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January 25, 2012

Huskers putting Ohio State loss behind them

Brandon Ubel still hasn't watched a single second of film from Nebraska's 34-point loss to Ohio State on Saturday, and he has no plans to do so any time soon, or ever.

Still stinging from their worst home loss in more than a century, Ubel and Huskers saw really no point in reliving a game in which they turned the ball over a season-high 27 times, committed 25 fouls and made just 13 field goals.

"I haven't watched any of it, to be honest with you" Ubel said. "Right now, the way that we played just wasn't how we had been practicing. There were really no signs of that, and it was kind of out of the ordinary. It was just kind of better for us to put it out of our minds."

Even after a 2-6 start to Big Ten Conference play, Nebraska is still holding onto hope for this season knowing that their brutal opening to league play will finally taper off a bit, beginning with Thursday's trip to take on Iowa.

Having faced five ranked opponents in their first eight games, the Huskers now have seven teams with a .500 record or worse in Big Ten play in their final 10 regular season contests.

With Thursday's game against Iowa (11-9 overall, 3-4 in Big Ten), another road trip to Northwestern (12-7, 2-5) and then a home game against Minnesota (15-5, 3-4) up next on the schedule, NU will be matched against three teams with losing conference records.

"Definitely there are more games that we feel like that we have a lot better shot to win, but that's not saying that any of these are any easier," Ubel said. "It's basically a coin flip. Going on the road to Iowa and going on the road to Northwestern these next two games, I mean, you just toss it up and see what happens.

"We think we can go on the road and compete in any game. We've shown that against top competition in the Big Ten. It definitely gives us confidence going into this week."

While his players may not have bothered with re-watching the Ohio State loss, head coach Doc Sadler said he's gone back over the film just like any other game, and as bad as things may have gotten for Nebraska, he said it wasn't all bad.

Sadler said he was actually pretty happy with the Huskers' play defensively, citing that they held Ohio State to eight percentage points (44.1%) under its average field goal percentage on the season and out-rebounded the Buckeyes 28-23 on the defensive end.

It was a game to forget in many ways for Nebraska, but Sadler said there was still plenty to take away from Saturday night's loss moving forward.

"You can learn from it," Sadler said. "We did some good things, but obviously you're not going to do enough good things turning the ball over 27 times. So, move on, you know. That was Saturday. You can learn some things from it, I think. I did."

Sadler added that, as has been the case with the Huskers all year long, their play offensively would be the biggest key to turning their season around in the final 10 games.

"We just have to execute our offense, and that's been a problem all year," Sadler said. "I think if you go back and look at the game, for 16 minutes I thought, we didn't make any shots, but we were pretty close. We missed a couple baskets. We've just got to find a way not to miss easy baskets and take advantage of the few opportunities you're going to get against a good team. We didn't do any of those things (against Ohio State)."

The road may seem quite a bit easier from here on for Nebraska compared to its first eight Big Ten games, but for a team has yet to put together back-to-back conference wins this season, it's hard for the Huskers to look too far down the road.

"We've still got to approach it as one game at a time," Sadler said. "Because even though maybe some of these teams don't have the reputation or don't have whatever that some of these other teams have, as I told the team yesterday, I think you are in a situation where there's a lot of cases that on that particular night, you've just got to play better, because you've got a chance in every game.

"If you don't play good, the other teams will beat you. I don't think it's to the point yet that you look at it like a second season, but I think you've always got to look at is like it's one game at a time."



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