It's roughly 60 degrees at TCF Bank Stadium at the moment, but temps by the end of the game are expected to be around 50. It's not the temperature that Gopher kicker Chris Hawthorne is worried about, it's the wind -- and thankfully, there should only be light breezes.
Hawthorne is understandably concerned about conditions for the first night game of the Gophers' season, given that he doesn't really have a comfort level yet with how the stadium plays during day games, either.
"The wind is weird in the stadium. We noticed it during the spring, too," said the Gophers' placekicker, 3-for-4 so far this season on field goals on Minnesota's home field. "You can get a lot of wind going out, from the closed side to the open side. But coming back toward the closed end, it swirls around down there."
So which end does he prefer to kick toward?
"It depends upon the day. We had one practice in fall camp where it was blowing in directly from the end zone, and that made it a lot hard," said the transfer student from N.C. State. "You know, Minnesota weather is very unpredictable, and I haven't been here long. I'm just working to get used to it."
He's practicing on the field as I write this -- just hit a 40-yarder with no trouble, toward the closed end -- and I'm trying to get used to today's Gopher uniforms. They're wearing maroon jerseys with white pants, a change from the gold pants of the first two home games.