straight decision victories to set up an opportunity to tie the dual in the heavyweight match.
Wisconsin’s No. 11 Eric Bugenhagen scored the match’s first point with a second period escape but Ben Berhow — standing in for Tony Nelson for the Gophers — added an escape to start the third period and followed up with the match’s only takedown with just seconds left to pick up the eventual 3-2 win — upsetting Bugenhagen and giving Minnesota the 21-15 win at home.
Match of the Meet
Each and every Gopher wrestling match is full of excitement and entertainment but this weekend one bout stands out among the rest. Saturday’s dual against Ohio State will feature two of the top 165 lbs. wrestlers in the country in Cody Yohn and Colt Sponseller. Yohn, ranked No. 11 in the nation at 165 lbs. by Intermat, has not faced Sponseller in his career. Sponseller is ranked No. 7 in the country.
Robinson Celebrates 25 Years
The University of Minnesota will honor head wrestling coach J Robinson for his 25 years of service to the program during the Gophers’ dual against Iowa next month. Robinson has brought the program to a new level during his tenure including coaching the Gophers to the first three NCAA titles in school history (2001, 2002, 2007).