The Gophers hit the road for one final time this upcoming weekend when they head South to Iowa City to battle the top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes.
The two bitter rivals have met dating back to the 20th century and this year they return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena after dualing last season in Maturi Pavilion.
There are slated to be over 16 ranked match-ups including top-ten bouts at 141-pounds, 149-pounds, 174-pounds, and heavyweight.
All action can be watched on Big Ten Network starting at 8:30 pm CT following the conclusion of the Penn State-Ohio State dual.
Probable Lineups (FloWrestling Rankings)
Minnesota Golden Gophers
125: No.10 Patrick McKee (17-6, 9-4)
133: Jake Gliva (6-8, 1-4) OR Boo Dryden (4-2, 1-2)
141: No.5 Mitch McKee (22-4, 11-3)
149: No.7 Brayton Lee (21-3, 10-3)
157: No.24 Ryan Thomas (11-6, 4-2)
165: Bailee O’Reilly (20-8, 11-4)
174: No.8 Devin Skatzka (24-7, 10-5) OR Jake Allar (1-2, 0-0)
184: No. 21 Owen Webster (19-8, 10-5)
197: Hunter Ritter (19-6, 3-3) OR Garrett Joles (9-11, 3-6)
HWT: No.1 Gable Steveson (10-0, 10-0)
125: No.1 Spencer Lee (13-0)
133: No.2 Austin DeSanto (12-2) OR Paul Glynn (4-3)
141: No.3 Max Murin (10-1) OR Carter Happel (8-5)
149: No.2 Pat Lugo (16-1)
157: No.4 Kaleb Young (14-2)
165: No.2 Alex Marinelli (15-1)
174: No.1 Michael Kemerer (11-0)
184: No.10 Abe Asssad (19-5) OR Cash Wilcke (12-3)
197: No.5 Jacob Warner (13-3)
HWT: No.3 Tony Cassioppi (15-1)
With a 10-0 undefeated start to his sophomore season, Gable Steveson is now 45-2 in his young Gophers career. While his freshman campaign was astounding, his sophomore season is shaping up to be even better.
With a 90% bonus rate, Steveson has five major decisions, one technical fall, and three falls.
Through five Big Ten bouts Steveson already has four ranked victories and is averaging a 15-5 victory against the nation’s best. Perhaps more impressive, the Apple Valley native is averaging a takedown every 51.7 seconds.
Currently top in the nation, Steveson already has victories this season over FloWreslting’s 5th, 8th, 16th, and 25th ranked wrestlers with a shot at third-ranked Tony Cassioppi this weekend.
O’Reilly Feeling It
Bailee O’Reilly has had a great redshirt sophomore season for the Gophers with a great run these last couple of months.
Since the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational O’Reilly has nine wins and his three losses have come to top-ten wrestlers with a combined five All-American honors.
Ranked in the top-thirty by TrackWrestling, O’Reilly is gearing up for his first Big Ten Championships and attempting to qualify for his first NCAA Championships.
Ryan Thomas Rolling
Since taking over the starting 157-pound spot for Minnesota Ryan Thomas is 4-2 with his only losses coming to top-ten foes Kendall Coleman and Will Lewan.
Thomas has two ranked victories this season and has five bonus-point victories.
2019 NJCAA National Champion Boo Dryden is 4-2 since first putting on the Maroon and Gold singlet. Dryden first won the North Country Open with he began with a fall in under 50 seconds.
Dryden is 1-2 in the Big Ten with a victory over Purdue’s Travis Ford-Melton. While he fell to Penn State’s No.4 Roman Bravo-Young last Sunday, Dryden earned the first takedown of the bout only 11 seconds into the bout.
Eggum Reaching Milestones
After four seasons at the helm Head Coach Brandon Eggum has reached 40 career victories. Throughout those previous three seasons, the Gophers have twice placed top-five in the Big Ten Tournament and top-ten at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Eggum needs 42 more to reach Dave Bartelema (1936-42, 46, 48-52) for third-place on the Maroon and Gold all-time coaches win list.
Minnesota’s final dual of the season comes at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on February 21 in a dual televised on ESPNU.
After the Big Ten Championships at Rutgers, the Maroon and Gold finish the season across the river at US Bank Stadium for the 2020 NCAA Championships.
Check HERE to buy tickets for the Championships.