Western Carolina coach Mark Speir’s comments

Western Carolina quarterback Troy Mitchell (10) tries to break away from the tackle of Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams (54) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (32). (AP photo by Dave Martin)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The Western Carolina coach, Mark Speir, talked to reporters after Saturday’s 49-0 loss to Alabama.

Opening comment: “Well, congratulations to Alabama and coach Saban and his staff. Obviously, a great program and a great coaching staff, a bunch of great players and fans. They’re an excellent football team that we could not stop. We can take some positives away…We’re just proud of our players in the second half. When you’re getting into an ugly ball game like that, our players didn’t quit playing, they kept fighting. At halftime we were going to play for 30 more minutes and see where our program is at, in an infant stage where we are trying to build our program. Our players played hard and kept fighting. I’m just proud of them now that our season is done. We will get on to the 2013 schedule on Monday, but just congratulations to Alabama.”

On the speed of Alabama: “They are impressively strong. You watch film, and both of their lines, seeing them up front and live in person, I can say they are for real. We can use these three hours that we just spent down here. We could just go through it and see the concrete walls and the fans, and look at the big jumbotron. Or you can see what a championship team is really about, what they do here at Alabama with their weight room, and how their coaching staff crosses their T’s and dots their I’s. We can learn a lot here being a first-year program. If you want to be the best you have to play them, and see them live and in color.”

On their short kickoff to open the game: “We tried a little trick play hoping we could catch Alabama off guard, and get 10-12 yards to get a decent position to make a field goal. It didn’t work, and to Alabama’s credit they played sound discipline defense and created a big play.”

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