Date: November 15th, 2014
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida.
Opponent: The Miami Hurricanes
Another day, another backbreaking touchdown run to bury the Hurricanes in Miami. We told you the countdown gets more fun with time, didn’t we?
In 2014, it seemed like every week was first half agony topped off with late game ecstasy. By the time still undefeated Florida State traveled to Miami(Miami Gardens, not Coral Gables) in mid-November, the list of comeback victories was becoming too long to memorize, while the recipe became all too familiar:
Give up huge play due to defensive breakdown immediately, reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston makes several ill-advised plays, backs pinned against wall in second half, bailed out by late-game heroics. Then watch all of America curse their television as The Joker(FSU) sneaks away yet again.
And this game was no different, except it felt like maybe Florida State messed around a little too much early and would finally taste defeat for the first time since 2012. When Brad Kaaya hit ‘Canes tight end Clive Walford on a 61-yard touchdown strike in the 2nd quarter, FSU found itself down 23-7 in extremely unfriendly territory. The home crowd was going berserk, the sound engineer was pumping in louder artificial sounds than usual, and things looked bleak. Too bad Florida State’s greatest running back of all-time was about to do Dalvin Cook things.
Earlier in the countdown Tomahawk Nation’s own David Visser explained how this game would ultimately end, but it was the game-winning score that felt even more satisfying. Having clawed back to within 3 points after an annoying slew of Robert Aguayo field goal settling, FSU faced 1st and 10 from the Hurricane 26-yard line with just over 3 minutes left. As a ball carrier, Dalvin Cook was never interested in “taking what the defense gave him”. Armed with an elite and possibly never to be duplicated set of speed, explosion, balance, vision, and power, Cook always had 6 points in mind. He didn’t dance in the open field or try to drag tacklers, he simply dared you to stop his one-way trip to the end zone.
Despite their 1st half of dominance, 4th quarter Miami’s defense was not up to the challenge. Cook broke 2 tackles at the line of scrimmage, followed behind true freshman tackle Rod Johnson’s seal block on linebacker(in Rod’s first career start), cut towards right sideline and accelerated past more tacklers, then used fellow Miami native Jesus Wilson’s excellent final block to glide over the goal line.
From the stands, you could see about 8 Miami defenders on the ground in various poses of demoralization and exhaustion. It looked like a somber scene of Pompeii victims in 79 AD, frozen in perpetual agony. Dalvin Cook played the role of Mount Vesuvius and erupted all over the Hurricanes’ dream of stopping the 4-game losing streak to FSU.
Sorry, Miami. 26-yards to keep the 26-game winning streak alive.
From 2011 to 2016, Seminole running backs Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook combined to terrorize their hometown Miami rival with huge performances and timely touchdowns. And on this play in 2014, Cook left a pile of human debris that rivaled the debris left behind by Miami fans after the game.