Week Four Offensive and Defensive MVP’s

Florida State rushed for 478 yards as they defeated USF 55-35 and improved their record to 3-1. The defensive inconsistencies were one of the most obvious problems, even as the offense finally found their rhythm in the rushing attack. Let’s check out this week’s offensive and defensive MVP’s!

Offensive MVP: Dalvin Cook

We’d been waiting all season to see Dalvin Cook have one of his classic breakout performances, and he finally delivered. Cook finished with 28 carries for 267 yards and 2 TD’s on the ground. He also caught 4 passes for 62 yards, and finished as the Noles leading rusher and receiver in the game.

The Florida State offense took the field trailing 7-0 a mere 17 seconds into the game after USF’s Rodney Adams beat Tarvarus Mcfadden on a deep route and caught a beautiful ball from Quinton Flowers en route to an 84 yard touchdown catch and run. Cook’s first touchdown would happen on his first touch. He took a handoff from Deondre Francois towards the left side and hit the hole between Kareem Are and Roderick Johnson, as he accelerated, Cook broke a weak tackle attempt and flew past the rest of the defense to the endzone for the 75 yard score.

Dalvin would go on to strike once more in the first quarter, and prove to the rest of college football that he is back. This time, Cook took the carry and hit the hole between Alec Eberle and Kareem Are, he bounced out of a defensive lineman’s outstretched hands and then exploded to the right side of the field before crossing the goalline without being touched again. Cook would finish the first quarter with 104 yards on the ground and 2 TD’s.

He continued to dominate the rest of the game with his remaining carries, and seemed to bounce off of tacklers and fight for yards like the guy we saw in 2015. Jimbo Fisher left Cook and the other starters in the game well into the fourth quarter, as he made a statement to his entire team. They always need to play with a sense of urgency, and never take plays off despite the scoreboard.

The extended playing time helped Cook record more numbers. He set a new career high with 267 rushing yards, which was one yard short of the damage he inflicted on USF last season.  Dalvin ended the game with 329 yards from scrimmage, which was also a new career high.

Defensive MVP: Brian Burns

This was a hard choice. We debated between Tavarus Mcfadden, Fred Jones, and Brian Burns. Nole Gameday has decided on Brian Burns for the second time this season!

Burns was also named our Defensive MVP in week two during FSU’s win over Charleston Southern in which he recorded 5 tackles, 3 for loss, a forced fumble, and 2 sacks.

He finished the game against USF with 3 tackles, 2 for loss, and 2 sacks. Burns has not looked like a true freshman when we’ve seen him play this season and he showed the talent that’s flashed throughout the season again on Saturday.

It all started in the first quarter as Burns delivered a play that brought the defense to life. USF had marched right through the FSU defense on it’s first two possessions, and was looking to do more of the same as they took the field for the third time. Instead, FSU would force them into their first third and long of the day. Burns would explode off of the line at the snap of the ball and found Quinton Flowers in the backfield, sacking him for a 5 yard loss. This stop would be the first of 9 straight drives that ended without points for the Bulls.

His pass rushing ability has been some of the best we’ve seen from a true freshman defender in years, and it has been one of the main reasons he has seen a lot of playing time thus far. I expect his role to continue to increase on defense if Josh Sweat is unable to play. Jacob Pugh will most likely be the starter but Brian Burns will be the first guy in off the bench, and he has earned his spot in the pass rushing package.

Through 4 games, Burns has recorded 9 tackles, 5 for loss, 4 sacks, and a forced fumble. He certainly looks like a guy that is a superstar in the making.

Last weeks MVP’s

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