Gophers topple Fresno State 31-6

The Gophers have scored over 30 team points in two consecutive duals and three out of four this season.

Redshirt senior Sean Russell at 125 competes during the match against South Dakota State on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 at Maturi Pavilion.

Elle Moulin

Redshirt senior Sean Russell at 125 competes during the match against South Dakota State on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 at Maturi Pavilion.

by Paul Hodowanic

The Gophers ended their non-conference dual schedule on Saturday night, beating Fresno State 31-6. The victory moved the team to 3-1 on the season.

“We were pleased, we scored some good bonus points in some of the matches. I thought the nine guys that got to step out on the mat wrestled really well,” said head coach Brandon Eggum.

125-pound Sean Russell started things off strong for the Gophers, wrestling his way to a technical fall win 16-1. The redshirt senior is 13-2 overall in his first season with the Gophers after transferring from Edinboro University.

“His pace of his offensive attacks have rated high and that’s impressive,” Eggum said. “He comes out and gets a technical fall for us and you need that, that momentum in duals is a big deal.”

149-pound Tommy Thorn took on No. 23 ranked Khristian Olivas and came away with a 3-1 decision win. Thorn and Olivas were tied at 1-1 before Thorn scored the game-winning takedown. Olivas was the only ranked opponent the Gophers faced. 

“I thought Tommy did a great job. He got in some predicaments in his match where he was shooting a lot of shots and he didn’t get points and mentally that can be challenging,” Eggum said. “He kept firing and you watched him keep his focus and stay relaxed and come out with a really big win.”

157-pound Miles Patton filled in for the injured Steve Bleise and took advantage of the opportunity, winning by decision 11-3. 

194-pound Brandon Krone finished things off for the Gophers beating his opponent by technical fall 15-0. 

“Without having Gable Steveson we let [Krone] know he was the anchor tonight and I thought he did a great job,” said Eggum.

The team was without Steveson, as Fresno State forfeited the match due to injury. 

The Gophers will take a three-week break from competition with finals and the holidays upcoming. The team’s next match will be in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 29 for the South Beach Duals.


Gable Steveson was named USA Wrestling athlete of the week after winning the Cliff Keen Invitational last week. The freshman is currently 13-0 on the season, and ranked as the No. 2 heavyweight in the country. 

Injured Gophers wrestlers Steve Bleise (hand) and Mitch McKee (knee) are expected back for the team’s next event, the South Beach Duals on Dec. 29 in Fort Lauderdale according to head coach Eggum.