HUNTINGTON - To a man, Marshall players say they have gotten over the novelty of playing in a large stadium before few fans, as they will face again this Saturday.
But here's the tougher part: For the third time in four weeks, the Thundering Herd will have to prepare for a team with a brand new coaching staff. For the offensive players, it's really the fourth week in a row, as Central Florida brought in new defensive coaches.
So for the better part of a month, Herd players have had to disregard almost all memories from playing those Conference USA East Division rivals in 2011.
Yeah, that will test your preparation.
"That's pretty rough. That'll make your head spin every now and then," said offensive lineman Garrett Scott.
The four-week roll call:
So the Herd (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) has a little more homework ahead before it faces the Blazers (2-7, 1-4) at Legion Field in Birmingham. Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. EST, with the game airing on WVAH, Channel 11 in Charleston-Huntington.
The Herd offense solved Southern Miss quite well, turned in its least productive game of the season against UCF and rebounded to a large degree against Memphis. Three three-and-outs, two sacks and other quarterback hurries and an extended second-half stay on the sidelines kept the Herd to 38 points.
The Tigers changed most radically, by several accounts, and it wasn't just the change from a 4-3 base to the 3-4. And quarterback Rakeem Cato makes this point: With Marshall's "NASCAR" attack, just about every team on the schedule will try a different wrinkle, one not seen in game video.
But center Chris Jasperse thinks the task isn't as difficult as it seems, and he expects his unit to handle UAB's new wrinkles again this week.
"Some of their schemes are different, but they've got the same personnel," he said. "There's not too many different things they can do - either they're going to play a four-man front or a three-man front. After you figure that out, you say, 'What do they do with their linebackers, stacking them or sending them out to cover receivers?' And once you figure that out, you get going and it rolls from there."