Post-Game Quotes

ETSU 45, Western Carolina 43 (3OT)

William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium

Johnson City, Tenn. – Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

Att: 7,121

Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir

Opening Statement on the Catamount Sports Network:

“It was a disappointing loss to be where we were with five or six minutes to go in the ball game. We just couldn’t get a stop over there last drive. Ian (Berryman) punted them down inside the 20, gave us a long field. Credit ETSU, they get that thing into overtime. We do a great job in that first overtime, getting the interception. Then, we went down, got it in the middle and I wanted the field goal – felt like Will (Horton) would make it. But it was a wet field; we wanted to kick on third down that way if there was a bad snap, a bobbled snap we could fall on it and have a fourth down to kick again. We just missed that, but kept battling. When it got down to having to go for two in the third (overtime), they brought pressure. We had a guy coming open but just didn’t have the time to get the ball to him.”

“I’m just proud of these guys’ effort. They came in here to the No. 25 team in the country’s place, took them to triple overtime. I just hurt for these players, hurt for our program. It would have been a big win, would have gone a long ways. But we’ve got a bunch of players with great character; they’ll bounce back. I just thank the Good Lord for these players and the opportunity to be at Western Carolina. I don’t know what else to say other than I just hurt for these players.”

On the difficulty of the loss, postgame talk in the locker room:

“First, I told them I was proud of them. I was disappointed for them; just heart-broken for them because they fought hard. Man, they were having fun out there. It was the first time in a while that you’ve seen this team having fun, believing. You’re sitting there, playing a great opponent. But I told them, these are the lessons that you learn in life – not just football, but in life. I want them to feel this feeling of having a game won – but you’ve got to finish.”

“You’ve got some guys that are going to be around this program for a long time, especially on that defensive side of the football because we’ve got a lot of young guys over there. They played their butts off and I told them, where you didn’t make plays tonight you’ll go make them the rest of your life if you learn from tonight that you can never let off.”

“It’s hard to talk to a team after a game like this other than to tell them that you love them, care about them. I just hurt for them. We’ll get back – and I know what they’ll do. They’ll go practice their butts off this week. We get to come back home this week – we’ve had four of our last five on the road, so it’ll be good to be back in Cullowhee and get ready for a triple option team in The Citadel which has a good football team. Every day, this team is growing up; some of the best lessons learned in football and in life are the hardest lessons and we learned a hard lesson tonight.”