The Golden Gopher football team visits Illinois on Saturday in Champaign. And, when they hit the field, they will have one of the top tandems in the country in the backfield. Reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Rodney Smith of Jonesboro, Georgia has accounted for 701 yards and eight touchdowns for the 5-and-2 Gophers. His teammate Shannon Brooks of Atlanta, Georgia has chipped in with 413 yards and four touchdowns this season. The duo is amongst the best in the country in combined yards and combined touchdowns.
Minnesota has back-to-back wins after beating Maryland and Rutgers in each of the past two weeks. The Fighting Illini are 2-and-5 on the season and 1-and-3 in the Big Ten. Illinois is not saying who will start at quarterback this weekend. Last week the Fighting Illini used freshman Jeff George, Junior, to start the game. There’s a chance regular starter Wes Lunt will play this weekend after being injured earlier this month and missing action since. Kickoff is 11 A-M.
MNN sports director Mike Grimm chatted Golden Gopher sophomore running back Shannon Brooks, who says they learned from last week’s tight victory over Rutgers, that he’s happy for Rodney Smith, and that no one should count Minnesota out of contention in the Big Ten West division race: