The trek to and from class has extra significance for the Gophers this week. Any additional time the players can spend outside adjusting to the frigid temperatures will make Saturday’s weather less of a factor.

The Gophers also spent Wednesday evening practicing outdoors and will spend the rest of the week outside preparing for Ohio State.

The cold, on the other hand, could be a game-changing factor for Ohio State.

“I’m sure there is an advantage,” Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “Even just being outside this week walking to class your body is adjusting to the cold for all the guys. It’s tough to come here and play in the cold. You definitely gotta get used to it fast. … The balls turn into rocks, pretty much.”

Leidner, a redshirt sophomore from Lakeville South, prefers the cold. He said the guys have a lot of extra energy playing in the snow and it adds an element of fun.

Coach Jerry Kill said the Gophers prepared for bad weather: “This year we’ve stayed outside, the offense, to get used to throwing in the wind and the cold and all those things.

“It’s important with the hands — and the kicking game, that’s the biggest thing.”

Injury-free week

For the first time this season after a game, the Gophers haven’t lost a player to injury.

Kill said banged-up offensive lineman Ben Lauer and defensive lineman Alex Keith were both practicing Wednesday and should be able to play Saturday.

“We’ve got some bumps and bruises,” Kill said. “But as far as losing anybody for the game, not at this point … which is about the first week we haven’t lost somebody.”

• Kill has a special appreciation for the fans shoveling snow in the stands at TCF Bank Stadium this week. He used to shovel snow at Northern Illinois so his team could practice.