Lesnar’s loss shifts momentum from U

Sarah Mitchell

Hawkeyes heavyweight Wes Hand strayed away from trash-talking after his 5-3 upset of the Gophers’ big man, top-ranked Brock Lesnar on Sunday.
But Minnesota strength coach Tim Hartung — who was a two-time national champion for Minnesota — put the match in perspective.
“I love Brock to death, but the guy didn’t show any balls (Sunday),” Hartung said. “It’s just plain and simple.”
Hand was more subdued in his evaluation.
“It’s a win,” Hand said. “This is not the big one. This is not the one I want. The one I want is the national title and I will keep improving from now until then.”
The warning is out. Lesnar is beatable. Usually, it’s Lesnar throwing caution to his opponents.
Lesnar had an undefeated mark and two previous wins over the third-ranked Hand on his side. Sunday’s win was the first for Hand against Lesnar, bringing the rivalry to 2-1.
Tension in Sunday’s round began mounting before the two even stripped to their singlets. During pregame introductions, Hand walked over to Minnesota’s side of the mat waiting to shake Lesnar’s hand.
Lesnar emerged from behind his teammates and ran past Hand, making his way to center circle while indicating to Hand that center circle was where the two should meet. Hand went to center circle, acting like he would wish Lesnar good luck there and shake his hand.
But Hand fooled all, running to center circle and right past Lesnar. The Gophers heavyweight simply waved good-bye.
“It went in one ear and out the other. I took it to heart and then let it go,” Hand said. “It really meant nothing to me. I knew my ability, and I knew what I could do.”
“I’ve got nothing personal against the guy, he’s just a competitor. It’s nothing personal, I just want to win.”
The two met for real at a time when the Gophers held a three-point lead at 13-10. In what was a surprise to most, Hand scored first and early.
With about a minute remaining in the first period, Hand tossed Lesnar on his back, picking up four points on a takedown and a near-fall.
“He just shot in and I countered him,” Hand said. “It should have been a pin.”
It almost was.
After that early score, there was a lot of standing around on the part of both heavyweights. Hartung said this non-aggressive style cost Lesnar the match.
“(Lesnar) was behind by four points from the get-go and doesn’t do anything to score,” Hartung said. “If you’re behind, you’ve got to be wrestling your balls off.”
Gophers coach J Robinson defended his grappler, saying Hand was stalling.
“Hand didn’t do anything. He didn’t do anything the whole match,” Robinson said. “He wrestled the way he had to to beat Brock.”
In the end, Hand did defeat Lesnar, boosting his own confidence while taking a shot at Lesnar’s.
Not that Hand is worried about Lesnar.
“Don’t know. Don’t care,” Hand said. “I just worry about myself.”

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