A little more than 48 hours before their team's clash with Otterbein, three Heidelberg players - left guard Mac Wallace, tight end Brett Wiedemann and linebacker Andy Lovins - sat in an office taking questions about the game.
The message that the players gave was that preparation for today's contest, which is between two nationally-ranked teams in Division III, has been like any other week.
"The biggest thing we've gotten through our heads is that every day, every game is just another game," Wallace said. "You can't overhype a game too much, you can't overthink a game too much."
Still, the guys are human.
"It's exciting," Lovins said. "Something that hasn't been done around here in a long time."
The AFCA Division III poll has Heidelberg ranked 20th in the nation. Otterbein is unranked in that poll, but in the D3football.com poll, Otterbein and Heidelberg are tied at No. 25.
That's likely going to change after today after the Cardinals come to Mayer Field.
In Otterbein, Heidelberg faces a team that has almost matched its defensive prowess. The Cardinals come into today's contest allowing an average of less than 10 points a game. Heidelberg allows less than nine.
"They've got a number of good players in a number of positions," Heidelberg coach Mike Hallett said. "We've seen most of those kids last year when we played them, and another year of maturity, a little bit of tweaking to their defensive schemes have allowed them to have more balance in their defense and play more aggressively. Those kids are playing hard."
Two examples are defensive linemen Zach Grieves and Patrick Seesholtz. If Grieves' name sounds familiar, it should. His brother Matt was a star defender at Heidelberg, and is now a member of Hallett's coaching staff. Zach Grieves has made six tackles for a loss and had two sacks for the Cardinals this season. Seesholtz has 11 1/2 tackles for a loss and five sacks.
"We've got to identify, we've got to get control of their D-line," Hallett said. "If Grieves and Seesholtz are in our backfield all day, it's gonna be a tough day. Our guys have had a good week of practice though, and the stuff we've seen on film, they've seen."
Wiedemann said the key for Heidelberg is not getting too excited.
"Controlling our emotions and keeping everything in tact and under control," Wiedemann said when asked what today's biggest challenge would be. "Not getting too excited... just doing our thing, proving ourselves again."
Heidelberg's defense certainly has proved itself, allowing more than 10 points only once through its first five games. But Otterbein's offense has been potent, scoring more than 30 points a game.
Lovins and Hallett each mentioned the Cardinals' receiving corps, one of the biggest weapons being Trey Fairchild, who's averaging 64 yards a contest and who has caught three touchdowns. There's also quarterback Aaron Kingcade, who has become a running and passing threat.
"Trey Fairchild, he's becoming a bigger and bigger part of their offense; we certainly need to know where he's at through the course of the game," Hallett said. "Aaron Kingcade has done a great job."
Kingcade had an apparent injury last week against Muskingum, and Ben Sizemore filled in for him. Hallett said Sizemore proved himself very capable on film.
"You've got to contain Aaron Kingcade, and if it's not him, it's Sizemore," Hallett said. "Both those guys can affect you with their passing game but also with their running ability."
Kickoff is at 2 p.m.