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|No. 1 Golden Gophers look strong in defeating No. 9 Nebraska 27-7|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Minnesota Golden Gophers are ranked No. 1 in at least one national poll.
And they demonstrated exactly why on Friday night.
The powerful Gophers won 8 of 10 matches, including two featuring wrestlers ranked in the top five, in defeating No. 9 Nebraska 27-7 in a Big Ten dual meet before 1,869 fans at the NU Coliseum.
“We came here to wrestle hard and the first four guys got us going,” Minnesota coach J Robinson said. “You've got to win those close matches, and we showed a lot of heart and a lot of effort. That’s the tempo we want to wrestle. We want to get after it.”
Minnesota All-American Logan Storley fired in on a double-leg attack and finished for a takedown to edge Robert Kokesh 3-1 in a battle of South Dakota natives at 174. Storley is ranked No. 3 nationally and Kokesh No. 5.
One of the best matches of the night came at 184 when Kevin Steinhaus finished a shot attempt for a takedown with just five seconds left to top Josh Ihnen 3-1 in a matchup of All-Americans. Ihnen had an even minute of riding time before Steinhaus gained the late takedown he needed to prevail.
Steinhaus is ranked No. 4 nationally and Ihnen No. 5.
“Kevin’s been in that situation a lot,” Robinson said. “He’s a smart wrestler and he showed a lot of composure.”
Returning NCAA champion and University World Team member Tony Nelson of Minnesota opened the dual by downing Donny Longendyke by an 11-2 major decision at heavyweight.
Gophers David Thorn (125), Chris Dardanes (133) and Nick Dardanes (141) followed with victories as Minnesota built a 15-0 lead in the team race.
NCAA qualifier James Sueflohn of Nebraska finished strong with a flurry of takedowns to earn a 14-5 win over Seth Lange at 149.
Sophomore All-American James Green of Nebraska was effective with his double-leg attacks in a 14-9 win over Brad Dolezal at 157.
“It’s a good early benchmark to see where we’re at,” Nebraska assistant coach Bryan Snyder said. “It’s good to be tested this way. We’ve got some young guys who need matches like this to test their resolve. A dual like this shows us where we are at. Our team is tough and has a lot of character. We will learn from this and bounce back."
Minnesota’s Cody Yohn then held off Austin Wilson 8-6 at 165 to push Minnesota’s lead to 18-7.
MINNESOTA 27, NEBRASKA 7
285 – Tony Nelson (Minnesota) dec. Donny Longendyke, 11-2. 125 – David Thorn (Minnesota) dec. Eric Coufal, 14-3. 133 – Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Shawn Nagel, 12-5. 141 – Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Skylar Galloway, 11-2. 149 – Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska) dec. Seth Lange, 14-5. 157 – James Green (Nebraska) dec. Brad Dolezal, 14-9. 165 – Cody Yohn (Minnesota) dec. Austin Wilson, 8-6. 174 – Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. Robert Kokesh, 3-1 SV. 184 – Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. Josh Ihnen, 3-1. 197 – Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. Caleb Kolb, 3-1.