Gophers Hit the Road for Ranked Showdown with SDSU

MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 10 Gophers (1-0) are set to hit the road this weekend fresh off the Thanksgiving holiday, as they will square off against No. 24 South Dakota State on Sunday afternoon in their first road dual of the season.

The road trip will kick off three-straight weekends of traveling for the Maroon & Gold, and will also be Minnesota’s first-ranked contest of the season after coming off a 19-15 win over Binghamton in the home opener. It will be the first time the “U’ has battled the Jackrabbits on the road since 2019, where they rolled to a 22-10 victory.

Action begins at 1:00 p.m. CST and will be broadcast live on FloWrestling ($). Fans can also follow along with match-by-match updates on Twitter at @GopherWrestling.

Tale of the Tape – The Jackrabbits
South Dakota State is led by head coach Damion Hahn, a two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Minnesota in his time as a competitor. Hahn carries a 34-26 record at the helm and leads a lineup that houses six ranked wrestlers, including seniors Clay Carlson and Tanner Sloan.

South Dakota State heads into the contest with a 1-0 record on the season after a 40-4 dismantling of Augustana in their home opener. The Jackrabbits also hosted their annual Daktronics Open last weekend, where they came home with five champions on the day.

The Series with South Dakota State
Minnesota carries an all-time series lead of 24-5 over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in a series that began during the 1950 season. The Gophers have won the previous eight contests with SDSU dating back to 1977, holding the longest win streak for either team in the history of the series.

First Meeting: W, 22-4 (1/30/1950)
Last Meeting: W, 27-13 (11/28/2021)
Longest Win Streak: W8 (1/12/1977-11/28/2021)
Longest Losing Streak: L3 (12/21/1968-12/19/1970)
Current Streak: W8

Last Meeting:
Minnesota hosted South Dakota State for a home dual on November 28, 2021, where the Golden Gophers claimed seven of ten bouts en route to a 27-13 victory. Bonus-point victories proved to be the difference in the contest as Isaiah Salazar, Gable Steveson, Patrick McKee, Jake Gliva, and Brayton Lee all won by bonus points. Michael Blockhus and Michial Foy rounded out the rest of Minnesota’s wins, as Foy headlined the dual with a 9-3 victory over No. 6 Tanner Sloan at 197 pounds. The dual win was also Minnesota’s 1000th win in program history.

Potential Matchups:
Sunday’s matchup with South Dakota State will hold a total of 15 ranked wrestlers in the starting lineups, with the potential for five ranked contests throughout the dual

This weekend could see the return of Patrick McKee in the starting lineup at 125 pounds following his pin over Iowa State’s Kysen Terukina at the NWCA All-Star Classic on Tuesday. He would take on SDSU’s Tanner Jordan, in which McKee is 3-0 against him with all three wins coming by bonus points.

The potential feature bout of the afternoon would come at 141 pounds, where No. 3 Jake Bergeland would face No. 6 Clay Carlson. Bergeland is 0-3 all-time against Carlson with the two last competing in the Cliff Keen Invitational last December. However, Bergeland has been much improved since their last meeting, winning 20 of his last 26 bouts, which includes becoming an All-American for the first time of his career at the NCAA Championships last season.

At 165 pounds, Andrew Sparks will get another crack at ranked foe Tanner Cook after falling to him in their contest last season. Sparks was leading the match 12-7 in the second period, before Cook would go feet-to-back and pin Sparks to kick off the dual.

Another ranked contest looms at 174 points, where Bailee O’Reilly could take on No. 12 Cade DeVos. The two faced off twice last season, with DeVos winning both contests.

184 pounds sees another ranked competitor at both sides, as Isaiah Salazar and Cade King could see each other on Sunday afternoon. Michial Foy is also listed at that weight for the Maroon & Gold, where he earned wins over both of South Dakota State’s probable starters at that weight en route to a Daktronics Open title last weekend.

The final ranked bout of the dual would come at 197 pounds, where Garrett Joles could see his third-straight ranked opponent in No. 11 Tanner Sloan.

Up Next:
Following this weekend’s road contest against the Jackrabbits, the Gophers will return home for a rare mid-week dual against Augustana on Thursday, December 1 at 7:00 pm inside Williams Arena. The Maroon & Gold will then hit the road to compete in yet another installment of their storied rivalry with Oklahoma State on Sunday, December 4 at 2:00 pm.

Minnesota Probable Starters
125 – #4 Patrick McKee (2-0) -OR- Troy Spratley (3-0)
133 – #18 Aaron Nagao (4-0)
141 – #3 Jake Bergeland (2-0) -OR- Vance VomBaur (2-2)
149 – #17 Michael Blockhus (5-0)
157 – #2 Brayton Lee (1-0)
165 – #27 Andrew Sparks (3-1)
174 – #20 Bailee O’Reilly (0-0) -OR- Jared Krattiger (4-0)
184 – #13 Isaiah Salazar (3-1) -OR- Michial Foy (5-1)
197 – #28 Garrett Joles (3-1)
HWT – Keaton Kluever (2-3) -OR- Bennett Tabor (0-0)

South Dakota State Probable Starters
125: Tanner Jordan (5-2)
133: Derrick Cardinal (0-0) -OR- Caleb Thoennes (2-2)
141: #6 Clay Carlson (4-1) -OR- Caleb Gross (5-4)
149: Alek Martin (0-0)
157: Cael Swensen (1-0)
165: #26 Tanner Cook (3-0)
174: #13 Cade DeVos (5-0)
184: #27 Cade King (1-1) -OR- Bennett Berge (2-1)
197: #11 Tanner Sloan (0-0) -OR- Nick Casperson (5-1)
HWT: #14 A.J. Nevills (2-0)

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