Video: Dak Prescott

Mississippi State senior quarterback Dak Prescott talks about this week’s showdown with Alabama in Starkville and the emotional toll the death of Keith Joseph Jr. will have on the team.

On leading the team after Keith Joseph’s passing …

“It’s sad. You have to be there for somebody and be brother. It’s something I don’t think any of us have been through. I know I haven’t. It’s hard. Having lost family members, I guess you can relate in a way, but losing a teammate and such a good guy that worked hard and made me better each and every day, losing him so young hurts. Coach (Dan) Mullen said it best, ‘There’s no certain way to feel or any way to get over it. You just have to play for him and think about him in the things you.’ It allows us to think about life and how fast it can be taken from us.”

On interacting with Keith Joseph, Sr. …

“I met him at camp and knew he was a good guy. I knew they had a great father-son relationship. I think many people can look to that and feel for that. It’s hard for their family, and I feel for the family. Prayers to their family. It’s just a hard situation.”

On how emotional this week will be for the team…

“It will be emotional. It’s an emotional situation, but we can’t let it be an obstacle. We have to do as Keith would do and go hard every day in practice and get better.”

On difference in preparation against Alabama last year compared to this year…

“It’s a big game. They’re a good team. I don’t think there will be much of a difference in the way we go about heading into the game. They are a solid team and we’re a good team. We’re ready for a good game.”

On red zone offense success…

“You kind of taste it. You have to just go back to the game plan and you can’t really think down in the red zone. It happens way too fast. You just have to react to the plays and the defenses they give you and the stuff you’ve seen all week in film. At that point, you just have to execute.”

On having home-field advantage against Alabama…

“It’s very important. They’re a solid team and to have that advantage, I know Davis Wade is going to be a great atmosphere come Saturday. We’re excited for it. It just makes it a little better for us.”

On Alabama’s defense…

“They have a great front seven. I think their D-line does a great job of getting off the ball, playing to the blocks and getting off of blocks. They create holes and spaces for the linebackers to come in and fill in. That front seven plays well together.”

On growing and developing since the Alabama game last year…

“I think I’m better in every aspect of the quarterback position. Almost game planning more so than anything – watching tendencies on their defensive backs, putting a clock in my head of when to get the ball out, get our team the best looks on certain plays with the defenses they give us.”

On younger players developing as the season progresses…

“They had to step up and make plays. Quit looking for older guys to make plays. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been here or how many games you’ve played, if you can make a play then make a play. Be a playmaker and don’t wait on it. A lot of guys accept that and accept their role. Guys are going out there and making plays on both sides of the ball and on special teams. I think we’re just coming together at the right time.”

On last year’s loss to Alabama …

“Every loss sticks with you. You’re going to think about it. Going into this game, we can’t have turnovers. It’s a big part of the game for both teams and always is. We’re just going to go in and try to execute the game plan the best we can against a very good team.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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