Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said on his radio show Tuesday he was running practices in the indoor practice facility ahead of Saturday's Fresno State game so he could bump the heat into the 80s to simulate the California Central Valley climate.
“It’s been hot. It’s been real hot,” sophomore safety Antoine Winfield said earlier this week. “… It's just good to get it out right now so everybody's hydrated, and they're going to know the environment that we're going to be in.”
Interestingly, the game weather should be more tepid in the 70s. But the wind could be a bigger factor, as it was a breezy 18 mph ahead of kickoff.
The coach also decided to keep the team’s clock on Central time, meaning he wanted the players to prepare for what will feel like a 9:30 p.m. kick. Whether that entailed a little later starts to the day or extra afternoon naps this past week, Fleck said he was “doing everything” he could to make this road trip feel as familiar as possible, and thus not as daunting. Besides the four-hour plane ride and a different room to sleep in, it’s the same football game.
The team also flew out in the early afternoon Friday and intended to leave after the game to spend as little time away from home as possible.