Gophers Set for Conference Action against Iowa and Northwestern

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota (1-1) will kick off Big Ten competition this weekend as they prepare for a conference double-header with the top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats. The Gophers will travel to Iowa City on Friday, Jan. 7 to take on the Hawkeyes at 8:00 p.m CT inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena before returning home on Sunday, Jan. 9 to battle Northwestern at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Friday’s dual will be nationally-televised on Big Ten Network, while Sunday’s contest will be streamed on the conference’s subscription-based network B1G+. For live match-by-match updates of both duals, fans can follow along at @GopherWrestling on Twitter.

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Tale of the Tape – The Hawkeyes
Iowa came into this season as the returning NCAA team champions and with all starters returning for this season, they have had no shortage of talent once again this year. Iowa heads into this dual with seven wrestlers ranked inside the Top-10, including five wrestlers inside the Top-5, and are led by Big Ten champions Jaydin Eierman and Alex Marinelli. The Hawkeyes are led by head coach Tom Brands, who holds a career record of 242-23-1 in sixteen seasons at the helm.

The Series with Iowa
Minnesota trails the all-time series against the Iowa Hawkeyes with a record of 28-77-1 in a series that dates back to 1923. The Hawkeyes have won the previous seven matchups against the Gophers which is tied for their second-longest streak in the series. Minnesota is 2-8 in the previous ten meetings against Iowa with the most recent victory coming in 2014, where the Gophers traveled to Iowa City and earned a 19-15 road victory inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

First Meeting: L, 2-18 (2/21/1923)
Last Meeting: L, 35-4 (1/22/2021)
Longest Win Streak: W6 (1936/37-1941/42)
Longest Losing Streak: L19 (1/19/1974-1/30/1993)
Current Streak: L7

Last Meeting
Minnesota hosted the top-ranked Hawkeyes inside Maturi Pavilion on Jan. 22, 2021, with Iowa coming away with the 35-4 victory. The Hawkeyes took nine of the ten matchups in the dual, with five of their victories coming by way of bonus points. Minnesota’s lone victory in the dual came from Gable Steveson, as he came away with a 14-6 major decision as he took down opponent Tony Cassioppi six times in the match.

Tale of the Tape – The Wildcats
Northwestern comes into Sunday’s dual with three returning All-Americans, as they are led by the likes of Ryan Deakin, Yahya Thomas, and Chris Cannon. They house a total of six total ranked wrestlers in the lineup and are led by head coach Matt Storniolo, who has a 33-35 coaching record in his six years with Northwestern.

The Series with Northwestern
Minnesota leads the all-time series against the Northwestern Wildcats with a record of 35-10-1 in a series that dates back to the 1928-29 season. The Gophers have won the last two matchups against Northwestern, and have defeated the Wildcats in 15 out of the last 16 meetings. Minnesota is 9-1 in the previous ten meetings against Northwestern, with the most recent victory coming last season.

First Meeting: W, 19-7 (1928-29)
Last Meeting: W, 29-10 (2/21/2021)
Longest Win Streak: W14 (12/6/1996-2/5/2016)
Longest Losing Streak: L3 (1/6/1968-1/18/1969)
Current Streak: W2

Last Meeting
Minnesota hosted Northwestern inside Maturi Pavilion on Feb. 21, 2021, as the Gophers prevailed in a 29-10 victory. The Gophers took eight of the ten matchups in the dual. Minnesota won five straight from 165 to 125, as Andrew Sparks, Jake Allar, Isaiah Salazar, Garrett Joles, Gable Steveson, and Patrick McKee all won their matches. The Gophers then closed out the dual with back-to-back wins as Marcos Polanco and Michael Blockhus both got decision victories.

Up Next
The Gophers will host two conference duals next weekend inside Maturi Pavilion next weekend as they host Championship Weekend, a celebration of all alumni as well as former head coach J Robinson. Action begins on Friday, Jan. 14 as the Gophers take on Nebraska at 8:00 p.m. CT, followed by a Sunday afternoon contest with Wisconsin on Jan. 16 at 1:00 pm CT.

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