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Charlie Strong wouldn't let cold impact Texas

"The weather was not going to be an issue."

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The conditions the Texas Longhorns faced in Stillwater on Saturday night against the Oklahoma State Cowboys wasn't as cold as expected and there wasn't any precipitation, as had been feared early in the week, but it was still 44 degrees at kick off.

Over the years, Mack Brown's teams struggled in cold weather games, dating back at least to the escape from Lawrence in 2004 enabled by Vince Young's incredible fourth down run and culminating in the poor performance against Baylor last year in Brown's final regular season game.

Part of the problem may have been the emphasis that Brown put on it and the lengths to which he went so that his players wouldn't have to experience the cold.

The mindset of current Texas head coach Charlie Strong is a little bit different and, as usual, he set the example himself for how his players would dress.

Decked out only in gloves and the burnt orange mock turtleneck he's now worn in four of the five victories this season, Strong made sure in the pre-game locker room that his players weren't going to come out bundled like they were ready for an expedition to the Arctic.

"They thought it was cold, but I told them it wasn't cold," Strong said. "I said, 'Look what I have on.'"

So the linemen had to strip down to remove their tights and the skill position players weren't allowed to keep a pouch around their waist to keep their hands warm.

"I said that up front we were going to win the game, so you get that mess off," Strong said. "I made them take it off. The skill guys had the little pouches on and I said the quarterback was going to wear one, but the rest of you take it off. It was all about our mindset. The weather was not going to be an issue."

Instead of letting it become an issue and impact the mentality of the team, dealing with the cold was simply the cost of admission to the game, an example of the type of fortitude it requires to go on the road and win a game at night in the Big 12.

And so it wasn't an issue -- the offensive line played well early in the first half to open up some running lanes and the wide receivers didn't have any problems with dropped passes, even though they weren't allowed to have their pouches.

By the end of the first half, the Longhorns were up 19-0 and had possessed the ball for over 21 minutes. The Cowboys, meanwhile, were only able to run 20 plays on six possessions with four three and outs and only 51 total yards, including -10 rushing yards after quarterback Daxx Garman was sacked four times by Texas defenders in the first half.

After the early blitzkrieg by Texas, Oklahoma State never had a chance.

The team had taken on the mindset of its head coach, as it has increasingly done as the season has progressed.