Jeff Capel reflects on 'very, very physical' WVU game
Pitt coach Jeff Capel was not afraid to admit that his team needed to play with more poise when it ventured into the WVU Coliseum last Saturday. The Panthers were whistled for 26 fouls (8.5 above their average coming into the game) and committed 24 turnovers (almost 11 more than average) in the 69-59 loss to the Mountaineers.
Overall, the game had 49 fouls, 23 of which were called against WVU.
But he also was puzzled by the way the officials called the game, especially given what he expected.
“It was a very physical game, a very, very physical game,” he said on KDKA-FM on Thursday. “It was an ugly game, to be honest with you.”
In fact, he said, “It’s a little frustrating at times.”
“You watch these officiating videos. You have people come in and talk to you, officials, and then you go out there and it’s like, 'OK, why did we watch this video? Why did we go through any of this stuff?’
“Because this game was called completely different from the way you talk about that it should be or that it’s going to be officiated.”
The outcome turned out to be Pitt’s most decisive loss of the season, but Capel wasn’t blaming it on the officials.
“The main thing is we have to have poise,” he said. “We have to be able to follow a game plan and we have to be able to finish.
“We can’t turn it over. They pressured us. They went after us, but still we had a lot of unforced errors. That’s where the poise comes in and, plain and simple, we have to play better.”
Pitt (7-3) hasn’t played since losing to West Virginia. The Panthers resume their non-conference schedule Saturday against Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Hawks lost eight of their first nine games before coming to Pittsburgh on Thursday night off a 10-day break to play Duquesne. They stayed in town for the Pitt game.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.