The Gophers continue the Big Ten season with their second consecutive home dual, this time against bitter rival No.4 Iowa. The Hawkeyes enter the match-up 6-0 with a Big Ten victory over Purdue under their belt.
The dual will be televised on the Big Ten Network and live streaming can be found on their website BTN2GO.
Please note that earlier schedules were incorrect and the dual will begin at Noon CT.
Gopher head coach Brandon Eggum sat down with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm and discussed the season and Sunday’s dual:
Last Time Out
The Gophers defeated now-No.19 Rutgers in their first Big Ten dual on January 6. The home team defeated the Scarlet Knights 22-15 behind six individual victories.
Prior to the New Year the Gophers went 4-0 at the South Beach Duals and flew to Fresno State for a 31-6 on their home mats.
The Gophers and Hawkeyes wrestled against each other for nearly 100 years with the first meeting coming in 1921. Minnesota is 28-74-1 all-time against the Iowa Hawkeyes with their last victory coming on Jan. 25, 2014 by a score of 19-15.
Tommy Thorn is 2-1 in his career against the Hawkeyes while both Mitch McKee and Brandon Krone were victorious. Krone won by major decision over then-No.20 Mitch Bowman while McKee defeated Paul Glynn by 7-2 decision.
125: No. 6 Sean Russell (17-2)
133: No. 7 Ethan Lizak (16-3)
141: No. 6 Mitch McKee (10-1)
149: No. 20 Tommy Thorn (9-6)
157: No. 9 Steve Bleise (10-1)
165: Carson Brolsma (14-4)
174: No. 11 Devin Skatzka (16-5)
184: Owen Webster (7-7) or Brandon Krone (4-5)
197: Rylee Streifel (6-5) or Dylan Anderson (9-5)
Hwt: No. 2 Gable Steveson (19-0)
125: No. 2 Spencer Lee (9-1)
133: No. 10 Austin DeSanto (10-1)
141: No. 15 Max Murin (9-2)
149: No. 12 Pat Lugo (7-5)
157: No.5 Kaleb Young (11-2)
165: No. 2 Alex Marinelli (11-0) OR Jeremiah Moody (8-6)
174: Mitch Bowman (4-2)
184: No. 14 Cash Wilcke (10-2)
197: No. 6 Jacob Warner (6-2)
Hwt: Aaron Costello (6-4)
The battle between two top-10 programs will include five potential bouts between ranked wrestlers. All bouts from 125-pounds through 157-pounds have ranked wrestlers in the probable lineup.
Hawkeyes heavyweight, and Minnesota native, Sam Stoll is not expected to wrestle.
Since joining the Gophers this summer 125-pound Sean Russell has made a massive impact. Russell is 17-2 on the season with his only losses coming to top-four opponents Nick Piccininni and Ronnie Bresser.
Russell has bonus points in 11 out of 19 bouts and his impact is felt starting the lineup.
Making his first Big Ten dual appearance Russell dominated Shane Metzler by major decision 16-5 The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native is currently ranked No.5 by TrackWrestling, No.6 by Intermat, and No.7 by FloWrestling.
At 133-pounds there is expected to be a battle between the Gophers Ethan Lizak and the Hawkeyes Austin Desanto. Their two hometowns are less than 50 miles apart in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Desanto finished third at the 2018 Midlands Championship with teammate Paul Glynn finishing ahead of him in second place. Desanto, a sophomore, is already a NCAA Qualifier from his time at Drexel University. Lizak, a redshirt senior, is a two-time All-American and an NCAA finalist.
Gophers on a Roll
Since falling to No.2 Oklahoma State on Nov. 18, 2018 the Gophers have reeled off seven consecutive dual victories including a 4-0 performance at the South Beach Duals. The Gophers have scored over 30 dual points in all but two of those victories.
The Gophers have excelled in scoring bonus points with 21/32 bouts at the South Beach Duals ending with extra points for the Gophers. Against Rutgers the Gophers notched bonus points in three of their six victories.
The Gophers hit the road to continue the Big Ten season next weekend against Illinis on Friday night before visiting nearby Northwestern that Sunday. The Gophers then travel across the eastern border to take on Wisconsin in Madison for the return of assistant coach Trevor Brandvold to his alma mater.
Minnesota hosts the Big Ten Tournament at Williams Arena on March 9 and 10.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)