I'm back in the press box at TCF Bank Stadium, getting ready for the Gophers' annual spring game on a glorious spring day in Minneapolis. This reminds me of two years ago, when the weather had been cold and dreary until the day of the spring game, and an announced 8,400 people came out to watch.

We'll see what the crowd is like today. And it'll be interesting to see how the coaches dole out playing time. Last year, the first-team defense got the day off, as the last thing the coaches want is a key injury at the end of spring camp.

But I think the coaches will want another good look at the no-huddle offense, similar to what they did the previous two Saturdays in scrimmages here at the stadium. In today's paper, I wrote about how the no-huddle could help quarterback Mitch Leidner. I previewed the spring game here and noted three new players to watch:

Jeff Jones: The highly touted recruit from Minneapolis Washburn has been turning heads all spring, working as a slot receiver.

Rodney Smith: The coaches compare his vision to David Cobb's, and the redshirt freshman should get a lot of carries Saturday.

Isaiah Gentry: The 6-4 Cincinnati Moeller graduate has the speed and skill to become a deep-play threat.

I also think this is a big day for QB Chris Streveler, RB Berkley Edwards, S Daletavious McGhee and several other backups who will get a chance to show what they can do. The coaches were bummed out when third-string QB Jacques Perra injured a thumb earlier in the week, preventing him from playing today.

Programming notes: This game, which starts at 3 p.m., will be televised live on Big Ten Network. Follow us on Twitter: @JoeCStrib and @ChipScoggins.