NoleGameday

Week 12 Offensive and Defensive MVP’s

Florida State dominated Syracuse 45-14 behind a record-setting day from Dalvin Cook. The Seminoles have won three straight games since their defeat to Clemson, and now it’s rivalry week. With a win against the Gators, FSU will have won four straight games and six of seven in the series. In the latest AP Poll, FSU is ranked #15, and they’ll have an opportunity to rise even higher with a win over #13 UF. Let’s check out this week offensive and defensive MVP’s!

Offensive MVP: Dalvin Cook

Could we really choose anyone else here? Dalvin had a monster game in the win, he finished with 28 carries for 225 yards and four rushing touchdowns. On his second carry of the day, he made history.

The FSU offense came out in the pistol formation with Travis Rudolph out on the right side. On the left side, Ryan Izzo lined up next to Roderick Johnson on the line while Auden Tate lined up outside of him. Freddie Stevenson lined up behind and outside the left tackle. On the snap, everyone shifted to block to the left as Cook hit the hole between the tight end and left tackle. Great downfield blocking by Cole Minshew, Johnson, and Tate helped spring Cook loose. After an explosive burst, Cook was finally pushed out by a Syracuse defender, but not until he had gained 41 yards and etched his name into Seminole history. The run allowed Cook to overtake Warrick Dunn as the all time leader rusher at Florida State. Dunn amassed 3,959 rushing yards over his four seasons as a Nole. Cook is up to 4,166, and he is also the first rusher in ACC history to hit 4,000 yards rushing in only three seasons.

Cook finished the first half with 12 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, and FSU headed into the locker room with a 21-7 advantage over the Orange. In the second half, he showed why he’s the best running back in America.

With the game still not totally in hand, Jimbo Fisher decided to go with a run heavy approach. In fact, during the first three possessions of the second half Cook recorded 12 carries, as many as he had total in the first half. Cook also scored on all three possessions, to bring his touchdown count in the game up to four.

His four touchdown runs in this game have brought his total to 17 rushing touchdowns this season. As a team, the Florida Gators have recorded 1500 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Cook has now ran for a touchdown 44 times in his career. That number ties him with Greg Allen for the most rushing touchdowns in FSU’s history. Thankfully, we’ll most likely be able to celebrate Cook overtaking Allen as the all time rushing touchdowns leader next week at home!

Defensive MVP: Brian Burns

For the third time this season, Brian Burns has been named our defensive MVP of the week. During FSU’s blowout win, Burns recorded five tackles and a career high 2.5 sacks, he also partially blocked a punt. He was a part of a defense that recorded eight sacks in total and harassed the Syracuse offense all game. The Orange only amassed 233 yards of offense, the 2nd fewest amount of a yards in a game that FSU has held an opponent to all season. The Seminole defense has also now recorded 41 sacks on the season, which is tops in the nation. They surpassed Alabama (40 sacks) on Saturday.

Burns is second on the team with 7.5 sacks behind DeMarcus Walker, who is second in the country with 13 sacks. Burns is the first true freshman with five sacks in a season since 1977, and he is primed to have a big future.

After a six play drive opening drive that saw the Orange gain 21 yards, they were forced to punt. As the punter prepared to kick the ball, his personal protector was rushed by Burns. Burns was able to to just get his fingertips on the ball as it was kicked to tip the punt, the blocked punt was FSU’s first since 2010.

On Syracuse’s second drive, Burns would strike again. With a 3rd and 20 looming, the Noles put in their pass rushing specialists to get to the Orange QB, Zack Mahoney. At the snap, there was nowhere for Mahoney to throw and he was quickly brought down for a sack by the true freshman.

Later in the quarter, it was more of the same. Mahoney was reeling after already having been sacked three separate times in the first 14 minutes and change, Burns was ready to make it four before the first quarter was complete.

On third and 8, with Syracuse in FSU territory, the defense needed to make a stop. Once again, a quick rush by the FSU pass rushing specialists overwhelmed the Orange offensive line, and Burns was able to bring down Mahoney for the second time in the quarter. Later, he would pair with Walker to get a half a sack.

Brian Burns has been one of the pleasant surprises for FSU this season, he has made a huge impact on the defense with his pass rushing abilities and it’s going to be exciting to watch him blossom. Burns could stand to add on some weight, but he needs to make sure added weight won’t hinder his speed.

Previous MVP’s:

Week Ten

Week Seven

Week Six

Week Four

Week Two

Week One

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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