Oct. 26, 2013
Western Carolina Head Coach Mark Speir:
"What a night. I want to thank the good Lord for allowing me to be in Cullowhee and Western Carolina. I love this place and this university. It's been a struggle; the program has been really down. We had Doctor [David] Belcher and Athletic Director Randy Eaton in our locker room and gave them a game ball. They are the guys that have changed the atmosphere and the energy here."
"We were in this same situation last week and this week we didn't lose faith. I am so proud of these guys to finally get that win and taste that victory. This was a great way to give back to all our fans and former players who came back here for Homecoming, and how the Catamount Nation has hung with us. This is just a culmination of a lot of things."
First thought when Richard Sigmon hit the game-winning field goal:
[pause] "Thank you Jesus. I told Richard Sigmon, they are going to call time out; put a smile on your face and a song in your heart and enjoy the moment. This is what kickers grow up dreaming about. I just slapped him on the head and he grinned at me. He's struggled some this year. I am proud of (Richard) Sigmon and that whole front line. That kick was true through."
Talk about the first half of the game as opposed to the second half:
"We just came out so lethargic. We didn't have that mojo on either side of the ball. There wasn't anything wrong, we just couldn't get into a flow or a rhythm. I got on them at halftime. We haven't quit since we have been here and we were going to come out in the second half with great energy. We believed in them. We just picked up that energy in the second half. You could feel it on the sidelines; guys were encouraging each other. I thought our defense played well down the stretch. We came out and won the toss in overtime and the defense came up with some big plays. When it came down to setting up for the field goal, we just knew we had to get the ball into the middle of the field."
Talk about Troy Mitchell's play in the second half:
"I told Troy to just go out there relax and play. I told him before we went out on the field in the second half that these were defining moments. I told him in the huddle, before the game-tying touchdown, let's not let this moment define us lets define the moment. Let's go break their will right now. The guys went out and did it."
Western Carolina sophomore quarterback Troy Mitchell:
Talk about that last series in the regulation resulting in tying touchdown:
"First of all, my offensive line stayed in there and helped me out. I wasn't trying to get the big plays - I was just trying to move the sticks and get a first down and take care of the ball."
What was the feeling when the ball went through the uprights for the win?:
"It was the best feeling in the world. We have been through so much and working so hard. I started crying when the kick went through the up rights. Probably one of the best feelings I've had in a long time."
What did this win mean for the seniors?:
"First thing I did was find Brian Johnson and I hugged him. He wanted this win so much. After the game I told him this is for you. It meant a lot for our seniors."
Senior linebacker, Courtland Carson
On the difference in tonight's close game:
"I thought there were still things we could have done better, but tonight we just put it all together. We have a great kicker and utilized him at the right time."
On the defensive play in the second half:
"I told the defense to keep their composure and watch for the big plays. We studied Elon all week and knew what they were going to do and who they were going to try and get the ball to."
"It's my last year and it's homecoming and we got the win. I know I can wake up in the morning and have nothing to worry about. I feel good."
Junior kicker, Richard Sigmon
Had you ever kicked a game-winning field goal before?:
"I kicked a game-winner in high school. I have never done anything like this in my college career."
What was going through your mind before kicking the game-winning field goal?:
"I was slightly nervous. The team had done their part getting the defensive stop, so I knew it was now up to me. I felt pretty good about the ball when I got it up in the air. It was the best feeling in the world to know I could do this for all the fans who came back for Homecoming and the seniors who had wanted this for so long."