COLLEGE PARK, Md.( -- Rodney Smith ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns, Conor Rhoda threw for a score in his first career start and Minnesota defeated error-prone Maryland 31-10 Saturday.

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Combining a strong defensive performance with a low-risk offensive game plan, the Golden Gophers (4-2, 1-2) built a 14-0 lead at halftime and coasted to the finish.

Smith's 70-yard touchdown run with 9:30 left made it 24-3, and Antoine Winfield Jr. sealed the victory late in the game with an 82-yard interception return.

Maryland came into the contest averaging more than 37 points-a-game, but Minnesota (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) held the Terrapins scoreless for the first three periods, ending their own two-game losing streak.  The Gophers host Rutgers for homecoming next week.