When Robbie Wine assesses the team he will see this weekend, he can't help but think of a similar situation two years ago.
Today through Sunday, the Penn State baseball team will play four games against Texas, the No. 7 team in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's poll, at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas.
"Going in to play somebody like that, it reminds me of a couple of years ago, when we went to play North Carolina when they were ranked No. 1," Penn State head coach Wine said. "It was a chance to show the country that we're here. Now you have to fight that and going back to just playing your game and not getting all hyped up and trying to do something special because we have talented ball players."
Back in 2007, Penn State (2-1) went on the road and took one of the three games from the top-ranked team in the nation.
This weekend, besides being a top-10 club, the undefeated Longhorns (5-0) have a home field that presents another problem.
Texas plays on turf, with infield dirt only around the bases. Penn State's home field, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, has dirt along each base path.
But Penn State admitted the different playing surface won't be completely new thanks to its practice schedule.
"Turf is a little faster, you're not going to get the hops you will on dirt, so it's not going to be as tough on the fielders," infielder Mike Deese said. "It really doesn't matter. The quickness is the only thing you have to get used to. And since we have Holuba, it won't be a problem at all."
Instead, the main challenge Wine foresees is Texas' speed game.
That, coupled with the turf, has him wondering how much his team will have to adjust. As long as the speed doesn't hurt his team much in the first few innings, Wine said his ballclub will be fine.
As for the pitching schedule, Wine anticipates it to be the same as last weekend. Mike Lorentson, Scott Kelley and T.J. Macy -- last weekend's starters -- will be joined by Calvin Grumley, who will start Sunday's game.
Macy, who surrendered only one earned run in his first start, said pitching against a team on turf can change the approach.
"You try to focus on working in and taking away the outside part of the plate because they're going to be trying to slap the ball away through the hole," Macy said. "So you get in and make the pitches after that and get ahead [in the count]."
Offensively, Wine said he's happy with the offense, which scored 21 runs last weekend. But he is still waiting for it "to click at some point."
While the players see Texas as a barometer of where the team is at in the young season, Wine admits not everything this weekend is about playing the Longhorns.
"It's not like you're preparing to play Texas anyway, you're preparing your team to go out and play its best baseball," Wine said. "It's the focus on the individual team or player, that's what it's all about. It's not about who you're playing, but how you play."