Aug 30, 2013
Middle Tennessee 45, Western Carolina 24
Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir:
On tonight's game:
"I thought Middle Tennessee came out, had a great plan, executed it and did what they needed to do to win. My hat is off to Coach [Rick] Stockstill. He's got a great program, he's a great friend and I wish him the best of luck."
On the team's effort:
"I'm very proud of our football team. That thing could have gotten ugly right there before the half and our guys came out, battled and created some turnovers. That's something that Middle Tennessee doesn't normally do. That was a positive part, that we were able to create some turnovers that created some momentum."
On correcting mistakes:
"I thought we made a lot of those first-game errors that you always worry about, especially with a young football team. We gave up a punt return for a touchdown. We had some substitution issues that made us burn some timeouts. We're down there after Troy [Mitchell] got knocked out in the second half and we threw a pick in the red zone. You have to come away with at least a field goal. That was a big turning point."
On moving forward:
"I love this team. Never was there any finger pointing or blaming; only encouragement. We have to grow up. We played a really good Conference USA football team tonight. We were able to stand toe-to-toe with them for most of the ballgame; we just wore down at the end. That's where those extra 22 scholarships come into play. It works down there at the very end. I'm excited about our football team. We have a tough matchup next week with Virginia Tech, but then we get into SoCon play. We've got another week for these young pups to grow up, then we'll be ready for when SoCon gets here."