No. 3 Minnesota hits the road against Central Michigan and No. 2 Oklahoma State

The No.3 Minnesota Gopher wrestling team will hit the road for the last time this semester, for a pair of dual matches. On Friday Dec. 2, Minnesota will travel to the state of Michigan to take on defending MAC Conference Champions, the Central Michigan Chippewas.  The Gophers and Chippewas will hit the mat at 6:30 p.m. CST. Minnesota will turn around and head out to the state of Oklahoma and battle with the No.2 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Gophers and Cowboys will square off on Sunday Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. CST.

LAST TIME OUT

Minnesota defeated North Dakota State on Sunday 29-9. It was the first home dual of the season for the Gophers, who have an overall record of 2-1 this season and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference duals.

A LOOK AT THE CHIPPEAWS

CMU is currently not ranked after falling out of the top 25 polls this week, after a 25-13 loss to No. 12 Maryland at the Northeast Duals. Three of the Chippewas wins this season have been against opponents ranked 16th or better.

ALL-TIME AGAINST CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Minnesota leads the all-time series against Central Michigan 11-0. The last time they met was at last year’s Northern Quad, where the Gophers won 21-17. Minnesota was ranked No. 3 at the time and the Chippewas were No. 9.

A LOOK AT THE COWBOYS

Well just last the last road trip, Minnesota will face yet the second ranked team in the country on a Sunday and on the road. The Cowboys have nine ranked wrestlers in the InterMat top 20 rankings and are 1-0 on the season. Oklahoma State postponed two dual matches (Rutgers and Missouri) in wake of the tragic news regarding the Oklahoma State women’s basketball program, earlier this month.

ALL-TIME AGAINST OKLAHOMA STATE

Both squads have faced each other 30 times dating back to 1941. Minnesota has lost the last two meetings to the Cowboys (16-17 Dec. 2010 and 8-21 Dec. 2009) and has not won at Oklahoma State since Dec. 6 2006, where the Gophers defeated the Cowboys 21-15. Oklahoma State leads the all-time record 20-10.

BURST THE BARN NEXT WEEKEND

Next Friday Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Minnesota will host Iowa State inside Williams Arena. Admission is $1 for everyone. Check mygophersports.com or call 1-800-U-GOPHER (1-800-846-7437) for more details.

FOUR ALL-AMERICAN CAPTAINS 

The four returning All-Americans from last season have been named as team captains for the 2011-12 season. Seniors Zach Sanders and Sonny Yohn , as well as sophomores Kevin Steinhaus and Tony Nelson, have been tabbed to guide the team this season. 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. 10 Ohio State
01/13:No. 9 Illinois
01/27:No. 8 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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