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Rodney Smith earns Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors

Gophers tailback Rodney Smith was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after piling up 257 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 34-32 win over Rutgers.

Smith had 22 rushes for 111 yards and a touchdown, shedding tackles with his spin moves. He made a leaping reception for a 27-yard gain. He also had two kickoff returns for 119 yards, including his perfectly timed 94-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Smith has the second most rushing yards in the Big Ten (701), behind Northwestern's Justin Jackson (792). Smith is the Gophers' first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week since David Cobb on Sept. 8, 2014.

Programming note

The Gophers announced that their Nov. 5 home game against Purdue will start at 2:30 p.m., and will be televised by Big Ten Network.

Gophers with restraining orders can play at Illinois, Tracy Claeys says

Restraining orders kept six Gophers from being at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, but those players "will be active" at practice and available to play at Illinois next week, coach Tracy Claeys said Sunday.

From a football standpoint, the biggest impact will be having starting cornerback KiAnte Hardin and key defensive backfield reserve Ray Buford back on the field against the Illini.

The four others with restraining orders are Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Carlton Djam and Kiondre Thomas. All six players have a hearing Tuesday morning, and their attorney Lee Hutton, said he's confident the restraining orders will be overturned. None of the six has been arrested or charged.

Hardin, Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson each served a three-game suspension earlier this season while police investigated an alleged incident from Sept. 2. Those four were reinstated to the team when Hennepin County announced it was declining to press charges.

But the alleged victim is part of the Gophers game day operation and petitioned to keep them from being at the team's home stadium, as well as her apartment, for two years. A district court judge served the players with the restraining orders last week.

Injury updates

Claeys had no update on the foot injuries for TE Brandon Lingen, RT Garrison Wright and RG Vincent Calhoun.

Asked about LB Cody Poock (shoulder), Claeys said, "We'll see." The Gophers could use Poock, especially with Jack Lynn forced to miss the first half at Illinois after Saturday's targeting penalty.

But the news did sound brighter for offensive tackle Jonah Pirsig, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle.

"I meet with the doctors here [Sunday afternoon], and we will see where we’re at," Claeys said about Pirsig. "I know they are pleased with his progress so far. He feels good about it. I don’t know if it will be this week or next week, but we need him back."

TV Listings

Local Schedule

  • Wild at Boston

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Memphis

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Buffalo

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm on BTN PLUS

  • Gophers men's hockey at Clarkson

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm on BTN PLUS

  • Gophers football at Illinois

    11 am on 100.3-FM

  • Gophers men's hockey at St. Lawrence

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • New York at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Sacramento

    9:30 pm on FSN/NBATV, 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

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