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Nov. 22, 2015

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |   

Post-Game Quotes
Western Carolina 24, VMI 20
Alumni Field / Foster Stadium
Lexington, Va.

Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir:
Post-game comments:
“I’m first off thankful for this senior class. I don’t know if we’ll get to play anymore or not this year – that’s up to a group up in Indianapolis – but I’m just thankful for this senior class. For them to be able to go out with a final regular season game with a win. It’s been a hard week for me. My daddy, Roy (Speir) is up in heaven looking down on us, and he was our 12th man today.”

“I’m just proud of this football team. We came out and just didn’t play well today – and VMI had a lot to do with that. You look at the service academies and military schools like VMI, and what they’ve done this year. They’ve got a heck of a football team. They’ve got the right man in Coach (Scott) Wachenheim. But, just proud of our football team; a second-consecutive, seven-win season.”

“We had a great crowd today, a great following. Just proud of this football team. They just kept battling. And at the end of the day, we always talk about finding enough to get just one-more point than they do, and it goes down to the wire today to get a ‘W.’ Again, for all that this senior class – our first recruiting class – has been through, to finish the regular season by making a play at the end of the game; that’s just fitting to go out with that kind of win. Just proud of them; and now, we’ve got to sit back and wait to see if we’ll get to play some more.”

On looking at potential for a FCS playoff at-large bid:
“We’ve got a good case, I think. We’re 7-4. We lost to two SEC teams and we lost to two, top 20 FCS teams. A team we lost two just beat a SEC school. And all four of our losses were on the road.”

“We came out of the Texas A&M game, we were beat up. We didn’t have (starting TE) Tyler Sexton; we only had one scholarship running back today – but we’ve only been playing with one scholarship running back the past three games in Detrez (Newsome) because of injuries. WR Spearman (Robinson) was out today, Tahjai Watt was out today. We get all of those guys healthy and get an opportunity, I’d sure like to see this football team play one more time. And I think we’re deserving of it with two SEC losses and two FCS top 25 losses. It’s not in our hands – but this football team did all that it could today to help our cause.”

On looking to the future of the program:
“You learn a lot of lessons in a game like today like to never quit and how to prepare. How to play in places where you’ve never played before, against a new coaching staff. But, at the end of the day, you’ve got to control what you can control. That’s why we had ‘TNP’ on our headgear this year. That’s all we can control. What our team has got to learn is we don’t want to let a group of men in Indianapolis or group of football teams across the country decide whether we get to play again or not. We’ve got to control our own destiny.”

Final thoughts:
“I appreciate the Catamount Nation and all my friends – even in Boone, N.C. and across western North Carolina – that sent out a bunch of texts, phone calls, flowers, Emails at the passing of my dad (Roy Speir) this week. We’re a family. And I appreciate the Catamount Nation more than you know. I just hope we get to play one more time. I appreciate you guys.”

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