Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong Previews Longhorns' Big 12 Opener Against Oklahoma State Cowboys

Charlie Strong addressed the media Monday morning as Texas prepares to face Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play.

Texas opens Big 12 play Saturday, October 1 at Oklahoma State. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and will be televised nationally on ABC.

Here's what head coach Charlie Strong had to say about the Longhorns' upcoming game.

  • The head coach knows the Longhorns have a tough opponent in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys had a really balanced offense in the 35-24 loss to Baylor last weekend.

  • Senior OL Kent Perkins will be suspended for Oklahoma State following his DWI arrest during the bye week. He will undergo counseling, community service and will face additional punishment within the program.
  • Strong was "totally upset" about the situation with Perkins. Strong told him he let himself down and he let his teammates down. Perkins has to gain back the respect of his teammates. He is going to speak with the media later today and discuss his mistake.

  • Texas did a lot of self-evaluation during the bye week. Strong has a lot of confidence in DC Vance Bedford. He told Bedford the defense has to get better fundamentally, the players need to understand the overall scheme and they have to devise a game plan where they can be successful and not give up big plays.

  • Bedford took his evaluation well. "Vance hasn't forgotten how to coach defense. He knows himself that he has to do better," said Strong.
  • Strong said he is okay if the team makes a mistake if they are playing hard and with a lot of energy. There have been instances when that has not happened.

  • As a defensive coach, Strong said the issues are on him and he is going to get it fixed.

  • Strong has ideas on how to fix the defense and he is going to work with the staff to get it fixed.

  • The head coach told his staff they are accountable for their positions because they are "the head coach of those positions." He said he needed to have meetings with the staff to evaluate everything. He told them to check their ego at the door, it is what it is right now and they have to make it better.

  • Strong said the defensive issues is not confidence. It's about what Texas can do best and getting the best personnel out there to play. "It's all about concepts and it's all about who you're facing. This week we will face a quarterback who can throw the ball. ... We've got to be able to win those battles on the outside."

  • Strong said there were 10 plays in the Cal game where the defense just didn't play well and "looked bad."

  • The team was focused and locked in last week during practice. "We had three really good days of practice, which is great. I said at least we're practicing well. You don't want to see a lost, but it got their attention right away.

  • While Strong wouldn't give away any team personnel moves for Saturday's game, he did say, it will be "fun watching."

  • On Les Miles' firing, Strong said this is a tough profession. It's a challenge every day and that's why you have to coach as hard as you can and get your team to play as hard as it can.

  • The guys who are going to redshirt already have a pretty good idea about it. Strong said if guys haven't played three games into the season, there's a pretty good chance they will redshirt.

  • Strong said the team needs to get off to a good start in Stillwater, Okla. The guys need to stay focused and locked in as they will enter a hostile environment on the road.
  • The defensive players have tried to put the poor performances on themselves, but Strong will not allow it. He said it's on the coaches not the players.

  • Strong tells the team all the time that if you're intoxicated you don't get behind the wheel. He told the team they need to look out for one another and help not allow others to make poor decisions.

  • Strong said he doesn't drink, so he has pretty strong policies about alcohol and not over-doing it. 

(Video courtesy of Texas Athletics)

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