Dalvin Cook keeping FSU firmly in playoff picture
The Florida State Seminoles may have lost their former Heisman-quarterback when Jameis Winston left for the NFL, but they are still a team very much in the playoff picture once again this year. There are several reasons for that, with new signal caller Everett Golson, our eighth-highest graded quarterback so far this year, and standouts on defense like cornerback Jalen Ramsey. However, the true star this year has been running back Dalvin Cook.
Cook has already racked up 955 rushing yards, and added another 131 as a receiver, as he thrives as the focal point of the Florida State offense, scoring 11 touchdowns. He’s averaging an eye popping 8.7 yards per carry, with 4.7 of those yards coming after contact. We’ve seen him dominate periods within games, and after being held to just 28 yards in the first half against Louisville on Saturday, he broke the contest open with a stunning touchdown run on 1st-and-10 with 13:22 remaining in the third quarter.
For the season, he has now forced 34 missed tackles as a runner, and continues to power the Seminoles towards the College Football Playoff. However, they have two big hurdles to clear before then. First up is Clemson on the road on Nov. 7, with both teams unbeaten and vying to win the ACC Atlantic Division for a place in the conference championship game. The Tigers won’t back down without a fight, and with standout defenders in defensive end Shaq Dawson (+15.9) and linebacker Ben Boulware (+19.6), they’ll be one of the toughest challenges that Cook and the Florida State offense will face all year.
The Seminoles end the regular season on the road in Gainesville with a rivalry match-up against the Florida Gators, whose only loss of the year came on Saturday at the hands of Heisman Trophy favorite Leonard Fournette and the LSU Tigers. The Gators’ tough defense couldn’t stop Fournette—Cook will present them with a similar challenge.
On top of this, they potentially have the ACC Championship game, but with Cook running as well as he is, Florida State remains firmly in the College Football Playoff picture.