There is just one more day until Gopher Football returns. Thanks to a number change Rodney Smith now wears number one for Minnesota. The redshirt sophomore rushed for 670 yards on 150 attempts last season and will be the feature back for the first third of the season before splitting time again with Shannon Brooks.
According to Gophersports.com, Smith’s 88 yards against TCU was the highest rushing total in a debut since Thomas Hamner in 1996. Smith was also limited by injury in the last third of the year because he was Minnesota football player and the injury gods were decidedly unkind to Minnesota in 2015.
Rushing will continue to remain the focus of Minnesota’s offense. Jay Johnson’s playbook will look very similar to Matt Limegrover’s and will emphasize running the ball as much as possible. If the line improves as expected under Bart Miller, Smith will have a standout season against a schedule that looks weak on paper.