NoleGameday

Week Six Offensive and Defensive MVP’s

Florida State rallied from a 13-0 deficit to win 20-19 against the Miami Hurricanes. The Noles sit at 4-2 and have risen back up to #14 in the most recent poll. Let’s check out this week’s offensive and defensive MVP’s!

Offensive MVP: Dalvin Cook/Deondre Francois 

This week we decided to select Co-Offensive MVPs of Dalvin Cook and Deondre Francois. They both played excellent against Miami and were instrumental in getting the victory. Cook finished with 150 yards rushing on 27 carries, he also caught a pass for 59 yards and a touchdown. Francois battled through injury and took some tough hits as he put up 234 passing yards and two touchdowns while completing 20 of 31 pass attempts. Francois also carried the ball 10 times for 21 yards.

Francois MVP

Dalvin Cook rushed for over 100 yards for the third straight game and helped spearhead an offense that struggled in the first half. After failing to get much success on their first three drives, and trailing 3-0, the Seminoles knew they needed to get something going on their next possession. With Sean Maguire in the game due to a Francois injury, Cook knew he needed to step up his game.

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And he did just that, on his second carry of the drive, Cook ran for 54 yards and got the Noles close to the redzone. On the run, Cook tried to follow fullback Freddie Stephenson through a hole between left guard Kareem Are and left tackle Roderick Johnson. However, Cook was hit four yards in the backfield by a blitzing linebacker and had to improvise. He broke out of the tackle and was pushed forward by a Miami cornerback in a poor attempt at a tackle. This push actually helped Cook, he slid perfectly in between Kareem Are and Alec Eberle and exploded up field with his elite burst for the 54 yard gain.

Unfortunately, Cooks efforts were for naught as senior quarterback Sean Maguire threw an interception a few plays later.

After two more scoring drives by the Hurricanes, FSU found themselves in a 13-0 deficit with 1:16 to go in the first half. Despite struggling offensively thus far, Jimbo Fisher decided to still be aggressive with the little time left in the half after Deondre Francois had returned from his injury.

With the Noles needing points before the half, Francois would do his best to deliver. On his first pass of the drive, he delivered a beautiful ball to a jumping Kermit Whitfield, who promptly came down with the catch at Miami’s 47 yard line. On the next play, Francois was forced to scramble out of the pocket and he ran for 15 more yards down to the Miami 33. Two plays later, Francois delivered a perfect pass to Jesus Wilson, who ran a great curl route, to convert on 3rd and 12. This would lead to a Ricky Aguayo field goal, and lessened the deficit to 13-3 at half.

In the third quarter, the offense would come to life for FSU, behind the arm of Deondre Francois. With 8:06 left in the third, he would deliver his first touchdown pass of the game to Dalvin Cook. At the snap, he faked a pitch to Cook, who ran a wheel route up the left side of the field. The rest of the offense shifted to the right side of the field as the play developed. The Hurricanes forgot to pick up Cook and Francois delivered a throw in stride as he was absolutely leveled by two defenders.

Francois next touchdown throw would come on his next drive, a 20 yard pass to Kermit Whitfield. After faking a handoff to Cook, Francois tossed a short throw to Whitfield, who then cut between two great blocks by Auden Tate and Travis Rudolph. Whitfield then turned on the jets and cruised into the endzone. This would cap off a drive where Francois didn’t miss a pass, he seemed to be heating up with every hit he took. The score was now 17-13 in favor of FSU, they wouldn’t trail again.

Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Walker 

Sometimes the stat line doesn’t tell the true story of a game, and we see that this week with DeMarcus Walker. Walker finished the game with two tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hurry, and 1 huge blocked PAT. He didn’t stand out stat wise, but he made the game winning play.

DeMarcus MVP

Walker was in excellent position all night, filling the correct gaps and lanes, and doing his best to protect the edge. On pass rushing downs, he would be moved around. Sometimes staying at his native defensive end position, and sometimes being pushed down to defensive tackle.

He was an invaluable part of the defensive unit that held Miami to 62 yards rushing and only 276 yards of total offense, both season lows for the FSU defense. Everyone on defense seemed to be playing with a renewed passion, and some of that has to be attributed to Walker, who is the leader on the field for the defense.

His biggest play of the night essentially clenched the win for the Seminoles. With Miami set to kick the game tying extra point, the defense had to do their best to block the kick. After blocking an extra point last week against North Carolina, FSU was confident in their unit.

As the ball was snapped, Walker and Derrick Nnadi surged into the left side of the line and jumped up. Both were in position to block the kick, and Walker deflected it, stopping the Hurricanes from tying the game. FSU would run out the clock on a few nice play calls from Fisher. On 2nd a long, FSU faked a handoff to Dalvin Cook but Francois kept the ball and ran towards the left side for a first down. On the next play, Cook would run for 11 yards and essentially the win.

Death, taxes, and beating Miami. The only things that have been certain for FSU fans the last seven years.

Week One MVP’s

Week Two MVP’s

Week Four MVP’s

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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