Marshall coach Doc Holliday is fond of recalling his favorite and successful moments working under Urban Meyer at Florida, but not all his stories are roses and Tebows.
He saw, as every coach has on every level of football, tough road losses. Bad road losses, even with the Gators. Ranked as high as fifth during the 2005 season, the Gators lost to Alabama, Louisiana State and unranked South Carolina (and coach Steve Spurrier).
As the the third-year Thundering Herd coach tells it, Meyer brought in reinforcements - including a man now known as "Dr. Lou."
"We spent a solid week with Lou Holtz and a couple of coaches, and all we talked about is how you win on the road," Holliday said. "We spent hours. The one thing we came up with is you have to have great leadership. When you're a young team you worry about that a little bit.
"The other thing was toughness. You've got to be an extremely tough team, go on the road into other people's arenas and find a way to win. And the final thing was you've got to enjoy going into other people's arenas and beating people."
The trick, Holliday and a horde of coaches will say, is to treat the trip as a business trip and not be tourists. To try to keep the routine the same as it would be at home, before and after the charter flight. The walk-throughs, the Friday night sequestration and everything else are as close to a home schedule as possible.
"We don't change our preparation," Holliday said. "We do all of our preparing Friday right here, we get on our plane and get there, we've got our best Fridays in football once we get to the hotel, and then we get up in the morning and go play."
One thing will change, though: The Herd equipment crew will pack the cooling equipment. The autumnal equinox arrives Saturday morning, but summer hasn't lost its grip in Houston.
The forecast high: 91 degrees, the National Weather Service said Thursday night. The Herd's previous game-time temperatures: 81, 68 and 74 degrees.
Holliday, a veteran of road-trip climate swings, said the Herd won't be bothered that much.
"I think later in the year, when you're practicing [in chilly conditions], it may affect you more than it affects you now," he said. "We've dealt with some heat the last couple of weeks."