Post-Game Quotes

Mercer 59, Western Carolina 46

Five Star Stadium

Macon, Ga. – Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018

Att: 8,230


Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir

Opening Statement on the Catamount Sports Network:

“It was a tough loss. We came down and started out with a really good first half; I think our guys came down here with the intent to win. They came down and played hard. We gave up a big pass there in the first half and then the kick return for a touchdown – two big plays in the first half, you take those away you’d be sitting there in a lot better shape at halftime. Our offense stalled a little bit there in the third quarter but were able to pick it back up.”

“We’ve just got to do a better job at tackling. On defense, I thought that we did some good things, but we didn’t tackle well. We had times where we had guys there (in the right position) but just didn’t go make the play. Their backs ran hard and a couple of times, we were just throwing shoulders in there – and you can’t do that. A big back, a good running back – any running back – you’ve got to wrap him up.

“Just gave up too many big plays defensively tonight. I told our guys, we can fix that. What we can’t fix is their will to win, their will to go compete like a champion. We’ve got a month left, four games left – a lot of football and games that we can win. It’s a hurt locker room – they invested a lot into today’s game. We had a great week of practice. We’ve just got to learn to finish, got to learn to make plays. As coaches, put the right people on the field, make sure that we’re doing that and make sure we’re putting them into stuff that they can do.”

“At the end of the day, I thought that our guys played hard. They never gave up on playing. As long as we’ve got that, we can fix the other stuff. This team, as I said going off at halftime, is growing up. I just hurts to give up those big plays and that’s when the guys start doubting themselves and that’s when they start trying to do things like something’s wrong, trying to do somebody else’s job and that can result in other big plays. But, that’s part of growing up and learning and getting better as a defense.”

On the offense:

“We had a great day – but we’ve just got to be more consistent for 60 minutes. I thought that Tyrie (Adams) played really good tonight which was good to see, he’s back healthy.”

On the turning point in the game:

“We’ve just got to put it all together. I think the biggest backbreaker of it all was the kickoff return for a touchdown just before halftime. We had all the momentum in the world, but that was a huge momentum swing. But, this team has a lot of fight in them; this coaching staff has a lot of fight in them. We’re going to see on film so many positive things then we’ve just got to go correct the negative; line up and go compete against East Tennessee State next weekend at their place. I know this – our guys are going to battle.” 

On the Catamount football team:

“This is a fun group – they’re growing up every day. On that sideline today, they were all over there encouraging each other. They were fighting to the very last whistle, and when you do that, you’ve got a chance.”