Bulldog Quarterback Leads State Against visiting Crimson Tide

Dak Prescott has a victory against every SEC Western Division rival...but one. And this Saturday gives the Bulldog quarterback his last and maybe best shot at scoring a win over Alabama.

Prescott discussed this weekend's SEC showdown Monday, as well as how the Bulldog team is coping with the tragic death of freshman defensive lineman Keith Joseph Jr.

As a team leader, how do you try to deal with Keith Joseph passing?
"It is sad. You have to be there for somebody, be a brother. It is something that I don't think any of us have been through. I know I haven't. If you have lost family members I guess you can relate in a way. Losing a teammate, and such a good guy who worked hard and made me better each and every day, losing him so young, it hurts. Coach Mullen said it best, there is no certain way to feel, no certain way to get over it. You just have to play for him and think about him in things that you do. It allows us to think about life and how fast it can be taken away from you."

What was your interaction with Keith, Sr, and what were your impressions of him?
"I met him at camp and knew it was a good guy. I know they had a great father-son relationship. I think many people can look at that and feel for that. It is hard, it is hard for their family. I give prayers to their family. It is just a hard situation."

How emotional do you think this week is going to be for the team?
"It will be emotional because it is an emotional situation. But we can't let it be an obstacle. We just have to do what we do. We need to have good days at practice and get better."

How different is it going into the Alabama game compared to last year when you were ranked number 1?
"It is a big game. They are a good team. I don't think there is much difference in the way we will think about going into the game. They are a solid team. We are a good team."

Your team is one of the top offensive teams when it comes to scoring once you are in the redzone. What is it you see and what is it like when your team gets into the redzone and are so close to scoring?
"You just kind of taste it. You just go back to your gameplan. You can't think that you are down in the redzone. It happens to fast. You just have to react to the plays and the defenses they give you, stuff that you have seen on film all week long. Then, you just have to execute. "

Obviously this is a big game with big atmosphere. How important is it to have this game at home?
"It is very important. As I said, they are a solid team. Having that home field advantage, I know that Davis Wade is going to be a great atmosphere come Saturday. We are excited for it. That just makes it a little better for us."

When you see Bama on film what do they do so well defensively?
"They have a great front seven. I think their defensive line does a great job of getting off the ball, getting off their blocks. They create holes in space for their linebackers to come in and fill in."

You told SECNation you learned a lot from the Alabama game (last year). How are you a better player and how does that better prepare you for this game?
"I think I am better in every aspect of the quarterback position, almost gameplan more than anything. Watching tendencies of their defensive backs, kind of putting the clock in my head, get the ball out, give our team the best looks for certain plays on the defensive plays they give us. Really, the gameplan I guess you could say."

I know there has been a lot of talk about the run you guys are on since the Texas A&M game. Coach Mullen mentioned the young players and the leaders stepping up. Do you remember what it was like or the change in the mentality of the young players?
"Yeah, they just had to step up and make plays, quit looking around for the older guys to make the plays. It doesn't matter how many years you have been around here, it you can go make a play, then go make it and be a playmaker. I think we have had a lot of guys accept that and accept their roles and go out and make plays on both sides of the ball and on special teams. I think we are coming together at the right time."

After losing several players to injuries during the Texas A&M game and also losing that game, how did you rally the team?
"The young guys had to step up. The offensive line and d-line had to come in and play their positions, play some valuable reps in some big games. Offensively, Malik (Dear) stepped up. Before he went down, he stepped up. We've had guys who have accepted their roles and bought in."

Last year after the (Alabama) game you said you felt your team just ran out of time. And you can't turn the ball over like that. A year later you are about to face Alabama again. Does that sit with you knowing how last year's game went?
"Yeah, it was a loss. Every loss will stick with you. But yeah, going into this game you can't have turnovers. That is a big part of the game for both teams, and it always is. We are going to go in and execute the gameplan as best we can against a very good team."

Looking back at your career, setting a lot of records and basically beating all of the SEC teams except for Alabama, what opportunity does this game present for you?
"Exactly what you said, to beat them. And I can't say it is something that I haven't thought about that I have beaten every SEC team except for them. And I want to go do it. There is no better time to do it than my last year here in front of my own crowd."

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