Oct. 29, 2016

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Post-Game Quotes
#8 Chattanooga 38, Western Carolina 25
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. - Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016

Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir:

Opening Statements:
“You never accept a loss, but we played against an outstanding Chattanooga football team. I was proud of the fight we came back out with in the second half. I thought we ran the ball extremely well with Detrez (Newsome). He’s got the ability that he can go to the house at any time and he showed that today. I believe he rushed for nearly 300 yards – and I don’t think that has ever happened against a Chattanooga team since Coach (Russ) Huesman has been there.”

“It’s not about moral victories. I’m proud of the way that we played – we’ve just got to do it for 60 minutes. We played a penalty-free game, won the turnover battle; did the things that we needed to do. Offensively, the story of the day is that we drove the ball a lot – we’ve just got to be able to finish drives, and if we don’t, we’ve got to convert the makeable field goals. On defense, we gave up the big plays today that we haven’t given up most of the year, and you can’t win a football game giving up big plays.”

“At the end of the day, I told our guys, as long as we fight like we did, we’ve got a chance to finish this season up right – and I believe that we will.”

On RB Detrez Newsome:
“He’s got tremendous speed. One of the things we stated in trying to win this football game, we had to establish some kind of run. We had no idea that Detrez would have a night like he did tonight because this is one of the stingiest defenses in the nation – No. 1 in total defense coming into this ball game. We committed to running the ball and good things happened.”

On the defense in the first half:
“For the lack of a better word, we were just discombobulated a little bit defensively in the first half; just weren’t playing clean. You just can’t get down 31-10 against a team like Chattanooga – and that’s the lesson.”

On the Homecoming Day atmosphere:
“We had a great crowd out here again today with Matt Stillwell and the concert, the Catamount Nation, we had a lot of former players back. It just hurts to let everybody down with a loss, but there are so many people that believe in this football team.”

On next week’s meeting with VMI:
“We’ve got an excellent VMI team coming in here. Coach Scott Wachenheim does a great job there and he’s got his guys playing tremendously. It’s going to take our best effort at home on Senior Day. I want to send these seniors out right and hope the Catamount Nation will be back out in full force for our final home ball game.”