Through six games of the 2015 season, Dalvin Cook has done everything in his power to exceed his already sky-high expectations. Exactly how good could his stats be by season's end? Let's take a look.
Cook has 955 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns at the halfway point of the regular season. That puts him just outside the top-10 in both yards and touchdowns in a single season for a Florida State running back, even though he still has six regular season games left. His 955 yards over the course of six games adds up to 159.2 yards per game. If Cook can maintain his current pace, he will finish the regular season with 1,910 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, not even counting the possibility of as many as three postseason games. That mark would obliterate the current single-season record at FSU for yards -- 1,242 yards by Warrick Dunn in 1995 -- and tie the single-season rushing touchdown mark, currently held by Greg Allen's 1982 campaign. Dunn posted those gaudy numbers in '95 while rushing for an FSU season-record 7.5 yards per carry. Presently, Cook is averaging 8.68 YPC.
In fact, Cook is running at such a torrid pace that he would only need 47.8 yards per game on the ground to match Dunn's record by the end of the regular season.
Regarding possible accolades -- or at least the nation's most prized award in college football -- it is worth noting that quarterbacks have dominated the recent Heisman races, with QBs winning 13 of the past 15 Heisman trophies. However, the two non-quarterbacks to win the award since 2000 have both been running backs: Reggie Bush's now-vacated Heisman in 2005 and Mark Ingram in 2009. So how does Cook's current pace compare to those running backs?
In 2005, Bush took home the Heisman with 1,740 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Similarly, Mark Ingram totaled 1,678 yards and 17 touchdowns in his 2009 campaign.
The main obstacles in Cook's pursuit of the Heisman this season are fellow running backs. Leonard Fournette has racked up 1,202 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns through LSU's first six games. Another contender in the backfield is Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott, who has compiled 988 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns, albeit through seven games instead of the six that Cook and Fournette have played.
However, Jimbo Fisher has nothing but good things to say about his running back. After the Louisville game, he simply said "Dalvin's Dalvin. He just makes play after play, in the moment."
Also of note: the gap in explosiveness between Cook and No. 2 Leonard Fournette, is as big as the gap between Fournette and No. 35.