Even with all of that time invested during the week watching tape, gleaning info on what an opponent might do against a certain personnel group on a specific down and distance and any number of variations, come Saturday it still is a game of adjustments.
It has been that way for Fresno State eight times already, and in Game Nine the Bulldogs will go about it with a redshirt freshman in quarterback Zack Greenlee making his first college start.
Wyoming is sure to show something on Saturday night that the Bulldogs and Greenlee did not see on tape -- the Cowboys have had to shuffle personnel and make adjustments due to a slew of injuries, for starters, and they will have had all week to put together a plan designed to confuse.
But of all the unknowns that come with Greenlee -- who has played in only one game this season, that in the fourth quarter against an out-championship subdivision opponent in Southern Utah when attempting all of seven passes -- struggling to adjust on the fly to what Wyoming is doing is not one of them.
"We're going to have to make some adjustments in the first part of the game. We know that," offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said. "All you can do is prepare for what you see, and then we have to make some adjustments like we always do on the sideline.
"I think (he'll handle that) pretty good. He has assignments during our games, so he's watching the backside safety or he's watching the boundary linebacker or he's watching whatever number guy that we want him to watch based on the matchup. He's pretty good at that type of stuff. I don't have any question in my mind that he'll be able to communicate and communicate what he sees."
It will be different on the field than when on the sideline for Greenlee, who has not been made available to meet with the media this week to cut down on potential distractions leading up to his first career start. But there have been no warning flags flying above the practice field adjacent to Bulldog Stadium as the team prepares for the Cowboys, who have struggled the past few weeks to slow opposing offenses.
Wyoming will come in down five defensive starters due to injury, and ranked eighth of 12 in the Mountain West Conference in total defense, ninth in scoring defense and 10th in passing defense. Over the past four games, all losses, the Cowboys have allowed opponents to complete 74.8% of their passes (86 of 115) for an average of 302.3 yards per game. They have allowed 13 touchdown passes in that stretch and are the only team in the football bowl subdivision without an interception.
"We'll find out on Saturday -- a lot of guys perform different than what they do in practice," Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. "But from what we've seen in practice, he's been good. He sees coverage. He can tell you what he sees on the board, he can watch film. Obviously, game day is the ultimate test. But he knows. He gets a feel for how Coach Schramm wants to call a play and when he sees coverages what is the next thing he's going to, and I think all of that experience is going to help him.
"While you're not actually doing it, I do think he's grown a lot in the past year going through it and seeing that process. That's one of the reasons why we have confidence that he's the guy going forward. If we didn't, we would have gone with Brandon (Connette) or Brian (Burrell).
Greenlee, DeRuyter said, has handled what has been put in front of him.
"That's what a trigger guy has to do -- he has to anticipate coverages, he has to understand where the weaknesses are in coverages and where the ball needs to go," he said.
"You watch him, the timing of the throws has been good, the accuracy of the throws has been good. He hasn't been perfect. None of the quarterbacks have. But I see a different focus. He knows he's the guy, so he has a different focus right now."