The dreaded hamstring injury is never a good one, usually keeping running backs off the field for indefinite periods of time, sometime weeks, sometimes entire seasons. Certainly not the case with Dalvin Cook, just shaking it off along with the hapless University of Louisville tacklers on Saturday.
Playing in obvious pain, with his trainers greeting him on the sidelines between all the big gainers, Cook would make all the sharp cuts without missing a beat, galloping for 163 yards and two touchdowns in Florida State’s 41-21 win over Louisville in Tallahassee.
Cook collected all but 25 of those yards in the second half, with the UofL defense having held Florida State to zero net rushing yards in the first 20 minutes. But the Cardinals were reduced to grabbing for his jersey after the intermission, unable to get in front of him, falling for every juke in his repertoire.
Cook was just unstoppable, refusing to go down, providing exactly what Florida State needed while preventing UofL from focusing on quarterback Everett Golson. He broke four Louisville tackles on that 54-yard touchdown run. An inspiration to every player who will sustain a hamstring injury in the future.
Louisville was able to go to the locker room at halftime with a 7-6 lead, with the defense playing its best half of the season. Different story the second half, Cook wearing them down, exposing lots of bad angles and ineffective tackling techniques. Looked like touch football at times.
Golson is a decent quarterback but he can thank Dalvin Cook for most of those 372 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Louisville had Golson figured out in the first half, but Cook completely changed the complexion of the game after he strolled onto the field after the intermission.
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Not that he cares but UofL Coach Bobby Petrino will be answering some questions about why his team was taking its time with time running out in the first half. The answer probably will be that he had the lead and didn’t want to put his freshman quarterback in a bad situation.
He may change his mind next season if he’s lucky to have a lead against Florida State in the first half. The Seminoles have scored 10 touchdowns against UofL in the last two seasons.