Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Harrison Smith Wants Stadium Benchmarks in Regular Season

MINNEAPOLIS — Harrison Smith had the first Vikings tackle in U.S. Bank Stadium history on Sunday, wrestling San Diego tight end Hunter Henry to the ground on a short pass play on the Chargers' first play from scrimmage.

Smith notched another milestone just three plays later when he picked off San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers on a pass broken up by cornerback Trae Waynes.

The Vikings safety didn't see the plays as cause for celebration, however, especially since they came in Minnesota's 23-10 preseason win.

"It doesn't count," Smith said. "There's still zero interceptions here.

"Hopefully I can say (I got one) in a couple weeks," he added.

Click here to watch a replay of the first-ever game at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday's matchup vs. the Chargers via NFL Game Pass. Start your free trial today.

Smith recorded just the single tackle as he played the majority of the first half from his safety spot.

But he and his teammates had a fun-filled day as they pressured Rivers and limited San Diego's offense to just 33 yards in the opening quarter.

The Pro Bowl safety said he hardly cares who gets the credit for Minnesota's success on defense.

"I think when you're playing fast, you're making plays and you're winning, that's what having fun is," Smith said. "We're a pretty close team, a lot of good chemistry and a lot of good friendships on the team.

"We like to have the guy next to you having success," he added. "We have fun making plays and watching our guys make plays."

Rookies Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander also recorded interceptions, and Justin Trattou forced a fumble that was recovered by Stephen Weatherly early in the third quarter.

Smith said he and his teammates were impressed by the crowd noise and lighting inside the new stadium. The Vikings had a home-record crowd of 66,143 fans in attendance.

"It was great, especially for a preseason game," Smith said. "You can tell it's going to get pretty loud.

"That's what we're hoping for, as a defense especially," he added.

The Vikings will play host to Los Angeles at 7 p.m. (CT) Thursday before opening the regular season on the road in Tennessee.

The next game that counts inside U.S. Bank Stadium is Minnesota's home opener against Green Bay on Sept. 18.

If Smith gets an interception or big play against the Packers, you can bet it will mean a little more to Smith.

"We kind of joked that you don't want (those) in the preseason," Smith said. "You want it when they count."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.