It was the third play of the game for the Gophers, but it might have been their biggest play of the season...for all the wrong reasons.
After getting the team a big first down, senior running back Rodney Smith was writhing in pain on the ground as the dust settled. Some sort of a leg injury left him unable to get up and walk off the field under his own power.
Smith would not return to the field the rest of the game, but was seen on the sidelines helmet on during the first half.
Then in the second half, he was spotted in street clothes and officially done for the night.
From the video replays shown in TV it was unclear if Smith's injury was non-contact when he planted his left leg for the final cut or if it occurred as the Fresno State defenders tackled and wrapped him up. Either way, the loss is extremely concerning for the Gophers as he a senior leader is a big part of their offensive attack.
After the game head coach P.J. Fleck was asked about the nature of the injury...
"I don't know. We're gonna find out soon. It's a lower extremity... knee, ankle, not sure. We'll find out soon. I'm sure we'll get some pictures tonight of whatever."