Bulldog Quarterback Looks at Arkansas Matchup, Remaining Season Goals

Suddenly, reality is setting in. The senior season is two weeks plus a bowl game from ending. But Dak Prescott isn’t in a reflective mood just yet. There’s work to do.

“I want to win out,” the Bulldog quarterback said.

Winning out means winning at Arkansas this weekend (6:00). Mississippi State makes the first trip to Fayetteville since 2003 so no current Dogs and for that matter few of their coaches have ever visited there.

Prescott spoke following Tuesday’s practice about this matchup, getting all his receivers healthy, and Bulldog ambitions for the rest of 2015.


What do you see from Arkansas’ defense? “It’s a good defense. They’re not too complicated schematically, but they do a good job of getting after the ball. Another good challenge on the road in the SEC.”


How does going to a new stadium to this team affect how you plan? “Not at all. We’ll go expecting to use a silent cadence. I guess we’ll transition if we don’t have to once we get there, but it’s a SEC stadium. I’m sure we’ll have to. So, no difference in game planning.”


State is 3-1 on the road, what makes this a good road team? “I mean, we do a good job of gameplanning, preparing or using a silent cadence or whatever it is. And I think more so than anything on those road games we started off fast and got a good jump on things. So we’re just able to play in our tempo, play within our rhythm. And I don’t really get the away crowd an advantage of getting into the game, of getting loud and causing us problems.”


After the last game have you noticed a chip on the offensive line’s shoulders? “Ah, yeah, I’m sure they’ll get after it. I’m sure they’re not proud of that effort. I know I’m not. So I know we’ll come out with that chip on our shoulder and ready to get that respect back.”


What is it like having an upbeat guy like Gabe Myles? “It’s good. You need a lot more like him. He’s got a lot of energy. I mean if you see him walking around campus he’s dancing! So he’s a happy guy and he always brings it. It’s good to have him on the team.”


Coach Gonzales said he’s exciting having all the receivers back, how do you feel having all your weapons available again? “Oh just as excited as Coach G is. I promise you that. Gabe came back but Malik (Dear) is hard to tackle, get him in space. With having that whole group it’s so deep in talent and athleticism that it’s easy to get the ball to them.”


What do Gabe and Malik offer the offense? “Just their speed laterally. And Malik is deceivingly fast. You don’t think he’s moving fast but he is, and he’s hard to tackle. And Gabe is a little speedster, a guy that has great cuts and sees the field well. So get them in the backfield or throw it to them on the perimeter and let them run.”


Two years Arkansas has gotten a lead and shortened the game. Is there a sense of urgency to get out to a big start? “Yeah, it’s going to be vital to do that. Especially with them on their win streak and playing hot right now, beating two good SEC teams. They’re going to try to come out and get that lead and make us play right into their gameplan. But it’s important for us to start off fast and make them play behind, throw the ball more than they want to and do things out of their comfort zone.”


How has your senior season gone so far? “There’s some ups and downs. But it still has a chance to be a very successful year. We can match what we did last year, a 10-3 season. So we still have a lot to play for, a good bowl game. And of course to get that trophy back here at the end of the regular season.”


Have you guys talked about that as a team after the end of last season? “I mean, Coach Mullen has touched on it. Just after every game we look ahead and see what we’ve got left. Just like I said, obviously knocking ourselves out of the SEC hunt with the loss last weekend, that we’ve still got a chance. If we win out we’re 10-3 just as we were last season. So that’s a pretty successful year.”


Do you take not scoring a touchdown last week to motivate you this week? “Yeah. I don’t know if I’ve ever started a game and not scored a touchdown in my life. Yeah, that wasn’t easy sitting on me. I know the offense as well. So it’s important for us to get back and it really starts now with practice and get that rhythm and getting that back so we can go out there and score Saturday.”


How have you seen Donald Gray develop? “He’s great. I knew back when he came in from juco early in the spring that he was very, very talented. Strong hands, I mean the catches he makes on Saturday he’s been making all off-season. I told y’all before, I had to get on him in off-season for catching the ball with one hand. But now he’s getting the game experience, he’s understanding the game speed and he’s coming along to be a big-time guy.”


What was he doing in off-season? “It was just catching every ball one-handed. I had to get on to him, I mean you can use two! The hands are there!”


With three games remaining are you thinking about finishing out strong to further your legacy? “Obviously, it’s my last two regular season games; one road game, one home game. So yeah, I want to go out with two wins. And win out. Like I said, it’s my last one so that’s the way I want to be remembered.”


Have you been invited to any all-star games? “I was invited to the Senior Bowl. I’ll make a decision real soon.”

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