When you have 15 ACC championships since 1992 and won a national championship in 2013, losing 3 games in a season is not really acceptable. Florida State, by their standards, is not having a great season.
Like the rest of his Seminoles team, super Running Back Dalvin Cook got off to a slow start. Against Ole Miss in their opener, Cook did not have a bad game and actually ran for 99 yards. But, he did make up for not going over the century mark, by catching 7 passes for 101 yards.
After getting way behind, the Noles came storming back just annihilating Ole Miss in the second half and pulled out an impressive win, 45-34.
Dalvin Cook was one of the first names out of anyone’s mouth before the season started when talk of the Heisman Trophy came up. Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Christian McCaffrey of Stanford and Leonard Fournette of LSU were the other names mentioned. But, like always, as another season got going new
names would emerge and others would fade away. McCaffrey has faded into the background, because of the loss of Quarterback Kevin Hogan and the new Offensive Linemen have not played up to standards. Fournette has struggled with injury, and Watson has just been slow getting started.
The new front runner is Louisville Quarterback Lamar Jackson who has just been incredible, so far. Some talk has been about Washington Husky Quarterback Jake Browning. But, maybe the biggest surprise is Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers who plays Outside Linebacker, returns punts and plays some Quarterback in the Wildcat formation or anywhere else they can find to get the ball in his hands.
Dalvin Cook was going to have to have some huge games to stay in the running for that coveted Heisman.
For their second game, Florida State played a Junior Varsity team in Charleston Southern. No offense to any Charleston Southern fans, but they don’t belong on the same field with a good ACC team. Plus, about 14 of their best players had been booted off the team only hours before the game started. This was a classic mismatch.
Cook only had 83 yards rushing. However, he also only carried the ball 11 times and scored 2 Touchdowns.
A game like this is good for back up players getting some game action. But, it’s not really that good for the starters. Most fans think the games are boring, but huge fans such as myself don’t mind them all that much because I get to see some of the younger guys that are up and coming to get a shot at playing.
Then, the real nightmare hit. With so much media attention because of the emergence of Lamar Jackson and Louisville, highly ranked Florida State had a really big test early in the season. If the game was a test, Louisville earned an A+++++ while Florida State got a huge F.
The Cardinals just humiliated the proud Seminoles, 63-20. It was just ugly and Louisville controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Dalvin Cook was held to 54 yards rushing on 16 carries and 1 catch for 8 yards. Some Polls had Florida
State ranked as highly as number 2.
Some commentators wondered what Florida State would do with their worst loss in history. How would they respond?
South Florida was next on their schedule. Before snickering, the Bulls of South Florida are a good team. They are 7-2 on the season with losses only coming to Florida State and Temple. They’ve beaten Navy, Cincinnati, Syracuse and East Carolina.
Dalvin Cook ran wild against South Florida last year, and he did the same thing this year. Last season, Cook ran for 266 yards and 3 Touchdown against the Bulls. This year, he ran for 267 yards and 2 Touchdowns. He also had 4 receptions for 62 yards. I’d bet Cook wishes he could play South Florida every week.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina were next up for the Seminoles and Cook ran for 140 yards and 3 Touchdowns. The Seminoles lost another game after making a game of it when the Tar Heels jumped out to a big lead. North Carolina kicked a Field Goal with no time left for the win, 35-37.
The Florida State Seminoles fell to 3-2 on the season and that just doesn’t feel right.
A bad thing for Florida State was their biggest rival, Miami, was next on the horizon. This rivalry has had so many great games over the decades and the 2016 version was no different with the Noles blocking an extra point attempt to hold on for a hard fought, 20-19 victory. It was a great game to watch and Dalvin Cook turned the game around with a 59 yard Touchdown reception which was his only catch of the night. Cook also ran for 150 yards on 27 carries.
Cook ran for 115 yards against the tough defense of Wake Forest in a closer than expected 17-6 win.
This past Saturday night, Dalvin Cook and his Seminoles went up against ACC favorite, Clemson. The unbeaten Clemson Tigers remained unbeaten with a controversial 37-34 win over Florida State.
But, Dalvin Cook was sensational with 169 yards rushing and another long run called back. He did finish
with 169 yards rushing and 4 Touchdowns.
With that performance, Cook topped the 1,000 yard mark with 1,069 yards rushing at just over 6 yards per attempt. He also has 11 Rushing Touchdowns.
Cook is a very good target for his Quarterback coming out of the backfield and he has 23 receptions for 371 yards and another Touchdown.
Just like that, Dalvin Cook managed to play his way back into Heisman consideration. At this point, Cook would have to be considered an outside shot, but he has a better shot than some of the other early candidates.
I’m sure Cook would give away any shot at the Heisman Trophy for those 3 losses to be wins.
Cook has added about 15 pounds of muscle since he arrived in Tallahassee, but he still has that tremendous speed and acceleration. There’s no doubt that Dalvin Cook makes himself available for the NFL Draft and he will be gone in the first round. Cook reminds me of Jamaal Charles that has been a star in Kansas City. Cook is a little beefier than Charles, but he has that same explosiveness as Charles has always had. I believe that Cook will have a similar type NFL career as Jamaal Charles, but time will tell.
I will say that Lamar Jackson still leads in the Heisman race, with the trendy pick being Jabrill Peppers right now. Cook is probably sitting about third place, but a lot of football remains.
No matter where he finishes in the race, Dalvin Cook is still a very fun guy to watch. I’m anxious to see if he runs the 40 in the NFL Combine as well.
Dalvin Cook is an impressive Running Back.