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Minnesota Football: Rodney Smith named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week

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The sophomore running back earned the honor after almost singlehandedly beating Rutgers on Saturday

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten must’ve read our post from earlier this morning on Minnesota running back Rodney Smith and agreed, because the sophomore has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Gophers’ 34-32 win over Rutgers on Saturday. Smith amassed 257 all-purpose yards against the Scarlet Knights, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Smith finished the game with 111 rushing yards on 22 carries and one rushing touchdown to go along with his score on the kickoff return. He also hauled in one reception for 27 yards on the Gophers’ first play from scrimmage. The sophomore running back is just 300 rushing yards shy of the 1,000 yard mark with five games left to go, not including a potential bowl game. He would be the first sophomore to do so for Minnesota since Laurence Maroney in 2004.

His kickoff return for a touchdown was the Gophers’ first since Jalen Myrick ran one back for 100 yards against Northwestern at home in 2014.

Put simply, Rodney Smith is good. Very good.