Most football coaches would rather have an open week in midseason, and certainly not in September.
Purdue was off last weekend and coach Danny Hope found the timing could not have been better. Hope and his Boilermakers had some extra preparation time for their bout Saturday against Marshall.
Kickoff is at 3:15 p.m. at Ross-Ade Stadium, where stat crew members had better eat their Wheaties.
As Hope and Co. learned while watching video of the Thundering Herd's games this month, you don't blink too much between snaps. Or you don't substitute too much. Or don't get too fancy realigning your defense.
Playing Eastern Kentucky, Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan, the Boilermakers didn't face anything close to the tempo the Marshall offense will present.
Defending 92 plays, the Herd's average, can be a shock to the system.
"We're fortunate we had the open week," Hope said. "So it gave us some opportunities a week ago, as a staff, to spend some time breaking down the film we had on Marshall, and coming up with a game plan we feel good about, a chance to go out and practice that game plan early and often.
"So we're ahead in some ways in regard to our preparation. Or offense can change our tempo. Sometimes we huddle up, sometimes we no-huddle. So we spent a lot of time last week, and we will again this week, with our defense going up against our [first-team] offense. Some of the plays are similar, some of the passing plays are similar, the runs plays are similar, so that gives our defense a great look."
And yes, he noticed the Herd rushed for 334 yards last weekend against Rice, a week after grinding out just 59 against Ohio. He noticed three 400-yard passing games, followed by a more conventional 259-yard outing at Rice.
That didn't seem to faze him, as he met the media in West Lafayette, Ind.