FSU Football: Cook’s Lack of Touches Plagues Seminoles in Loss


Here we sit, about 12 hours removed from the first loss of the season for the Florida State Seminoles, attempting to see where it all went wrong.

While there is plenty to point to in this loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday night, the red zone play-calling and the lack of touches for Dalvin Cook in the second half are the two aspects that stand out most to me when re-watching the game and seeing specifically where it all slipped away for the Seminoles. While the two seemingly go hand-in-hand, Jimbo Fisher is simply pinning the “interesting” play-calling on the fact that Georgia Tech stacked the box with eight or nine strong to stop Dalvin Cook.

OK, Jimbo. Fair. However when breaking this game down, here are the facts.

Dalvin Cook, who has been phenomenal this season, especially when considering that he has played the last couple of games at less than 100%, finished the game against the Yellow Jackets with 17 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also pulled in four catches for 50 yards through the air. While coach Fisher can say what he wants about the Georgia Tech defense stacking the box, the reality of the situation is that Cook was averaging 4.8 yards per carry on Saturday night. Entering the game, the Yellow Jackets ranked 101st in the nation in rushing defense. Oddly enough, Cook only touched the ball six times in the entire second half. That’s right, SIX times. He gave the ball to Cook just once on the 4th quarter red zone drive that ended with a Golson interception, his first of the season. Additionally, three of the six second half touches came on the final drive, in which Jimbo Fisher was seemingly unsure about whether they were going to play for overtime on the road against a 2-5 unranked Georgia Tech squad, or try to get into field goal range with Roberto Aguayo. Ultimately, after Cook broke the screen pass open for a big gain late on that drive, Fisher decided to try a 56-yard attempt with his All-American kicker. We all know what happened from there.

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When Fisher looks at the game film, he will undoubtedly regret not getting the football to his Heisman-contending running back more. While there were some external factors in the second half that plagued offensive rhythm, such as the Georgia Tech time of possession advantage, I don’t see this as the ultimate excuse for not allowing one of the nation’s best players to win you a tough road football game. Cook has proved time and time again, healthy or not, that he is a different breed, a different player. He has won numerous games for the Seminoles this season, with his efforts against South Florida and Miami ringing most loud in the minds of all Florida State fans.

It’s a shame that he didn’t get the same opportunity to be a difference-maker against Georgia Tech on Saturday night, as fans all over will look back on this game at the end of the season with one thought: What could have been.