Oct. 20, 2012
Elon 42, Western Carolina 31
Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir:
"I'm proud of the way we finished. As awful and as bad as we played the first half, we still had a chance in the second half. To our players credit, to our coaches credit, we came out in the second half - still didn't play a great game - but they didn't quit and gave us an opportunity in the fourth quarter to be talking about going and winning."
"We just gave up way too many big plays in the first half in the passing game. You can't do that - we know they're a good team. Just a disappointing loss, to play as bad as we did. If you did anything in that first half, we would have had a chance to go to out there and win it."
On the play of true freshman quarterback Troy Mitchell:
"I'm awfully proud of Troy Mitchell. He didn't practice all week; he's got a strained ligament in his foot and was in a boot. He didn't take snaps (in practice) and Eddie (Sullivan) took the snaps all week. We still weren't sure if he could go even today. It finally got to where Troy said `I want to go.' We put him in there and boy did he spark our football team. He is the leader of our football team, I don't care if he is a true freshman. Our team rallies around him."
On the youth movement on the team, in the program:
"We're getting our leadership right now from our freshmen. That's not really good for us now, but that is good for us in the future. Spearman (Robinson) plays with a lot of passion; I thought Jaleel Lorquet had a good game, another freshman. Nothing in the rulebook says a senior has to be a leader. We've got some great guys, some great seniors. I don't want to downplay our seniors, it's just right now, some of those freshmen are the guys are making plays and really sparking us."
On moving forward from this loss:
"We've still got two games left in Southern Conference play. We're going to coach these guys like they're 7-1 not 1-7. It's the only way we know how to get better. You can't go in there and start cashing in for next year. We're going to see who responds. Monday practice can't get here fast enough."
On the support of WCU fans:
"Look forward to a big crowd next week against Appalachian State. I just thank all of the fans for sticking in with us and supporting us. For a 1-7 team, our fan base and the support, you guys are unbelievable and deserve better, but we're going to get it there for you. We love you and we appreciate the Catamount Nation."