DErnest Johnson

Dalvin Cook helps No. 11 FSU overcome sloppy performance vs. USF

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Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was the star of the day for the No. 11 Seminoles (2-0) in a 34-14 win over visiting USF (1-1). Cook rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns to lead the ACC contenders past a sluggish first half and sloppy play all around.

Cook’s rushing total was the second most yards ever by a Florida State running back in a single game. Florida State should be thankful for having him on the field today. Florida State’s offense did nothing in the first half of the game. Quarterback Everett Golson completed just one of his nine first half attempts, but he, along with the rest of the team, seemed to turn things around after halftime. Golson ended his afternoon with 163 yards and a touchdown while completing 14 of 26 passes. Golson made some bad decisions at times but managed to avoid having a mistake cost him too much.

Florida State came out of the halftime break with three scores in the third quarter. Cook ran once for a 24-yard score, kicker Roberto Aguayo nailed a 3-yard field goal and Golson completed a touchdown pass to Jesus Wilson from 23 yards out. That was enough to pretty much seal the victory heading into the fourth quarter. USF would trim the lead down to 10-points early in the fourth quarter with a Quinton Flowers touchdown pass to D’Ernest Johnson for a quick 71-yard score, but the Seminoles tacked on more points tokeep the game out of reach.

Florida State will jump into ACC play next week when they head north to play at Boston College. The primetime match-up could be a tricky one for the Seminoles, as Steve Adazio has his Eagles at 2-0 out of the gates. Of course, those two wins have come at the expense of two FCS opponents, so how well will Boston College really be ready to step things up next week in terms of level of competition?

USF will be back on the road against a power conference opponent next week. The Bulls head to Maryland of the Big Ten for the second game in a home-and-home series. Maryland won a 24-17 game last season in Tampa between the two schools.

Sloppy Florida State lets USF hang around at halftime, 7-7

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This seems to be a case today around the country, but an early kickoff for Florida State and USF in less-than-ideal weather has led to some sloppy play in the first half in Tallahassee. Other than Dalvin Cook having a 100-yard rushing performance, the highlights have been few and far between for either team in the first half of a 7-7 tie.

Cook’s 74-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave the Seminoles a lead, but the offense struggled for much of the half against USF’s defense. This, along with some decent special teams work, allowed USF to begin working an advantage on the field position battle

Everett Golson failed to complete a pass in the first quarter of the game, with all five of his attempts falling incomplete. It would take seven attempts before being able to complete one for a six-yard gain. USF managed to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter after driving only 45 yards. Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers completed a short pass to running back D’Ernest Johnson for the score. A previous possession knocking on the door step ended in an interception on a fade pass, otherwise USF would have a lead at the break.

In the first quarter Florida State’s Lamarcus Brutus was ejected from the game following a targeting call on special teams return coverage. The call was upheld following a video review, and according to the rule book the call looked to be correct by the book. A helmet-to-helmet clash is what probably drew the penalty to begin with.

Florida State needs to get better play up front from the offensive line if they are going to shake an upset bid from the USF Bulls. Florida State had just 112 yards of total offense, and Cook has rushed for 115 yards. That pretty much tells you what the story is in Tallahassee.