Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Gophers turn up the heat to prepare for Houston

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Bowl games, Gophers post season Updated: December 20, 2012 - 12:46 PM

     Jerry Kill was sweating when he emerged from the Gophers' practice facility, and it had nothing to do with Texas Tech's passing game. Well, not much.
     "It felt like it was 90 degrees in there," Kill said of the indoor practice field. "Of course, I had a sweatshirt on."
     But the higher temperature wasn't his imagination, nor an accident. The Gophers' game with the Red Raiders will be played inside the Reliant Stadium on Dec. 28, and while it's possible the building's domed roof will be retracted for the game, it's more likely that the Meineke Car Care Bowl will occur indoors.
     It's not a huge adjustment, but one worth preparing for, Kill figured. The long-term forecast calls for a high in the mid-60s in Houston next Friday, and the game could be played in room-temperature conditions.
     That's as opposed to the normal temperatures in Minnesota's practice facility. "When we first started practicing (two weeks ago), I was about to freeze to death in there," Kill said. "I said, 'Hey, I don't think it's going to be quite this cold in Houston. We've turned the heat up to 75-80 degrees in there, to make sure we understand the sweat."
     That part worked. Players were drenched in sweat as they walked off the field and onto buses to take them to TCF Bank Stadium's locker room to change.
     Once they arrive in Houston this weekend, the Gophers will practice outdoors at St. Thomas High School.
 

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