Facing an anemic and neutered Florida offense, Florida State needed just enough from all-time leading rusher Dalvin Cook to hold off the Gators. The Seminoles got more than that.
In what was likely his final game at Doak Campbell Stadium, Cook rushed 26 times for 153 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 26 yards to lead No. 14 Florida State to a 31-13 win over No. 15 Florida.
Cook’s 17-yard scoring dash in the first quarter gave Florida State a lead it would not relinquish. The teams traded field goals through the next quarter and a half until Deondre Francois found Travis Rudolph for a 46-yard scoring connection to push FSU’s lead to 17-6 at the 5:38 mark of the third quarter. A 27-yard run by fullback Freddie Stevenson pushed the lead to 24-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Marcell Harris provided the lone bright spot for Florida on the night when the defensive back — who led the Gators with 11 tackles — forced a fumble and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown with 10:45 remaining in the game. In the only moment of second-half drama, Florida forced another fumble with more than five minutes remaining, but Florida State turned the ball over on downs, turning the opportunity into an 8-yard Francois rush to put the game away for good with a minute to play.
Francois finished the night hitting 15-of-26 passes for 138 yards with a touchdown and an interception while rushing nine times for 63 yards and a score.
Austin Appleby completed 14-of-29 passes for only 109 yards, and UF mustered just 58 rushing yards on 29 carries.
Florida finished the game 0-for-12 on third down, becoming the first Florida State opponent since Louisville in 1980 to not covert a single third down.
The win allowed Florida State’s seniors to become the first class in program history to go 4-0 against Florida and Miami and pushed Jimbo Fisher to 13-1 all-time against the Seminoles’ Sunshine State rivals.
The win pushed Florida State to 9-3 on the regular season; coupled with Louisville’s loss earlier in the day, the Seminoles are now prime candidates to return to South Florida to play in the Orange Bowl. Florida (8-3, 6-2 SEC) will now prepare to face Alabama in the SEC Championship.
For the third time since winning the SEC championship nearly two weeks ago, a member of the Georgia football program has found himself on the wrong side of the law.
The Macon Telegraph and Rivals.com are both reporting Tuesday night that Latavious Brini has been arrested on a first-degree felony charge of forgery. Brini was arrested shortly after six local time earlier today and released from the Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Jail a couple of hours later after posting a $5,700 bond.
No details of what led to the arrest and charge have been released.
Brini was a three-star member of UGA’s 2017 recruiting class. The linebacker hasn’t played a down for the Bulldogs as a true freshman.
Earlier this month, Natrez Patrick and Jayson Stanley were arrested on marijuana-related charges.
The plan for success at Arizona State under AD Ray Anderson was to remove head coach Todd Graham and while keeping everything else the same — just with a head coach that was… better. And as we know, that head coach turned out to be Herm Edwards.
But not a week into his tenure, Edwards has already hit his first crossroads.
The Sun Devils announced Tuesday that defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has left the staff over family matters.
The statement from Edwards:
“While I would have liked for Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett to remain on the coaching staff, I do appreciate the fact that he has chosen not to stay based upon family reasons,” said Edwards. “Family always comes first and right now he needs to turn his attention to that. My top priorities right now going forward are to solidify our recruiting class and to assemble a defensive coaching staff. Both objectives are moving along quite well.”
The question now will be who Edwards turns to as Bennett’s replacement. As we know, the new Devils coach has not coached in a decade and not coached in college in nearly three.
So this hire will be anyone’s guess.
Retirement rumors will persist about Bill Snyder until he inevitably retires, especially at this time of year. But a report from K-StateOnline on Tuesday will push those rumors back another year.
According to the site, the Wizard will return to the Kansas State sideline in 2018:
Four separate sources have now confirmed to K-StateOnline.com that Bill Snyder plans to return to coach Kansas State in 2018.
Multiple sources also said that the mood within the Vanier Football Complex and K-State program is “good” heading into bowl season – despite speculation to the contrary.
Snyder took a leave of absence in the offseason to battle throat cancer, but he returned in time for fall camp and has not missed any games this season. A report also emerged last month that former AD John Currie attempted to bring Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt aboard as a head coach-in-waiting, but the school rebutted that by stating Snyder will be the Wildcats’ head coach until he decides he’s not.
Snyder has made no secret he’d like his son, Sean Snyder, to one day succeed him, but a number of logical candidates exist in Leavitt, Brent Venables and new UTEP head coach Dana Dimel.
Now in the ninth year of his second stint as K-State head coach, Snyder owns a record of 209-110-1 with the Wildcats. He has guided the program to two Big 12 championships and six top-10 finishes, though none since 2002.
Kansas State entered this season ranked No. 18 in the AP poll but finished the regular portion at 7-5. The Wildcats will meet UCLA in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Jason Witten was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2012, and now his foundation is attempting to start a similar honor for college football. While the William V. Campbell Trophy goes to the nation’s best scholar-athlete and the Wuerffel Trophy honors the nation’s best community servant, no other college award attempts to recognize what the Witten Man of the Year recognizes.
And what is that, you ask?
Reads the boiler plate from the Jason Witten SCORE Foundation:
Presented annually to the Division I college football player who has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field. The award honors the type of exemplary character and commitment to community, family and teammates demonstrated by Jason Witten, the 2012 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year and one of the most prominent role models in the game.
Nominees are gathered from the Sports Information Directors of each NCAA Division I football-playing institution. Three finalists are selected by the award’s board of directors, and the winner is selected by a panel of prominent former players and coaches, as well as members of the college football media.
The finalists were announced Tuesday, and they are:
- Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
- UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin
- Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph
“I am very excited to announce these three exceptional young men as the finalists for the inaugural Collegiate Man of the Year,” the former Tennessee tight end said in a statement. “Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shaquem Griffin and Mason Rudolph are outstanding leaders on the field, in the classroom and in the community, and they embody what the sport of college football is all about. It was a nearly impossible task to choose just three from all of the great student-athletes nominated. There are so many outstanding leaders who are great representatives for college football, and I commend all of the nominees for the tremendous example they set on and off the field.”
These types of awards seem to be just as much about honoring the namesake as they do the winner, but I doubt either of the three finalists would turn down the award if chosen.
The winner will beget a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s scholarship fund, and will be chosen on Feb. 22.