Oct. 27, 2012
Appalachian State 38, Western Carolina 27
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. - Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir:
"I'm really proud of the fight in this football team. Boy, they battled. Sometimes, we were our own worst enemy as far as one guy breaking down. But, I'm just proud of this football team. They're winners. We can't all win that football game."
"I have no doubt that we're going to be a good football team and these seniors are leaving a legacy. Sometimes when you're leaving a legacy, you don't reap the rewards until 5-to-10 years down the road and they can come back and feel like they were a part of changing and turning around a program."
"We have one more opportunity to win a Southern Conference football game next Saturday right here in Cullowhee. Our fans were awesome today. I think if we come prepared, and I have no doubt that our guys will, we'll have an opportunity to win that ballgame against Chattanooga to finish this season up."
"I'm proud of them. We just have to learn to play better disciplined football for 60 minutes. Against the teams that we play in this conference, it doesn't take but one play, one minute, one drive - I thought it was a big drive right before half where they get the touchdown. That was huge for Appalachian. You look at three or four plays in a game and there were a couple of big ones there on that drive. It makes a difference. Our guys are battling, though, and I think we're going to start making those plays and that's our mindset. I'm just proud of those guys."
On the struggles of the offense in the first half:
"We've done that a lot this year. You can overanalyze sometimes, but I felt that it was going to be key to get off to a good start because the thing about Appalachian is that they've had some troubles against triple option teams. Some of that is because of their youth and some injuries in their secondary, but against a team that's more conventional, they've got great team speed. Jeremy Kimbrough, you've got stuff open and then there comes No. 33, and we got off to a poor start. I felt like we had to get off to a good start offensively, and we didn't. We get ourselves in a hole. The big play to Deja Alexander was huge and it's a 17-7 game. It just hurts right before the half to give up points. Troy's a really good football player and, if he continues to develop, the sky's the limit for him. We just have to find a way to get out and play 60 minutes."
On the play of Appalachian State quarterback Logan Hallock:
"I know Logan. Logan's a competitor. He's a hard-nosed player. He's a coach's son; his dad's a high school coach here in North Carolina and he's grown up around it. He's the kind of guy that doesn't know he's going to get in the game, but he prepares. He did a great job preparing in case he did."
"I sometimes wish it was third and 2 instead of third and 13. In the last few ballgames, our biggest nemesis has been third and long. They converted on some draws and quarterback scrambles to keep drives alive. That's when you ought to be licking your chops and that's something that as a defense we've got to do a great job of third and long if we're going to win some football games. That's something that we're going to go work on this week. We've got an open week coming before Alabama, not that we may get them in a lot of third and longs, but we're going to practice on it for the next few weeks for sure."
On playing former team, Appalachian State:
"There's a great bunch of guys on both sides of the field. I've got a lot of respect for Coach (Jerry) Moore. He's just a class act. So many of those players are guys I coached, guys I recruited. And just because they're on a different side, I'm happy and proud for them. I wanted to beat them. There's no question about it. I want to beat them as long as we play them. You compete for three hours, but you can have a lot of respect. It just means a lot that you feel like you have their respect, and I have respect for them, and we wish them well the rest of the way."
On continuing intensity from tonight's fourth quarter next week against Chattanooga:
"It's something that our players are building. We're still building a program. You can look back at these things. These seniors can look back and be proud. Only one guy can win the race, but these guys are winners. They're setting the foundation for what they can be proud of. We had a lot of former players in that locker room and on the sideline, and they're telling those players how proud they are. That has to mean something for those former players and our current players now."
"These guys are leaving legacies. I have no doubt we'll come out and have a great week of practice. We're still building, and these young players, I'm excited about them. They're making plays all over the field. We just can't get down. You have to look beyond right now and a 1-8 season and look at what you're doing for the school you love and the program they love. All those former players, they come back because they love the program. Like I said when I first got here, it's about hard work and respect. When former players are coming back, that's a lot of respect. We see it from our alumni, Dr. Belcher, the community, this university, and the sky's the limit for this program, and I'm proud to be the head football coach at Western Carolina University."