Gophers Slated for B1G Weekend against Indiana and Purdue

MINNEAPOLIS – Another full weekend of conference wrestling awaits for the No. 11 University of Minnesota wrestling program (8-2, 1-2 B1G), as they prepare to hit the road to take on No. 22 Indiana (6-1, 2-1 B1G) on Friday night at 5:00 p.m. CST, before returning home to host alumni night on Sunday afternoon against Purdue (4-5, 0-2 B1G) at 1:00 p.m. CST.

Both of the weekend duals will be streamed on the conference’s subscription-based platform, B1G+. Fans can also follow along to live match-by-match updates of all of the weekend’s action on Twitter at @GopherWrestling.

The Maroon & Gold is coming off a 1-1 performance last weekend as they split duals against a pair of ranked opponents, Nebraska and Michigan State. The Gophers fell to Nebraska on the road by a score of 21-9 on Friday night, but battled back on Sunday to defeat Michigan State in the team’s conference home opener.

Watch Minnesota at Indiana | Watch Purdue at Minnesota

Tale of the Tape – The Hoosiers
Indiana is led by fifth-year head coach Angel Escobedo, who has led the Hoosiers to their best start to a season since 2015-16 with a 6-1 record on the year. Indiana is led by returning national qualifier Donnell Washington at 174 pounds, as well as surging 157-pounder Derek Gilcher.

The Hoosiers come into the weekend off an impressive upset victory over then-No. 19 Rutgers last weekend in which they claimed six of the ten bouts on the night. Indiana has also claimed wins over ranked Maryland and Princeton teams this season, with their lone loss coming against Ohio State two weekends ago.

The Series with Indiana
Minnesota holds the all-time series lead over the Indiana Hoosiers with a record of 48-5-1 in a series that dates back to the 1944-45 season. Historically, the Gophers have dominated the series, not allowing the Hoosiers to win consecutive duals since the series began. The Maroon & Gold currently hold a three-match win streak over Indiana, and have won 33 of the last 35 contests.

First Meeting: L, 13-15 (1944-45)
Last Meeting: W, 38-9 (2/2/2020)
Longest Win Streak: W17 (2/8/1969-1/28/1989)
Longest Losing Streak: L1 (Five Times)
Current Streak: W3

Last Meeting:
The Gophers last met Indiana in February 2020, as they traveled to Bloomington, Ind., to knock off the Hoosiers by a score of 38-9. Minnesota dominated the contest as they claimed seven of the ten bouts on the evening, including five wins by way of bonus points. Bailee O’Reilly, Owen Webster, Hunter Ritter, and Gable Steveson all lead the way for the “U”, as they each secured pins in their matches. Devin Skatzka was the other bonus-point victor, as he earned a technical fall in his match, while Ryan Thomas and Ben Brancale rounded out the Minnesota winners with decisions.

Tale of the Tape – The Boilermakers
Purdue is in the midst of a down year under head coach Tony Ersland, as the Boilermakers only return three starters from last season. Sitting at 4-5 on the year, the Boilermakers are led by third-ranked Kendall Coleman at 157 pounds, as well as returning NCAA qualifier and former Golden Gopher Matt Ramos.

The Boilermakers are still looking for their first win in Big Ten competition this weekend, as they dropped their first two conference duals of the year to Iowa and Illinois.

The Series with Purdue:
Minnesota holds the all-time series lead over the Purdue Boilermakers with a record of 41-9-2 in a series that dates back to the 1925-26 season. The Golden Gophers have dominated the series in recent history, winning 22 of the last 25 contests against the Boilermakers. Purdue did claim the last meeting, however, to snap a 12-dual win streak for the Maroon & Gold, which was tied for the Gophers’ longest all-time streak in the series.

First Meeting: T, 7-7 (1925-26)
Last Meeting: L, 14-18 (2/6/20222)
Longest Win Streak: W12 (Twice; 2/19/1972-2/11/1984 and 2/5/2005-1/31/2021)
Longest Losing Streak: L3 (1/5/1985-2/14/1987)
Current Streak: L1

Last Meeting:
The Gophers most recently traveled to West Lafayette, Ind., last season to take on the Boilermakers in early February, as Purdue would claim six of the ten bouts to knock off the Gophers, 18-14. The dual kicked off at 157 pounds, as Brayton Lee would take a narrow 2-1 decision over Kendall Coleman. Bailee O’Reilly followed that up with a dominant performance of his own with an 8-2 win over Gerrit Nijenhuis. Gable Steveson opened up the second hald with a quick technical fall, but then Purdue would battle back by taking each of the next three matches to clinch the dual, before Michael Blockhus closed out the night with a decision win.

Potential Matchups
Heading into the weekend, the Gophers could see as many as eight ranked matchups between the two duals, with Indiana housing five ranked wrestlers in their lineup along with Purdue’s three.

Brayton Lee faces the toughest slate of the weekend, as he will open up the weekend with a top-20 showdown against Indiana’s Derek Gilcher before squaring off against third-ranked Kendall Coleman at home on Sunday.

Bailee O’Reilly gets a tough test on Friday, as he is slated to compete against Indiana’s only returning national qualifier in Donnell Washington.

Aaron Nagao, Michael Blockhus, and Garrett Joles round out ranked action in Friday’s dual, as they all face off against opponents ranked in the Top-33 of the InterMat polls.

In Sunday’s action against the Boilermakers, the feature bout of the dual will come at 125 pounds as Patrick McKee will battle against former teammate Matt Ramos in a clash between top-10 opponents

Up Next:
Following this weekend’s B1G doubleheader, the Gophers will host the second contest of their three-dual home stretch, as they play host to a ranked Illinois squad on Saturday, February 28 at 1:00 p.m. CST live on Big Ten Network.

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