Associated Press

Dalvin Cook shines as No. 12 Florida State beats Miami for a sixth straight time


If the season ended today, a guy in Louisiana would walk away with the Heisman Trophy. No argument there. But Florida State running back Dalvin Cook would be in New York, sitting right next to him.

The sophomore from Miami poured in a monster effort to lead his Seminoles past his hometown team, as No. 12 Florida State survived a comeback effort to edge Miami 29-24 Saturday night in Tallahassee. Cook set a Florida State record for rushing yards against Miami by carrying 22 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns while also hauling in three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown.

He made his mark early, taking an option pitch from Everett Golson and racing 72 yards for a touchdown to give Florida State a 7-0 lead, then hauling in a 36-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 14-3 not 10 minutes into the game.

Miami responded, though, climbing from a 17-3 second-quarter deficit and a 20-10 halftime hole to eventually grab a 24-23 lead after Brad Kaaya hit Stacy Coley for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 10:02 remaining. But Cook answered – again – posting consecutive 23-yard runs, the second to paydirt, to put the ‘Noles back on top with 6:44 to play.

Miami touched the ball twice more, but never managed to penetrate Florida State territory on either touch, as the Seminoles’ front harassed Kaya throughout.

Kaaya was great in a second straight close-but-no-Cuban effort against Florida State, hitting 29-of-49 throws for 405 yards and three touchdowns. His right arm was the entirety of Miami’s offense; Joseph Yearby led the ‘Canes’ ground efforts with 15 carries for 33 yards.

Golson turned in easily his best effort as a Seminole with 291 yards and a touchdown on 25-of-33 passing to go with 14 yards on the ground. But his exploits took a backseat to Cook, who registered his second 200-plus yard game and his third multi-touchdown outing of the young season.

The win pushes Florida State to 5-0 on the season (3-0 ACC) with wins in their last 27 ACC outings and now 34 triumphs in 35 tries – and sixth straight victory over their rivals from the south.

For Miami and Al Golden, the loss drops the Hurricanes to 3-2 on the season (0-1) in the ACC and, most importantly, 0-fer against Florida State and 0-fer against teams that finished the season ranked in the top 25.

Miami hosts Virginia Tech next week, while Florida State hosts Louisville.

WR Weston Bridges is fourth Michigan State player to enter portal

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In the offseason, Weston Bridges changed positions.  Midway through the 2019 season, it appears Bridges is now set to change schools.

On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Bridges indicated that he has decided to take his leave of Michigan State and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere.  It has subsequently been confirmed that the wide receiver is headed into the NCAA transfer database.

A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Bridges was rated as the No. 31 running back in the country and the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  During the spring this year, Bridges moved from running back to receiver.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Bridges carried the ball 16 times for 53 yards last season.  He was suspended for a late-September game because of unspecified violations of team rules.

Bridges is the fourth MSU football player to enter the portal since the 2019 season kicked off, joining linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle (HERE) as well as a pair of running backs in Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE).

Louisville’s season-opening QB starter to undergo year-ending surgery

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Jawon Pass began the 2019 season as Louisville’s starter under center.  After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, the redshirt junior will end it on the sidelines.

Pass suffered what turned out to be diagnosed as a case of turf toe in the season-opening loss to Notre Dame.  It wasn’t severe enough, however, to keep the starting quarterback out of the Week 2 win over Eastern Kentucky.

The past four games, though, Pass has been sidelined because of the injury.  Tuesday, it was confirmed by the football program that, as some have speculated, Pass will undergo surgery and, as a result, miss the remainder of the 2019 season.

With Pass sidelined, Malik Cunningham had started all four games in his place.  The redshirt sophomore, though, has been dealing with his own injuries, including a knee issue, that at least temporarily knocked him out of a pair of games.

True freshman Evan Conley replaced Cunningham both times, and was even named as the ACC’s Quarterback and Rookie of the Week for his performance in the upset of Wake Forest this past weekend.

For the season, Cunningham has completed 44-of-66 passes (66.7 percent) for 820 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception.  Conley is at a 64.9 completion percentage on his 37 attempts, throwing for 422 yards, four touchdowns and a pick.  Cunningham is the Cardinals third-leading rusher with 226 yards, while Conley is fifth with 84.

As of today, head coach Scott Satterfield has not named a starter for this weekend’s game against No. 3 Clemson.

USC’s leading rusher set for knee surgery

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Vavae Malepeai tolerated the pain as long as he could, until he couldn’t.

A knee injury sidelined Malepeai for most of USC’s summer camp.  Even as he had played — and played well — in all six games, the issue lingered on into the regular season; this weekend, the pause button was hit on Malepeai’s year as Clay Helton confirmed that the running back will undergo surgery to repair the damage to his knee.

No timetable for a return was given.

“Vavae is a warrior,” the head coach said according to the Los Angeles Times. “[He was] dealing with a sore knee and really fighting through it for his team. It’s just gotten to the point where it’s gotten too sore, so we’re going to go ahead and take care of it now.”

Malepeai’s 406 yards rushing and four touchdowns currently lead the Trojans.

With Malepeai out for the foreseeable future, Markese Stepp and Stephen Carr will see their opportunities in the running game increase.  Stepp is second on the team with 241 yards rushing, Carr third at 233.  Both players have a pair of touchdowns each on the ground.

Mike Leach banned Wazzu players from social media

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With this development, just how Washington’s State’s “fat, dumb, happy and entitled” football players will communicate with their “fat little girlfriends” is the great unknown.

After starting the 2019 season 3-0, dropped two straight games heading into the bye — the first an embarrassing collapse against UCLA and then a 25-point beating on the road against then-No. 19 Utah.  Following the loss to the Utes, Tracy Claeys stepped down as Wazzu’s defensive coordinator.

Leading into this past weekend’s game against Arizona State, the Pac-12 Network confirmed, Mike Leach banned his players from using social media late last month because of the distractions such activities bring.

“I think we entertain too many distractions,” the head coach explained to the network, by way of the Yakima Herald, “and if I had it to do over again, I would’ve done it when we started camp. But no, I think we entertain too many distractions. I think we’re a little too distracted right now, but I think there is a team-wide determination to be less distracted.”

The social media ban wasn’t an immediate elixir for what ails Wazzu, however, as they fell to No. 18 Arizona State 38-34 in Week 7.  The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held leads of 31-24 (early in the fourth quarter) and 34-31 (late in the fourth quarter) before allowing the game-winning touchdown with less than 40 seconds left on the clock.

With the loss, Wazzu now sits at 0-3 in Pac-12 play.