It’s Monday afternoon and suddenly there’s an unwelcome surprise for the Penn State football team.

The Nittany Lions have already practiced with a silent count, starting to do so last week to get a jumpstart on Auburn week. The thermostat in the team’s indoor practice facility was already cranked up and the doors closed. After all, Saturday afternoon’s game-time temperature at Auburn could hover around 87 degrees, which means it’ll be a scorcher on the field.

Preparations for Penn State football’s first game at Jordan-Hare Stadium are underway, but the early-week phone call between Kevin Threlkel, Penn State assistant athletic director and chief of staff, and Jeremy Roberts, Auburn associate athletic director for operations, has both searching for solutions. Due to construction at Montgomery Regional Airport, one-third of the runway is unavailable and therefore Penn State’s chartered flight won’t be able to land there as planned Friday afternoon.

It’s the logistical equivalent of a pick six for those who specialize in this kind of thing. Of no fault of their own, they need to adjust.

Penn State coach James Franklin hints at a logistical snag at his Tuesday news conference. The head coach, who is a creature of habit and despises surprises, knows countless people are working behind the scenes to come up with a solution. This trip is unusual: Penn State is the first Big Ten team to ever play at Jordan-Hare Stadium. During his three seasons at Vanderbilt, the Commodores never played there, either.

“I guess federal government work doesn’t stop for football season, contrary to what the world thinks,” Roberts said. “Everybody thinks college football is king, but in Montgomery, Alabama, getting the airport fixed for F-16s and F-35s is more important, right?”

The prospect of Penn State flying into Columbus, Georgia, and then getting a police escort 90 miles to Montgomery — where the team’s hotel has long been secured — is discussed. So is a creative workaround that just might save Penn State’s players, coaches and staffers a little extra time sitting on a bus. Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery might be able to accommodate them. They’ll spend the week working through the details.

“Flights are challenging. Hotels are challenging,” Franklin said Tuesday. “… There are some things that we’re going to talk to the team about (this week) just to be prepared for, but we got a plan for it. It is a little bit different than the way we normally operate.”

Roberts can sympathize with Penn State’s logistical issue. When Auburn played in Beaver Stadium last September, tiny University Park Airport — located four miles from Beaver Stadium — saw so much private air travel that it hit max capacity. There was a panicked moment on game day when Auburn’s orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews — yes, the Dr. James Andrews — found out he may not be able to land in State College.

With Harrisburg International Airport nearly two hours away — and the drive from there to the stadium likely slowed by game traffic — phone calls were made. Penn State made sure Andrews secured University Park Airport’s last spot.

“That’s where the communication and willingness to help others comes into play,” Roberts said.