No.3 Gophers Host North Dakota State on Sunday

On Sunday Nov. 27, the No. 3 Minnesota wrestling team will host North Dakota State in the first of five home duals inside the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers and Bison will hit the mat at 2 p.m.

GOPHER ALL-ACCESS
Fans who can’t make it to the dual against North Dakota State, Gopher All-Access is your place to be to watch all the action. You can join Gopher All-Access for $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year. Also, this winter you can watch several Gopher men’s basketball and women’s basketball games, along with select Gopher men’s hockey and women’s hockey games. Gopher All-Access is also part of the Big Ten Digital Network. If you upgrade to the Big Ten package, you can access hundreds of live events featuring all 12 conference schools. Wednesday’s match will not be made available on BTN.com or Gopher All-Access because of television.

LIVE BLOG ON GOPHERSPORTS.COM
If you will not be in attendance on Sunday, another way to get updates from the dual will be on Gophersports.com and the Live Blog. Just go to the wrestling page on Gophersports.com and click the LIVE BLOG link on Sunday and follow along on your computer or phone.

LAST TIME OUT
Minnesota finished its first weekend of dual competition with a weekend split. The Gophers fell to No. 5 Cornell on Friday night 16-21, but rebounding on Sunday to upset the then No. 2 and defending Big Ten/NCAA Champions, the Penn State Nittany Lions 23-14.

A LOOK AT THE BISON
The Bison come into Gopher territory having competed in three open tournaments so far this season. NDSU has two wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in the latest InterMat Poll. Senior Trent Sprenkle is rated as the No. 7 at 125 lbs., while sophomore Steven Monk is No. 17 at 157 lbs.

FAMILIAR FACES ON THE BISON BENCH
For the second weekend in a row, Minnesota will face off against coaches who have ties to the Gopher program. First year head coach Roger Kish is a former two-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up at 184 lbs. Kish is tied for 17th all-time in Gopher history for career wins. He holds a career record of 117-27.

Another familiar face that you will notice is Manny Rivera, who is also on the Bison Staff as an assistant. Along with Kish, Rivera enters his first season at North Dakota State. He was a three-time NCAA qualifier at Minnesota and earned All-America honors as a senior after finishing seventh at 141 lbs., at the NCAA Championships. He was also a starter on Minnesota’s 2007 national championship team. He finished his career with a record of 113-40 and 27 pins and is No. 21 on the all-time wins list.

ALL-TIME AGAINST NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Minnesota leads the all-time series against North Dakota State 16-1, including last year’s 35-9 victory at the Northern Quad. The Gophers and Bison have squared off against each other dating back to 1966. The last time NDSU won (15-10) was on Dec. 5 1969.

BIG TEN HONOR FOR STEINHAUS
Redshirt sophomore All-American Kevin Steinhaus was named Big Ten Wrestler of The Week, after his weekend’s performance against Penn State. Steinhaus, now ranked fifth in the country at 184 lbs., by InterMat, earned a 6-1 decision win over then-No. 1 Quentin Wright of Penn State, which helped Minnesota score a 23-14 victory over the then No. 2 Nittany Lions on Sunday. Wright is the defending National Champion at 184 lbs.

FOUR ALL-AMERICAN CAPTAINS
The four returning All-Americans from last season have been named as team captains for the 2011-12 season. 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.)

BIG SCHEDULE FOR THE GOPHERS
Minnesota once again has a very full schedule against top notch programs. Of the 13 duals for the season eight of them are against opponents ranked in the top 25.

Date Opponent – Result
11/18:No. 5 Cornell – L,16-21
11/20:No. 2 Penn State – W, 23-14
12/04:No. 2 Oklahoma State
12/09:No. 23 Iowa State
01/08:No. T9 Ohio State
01/13:No. T9 Illinois
01/27:No. 7 Michigan
01/29:No. 1 Iowa

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.

GOPHERS INNER CIRCLE
Make sure to check out the Minnesota Wrestling Blog (Gophers Inner Circle) for news, features, videos etc.

LIKE US AND FOLLOW US
Find Gopher Wrestling on Facebook at Golden Gopher Wrestling and make sure to follow the Golden Gophers on Twitter. Just search @GopherWrestling on Twitter to follow all the news updates.

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