Capel Has Little Good to Say

Oklahoma needed a good showing on the road Wednesday night, but instead, offered the equivalent of laying an egg at Nebraska in a 63-45 loss. See what coach Jeff Capel had to say afterwards.

It's tough to find positives in Oklahoma's 63-45 defeat at Nebraska on Wednesday night.

Or, in head coach Jeff Capel's case, impossible.

"I wasn't pleased with anything," he said.

Capel's answer came in reference to a question about his team's defense. The Sooners allowed the Huskers to shoot 50 percent from the field. Four Huskers scored in double figures.

"I don't think that we defended well. That's something that hasn't been as good for us as it has been before, especially last year," he said. "We gave up some drives that we talked about in the scouting report. Our help-side defense wasn't there on drives. I thought Nebraska beat us to all the open balls in the first half, and again in the second half, which is disappointing.

"I really wasn't pleased with anything about this game."

And defense was the lesser of two evils for the Sooners on Wednesday. The 45 points matched a season low, which also occurred in the Sooners' last game, a loss at Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma shot 37 percent overall, but was just 26 percent from the field in scoring 12 first-half points.

In the final 12 minutes of the first half, the Sooners managed just two field goals and surrendered a 20-4 run.

"With 12 points in the first half, I have never been associated with that in a game. I have never seen that," Capel said. "Five field goals, shooting 26 percent in the first half. We came to the first media timeout and had gotten one shot off."

It wasn't because the Sooners weren't prepared for what Nebraska did defensively, which is double the Sooners' big men in the paint. With 6-foot-4 Ryan Anderson being one of the Huskers' primary post defenders, the Sooners figured to have at least one mismatch in the paint with 6-foot-10 Blake Griffin and 6-foot-11 Longar Longar.

It didn't happen, however.

"We knew they were going to double, we worked on it for two days, but for some reason we didn't (counter) it. We act like we were shocked by it," Capel said. "We knew we had an advantage as far as height and size, we knew whoever (Aleks) Maric didn't guard, we knew they were going to double. We worked on that for two days to get prepared for it, but we didn't get a piece of the paint on (Ryan) Anderson, we didn't throw the ball down in there off the block."

It also didn't help that the Sooners turned it over four times in the first four minutes, digging themselves an early hole. "We were weak, and they were strong," Capel said. "They were being aggressive, they were coming and swiping at the ball and we were turning it over."

Oklahoma's motto for the rest of the season has been "Finish Strong." That wasn't apparent on Wednesday, Capel said.

"We weren't tough. We weren't strong," he said. "Because of that, we weren't able to score.

"It was just a really bad performance. It was a really disappointing performance."

Ultimately, Capel said, the game came down to the Huskers wanting it more.

"We tried to explain the magnitude of this game to our guys," Capel said. "But they just didn't come out with the effort that we needed to, and Nebraska did."


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