Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir

Opening Statement:

“Number one, congratulations to Coach (Dave) Doeren and the Wolfpack. They’re a good football team, well-coached and they’ve got a chance to have a really good football team if they stay healthy and the right breaks happen. We had a lot of distractions this week with some stuff happening within the program to where we left some guys back at home. I thought we came out and played extremely hard in the first half. Our guys fought and battled. We just ran out of gas in the second half, back breakers. We turned things sloppy when we had the opportunity to get them out on the punt and one guy didn’t come off of the field. We ended up with 12 guys on the field, and it turned into a 98-yard, 17-play drive. We just kind of broke our backs. Until that point, I was proud of the adversity our guys fought through. We can see some stuff off of film that gives us hope that we have improved from week one to week two. We played a lot of players, played a lot of young players. I thought our freshman punter (Brandon Dickerson) did an outstanding job for a true freshman in this kind of environment with the guys that were coming at him all day. Our coverage units were much better from week one to week two. I thought Will Jones did an admirable job coming in and managing. He didn’t throw any picks, didn’t turn the ball over. We’ve just got to be better in the red zone. NC State was 7-for-7, and we didn’t get in the red zone.”