Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Northwestern: 5 Players To Watch

5 of 6

Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Minnesota RB Rodney Smith

After struggling to find room to run against Kent State, Smith rebounded nicely with 94 yards on 16 carries against Ohio last Saturday. But I think his expanded role in the passing game is particularly notable, with eight receptions for 82 yards over the last two games, and that should continue against Northwestern this week. Smith carry total and his yards per carry average will show how the Golden Gophers’ offense is performing on Saturday, and if the latter number is low things clearly aren’t going as planned.