No. 3 Gophers to host the No. 1 Nittany Lions
The No. 3 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team is set to host the No. 1 Penn State Nittany Lions on Feb. 9, 2014 at the Sports Pavilion infront of a sold-out crowd. Minnesota, who boasts a 9-1 record on the season, will look to hand Penn State its first loss of the season as the Gophers vie for a portion of this year’s Big Ten regular season title. This will be the last time the Gophers will compete on their home mat for the season.
The undefeated and first-ranked Nittany Lions venture to the Sports Pavilion after a dominating performance last weekend against Michigan State and Michigan. On Friday evening, the Nittany Lions downed the Spartans, 42-3, and then traveled to Ann Arbor on Sunday to defeat the Wolverines, 32-9. The Gophers only loss of the season was to the Wolverines.
With the win over Michigan last weekend, Penn State was able to clinch at least a portion of the 2014 Big Ten championship title.
Penn State has been able to hold the top spot in the rankings each week this season. According to the Intermat rankings, Penn State has nine ranked wrestlers going into this weekend’s dual.
The last two meetings between these powerhouses have been exciting to say the least. During the 2010-11 season, the Gophers hosted the Nittany Lions at the Sports Pavilion and the dual ended in a 18-18 draw. The following season, the Gophers traveled to State College, Penn., and topped the Nittany Lions 23-14. The Gophers lead the all-time series 13-6-1 and hope to add another victory to the win column.
REWIND – INDIANA
Minnesota defeated No. 21 Indiana, 35-6, on Feb. 2 at the Sports Pavilion. In their second-to-last home dual of the season, the Gophers were able to win eight bouts on the afternoon and extending their Big Ten record to 6-1 overall.
The dual unexpectedly started at 157 as Dylan Ness started the Gophers off with a major decision and the four point lead. The Gophers came away with two pins at six points each as Scott Schiller and David Thorn pinned their Hooiser opponents.
The only losses came at 141 as Corey Hodowanic stepped in for Chris Dardanes and heavyweight Tony Nelson fell for the fourth time this season to his ranked Indiana counterpart.
CELEBRATING THE SENIORS
On top of the excitement of hosting Penn State and competiting for the last time in front of the home crowd for the last time this season, the Gopher will also be honoring the six seniors who have given so much to the program. A decorated class, including three All-Americans, will wrestler for the last time in their home arena. Join us in celebrating Alec Ortiz, David Thorn, Tony Nelson, Kevin Steinhaus, Danny Zilverberg and Thomas Giaimo and their accomplishments as well as contributions to Golden Gopher wrestling.
GOPHERS IN THE RANKINGS
The Golden Gophers sit in the top 5 in three major team rankings including the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll (2), the InterMat rankings (3) and WIN’s Feb. 3, 2014 Tournament Power Index (3).
Eight Gophers made their way into the InterMat rankings in their respective weight classes including No. 8 David Thorn (133), No. 6 Chris Dardanes (141), No. 3 Nick Dardanes (149), No. 8 Dylan Ness (157), No. 6 Logan Storley (174), No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus (184), No. 1 Scott Schiller (197) and No. 5 Tony Nelson (HWT).
A CHANCE TO BE DIFFERENT: Tony Nelson
Two-time heavyweight national champion, Tony Nelson, has started his season on track with his goal to become Minnesota’s first ever three-time national champion. His quest for a third national championship was featured in this month’s edition of Ski-U-Mah Magazine.
Next weekend, the reigning National Dual Champions will travel to the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio for the NWCA National Duals. Fore more information, please visit the event website.
As a reminder, the dual this Sunday is sold out. The doors will open at noon at the Sports Pavilion.
BE PART OF THE ACTION
You can be part of the action by liking Gopher Wrestling on Facebook or by following @GopherWrestling and using the hashtag #GopherTough. News about the program, live bout updates and other information can be at your finger tips by following our social media accounts.
For live dual results, please follow along via trackwrestling.com. Results will be posted on Twitter.
LIVE ON THE BIG TEN NETWORK
Fans will be able to see the Gophers live on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, February 9 as Minnesota hosts Penn State. The dual will kick off at 1 p.m.