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Western Carolina vs. The Citadel - Post-Game Quotes:

Sept. 14, 2013

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Post-Game Quotes The Citadel 28, Western Carolina 21

Western Carolina Head Coach Mark Speir:

Opening Statement:
"Congratulations to The Citadel; they came in here and did a nice job. They played a good football game and executed on offensive, created on a turnover and a touchdown on special teams. They shut us out in the first half and created a hole too deep for us to climb out. I'm proud of the way our guys fought back, but we made way too many mistakes in assignments and alignments and that is our fault as coaches. It is inexcusable and we did not give ourselves an opportunity to win. I'm proud of the way we fought back. We gave ourselves a chance to tie it up in the fourth quarter, but The Citadel stepped up to the occasion. We didn't and they won the ball game."

On stopping The Citadel's option offensive attack:
"We had a great week of practice. Sometimes you get youth in there, but we are proud to have them. I'm not making excuses at all, but you can't simulate that against a team that knows how to run it. Especially in the first half we were bad out of shape. To be honest with you, some of it was our older guys. I did not think our secondary fit very well, or our linebackers. I guess we let the moment of the game get too big for us, and that is my fault. Especially in our back seven and that showed up in a big way. Our back seven are some of our older guys."

On the team battling back in the second half:
"My opinion of this team has not changed. We are going to be a good football team, no question about it. We have good athletes, we have good people, good students character guys. It is our job as coaches to get them over that step. It is like teaching a baby to take the first step. Those other steps come a whole lot easier. Our biggest issue this year is we cannot get off to a fast start. We haven't scored in the first quarter and we give up big plays in the first quarter. Then our guys settle in and start playing."

"We have to continue to keep the energy these guys play with. We have to continue to focus on our schemes, our disciple and our composure. That is what I thought we lost in the first quarter and that is my fault."

On the start of Saturday's game, costly penalties:
"The first half we are driving down in the red zone and we had a holding and personal foul, which I believe was a hands to the face. We find ways right now to self-destruct on offense and that's something we just have to continue to coach to continue to teach these young men the game of football. They were confident and it was a somber locker room. They expected to win. This was the first our players had no disbelief about coming in here and winning this ballgame. They are hurt . I told them we have five more Southern Conference games. All of our goals are still ahead of us and it starts Monday, cleaning it up. You can't expect to win a ball game with double-digit penalties. It is something you have to clean up."

Western Carolina sophomore quarterback Troy Mitchell:

On the differences in the first and second halves:
"In the second half, we went to running back and tight end for extra protection they gave us more protection. Things opened up a little bit more for the running backs and I had a little bit more time to throw the ball. I think it was nerves at the beginning. In the second half, we started to calm down and play football."

"From an offensive standpoint, we have to start fast against a team that likes to hold the ball for a long time. We have to start faster and a get on a roll earlier."

"We have to go look at the film, learn from it and come out next week and have a successful game. We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but at the end of the day it was a loss. We have to go look at the film and get better each week."

Redshirt senior defensive lineman, Andre Shishkin:

On The Citadel's offensive attack:
"We knew it was coming and we practiced it, but sometimes you can't simulate the speed which we saw. I feel like they are good team and they came out strong early. I feel like we started picking it up when it was too late."