MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota running back Rodney Smith had a big game as the Gophers beat Rutgers 34-32 on Saturday for homecoming.

Smith had 257 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win, and he was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Smith led the Gophers run game with 22 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown.

He also had a 94-yard kick return for a touchdown after Rutgers had scored a defensive touchdown to cut Minnesota’s lead to 24-23. Smith finished with 119 kick return yards in the win.

Smith is the first Gophers offensive player to earn the league award since David Cobb on Sept. 8, 2014.

Minnesota needed an Emmit Carpenter field goal to escape with a 34-32 win over the Scarlet Knights. The Gophers travel to Illinois on Saturday, seeking their third straight victory.


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