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THE X-FACTOR

Dec. 29, 2014
Dec. 29, 2014

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Dec. 29, 2014

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW
NFL
HOCKEY
  • BU center Jack Eichel has the speed, skills and temperament to become a top draft pick and change an NHL franchise for years to come. But first the 18-year-old would like to finish his freshman year of college

SOCCER
  • F√∫tbol fever reached an alltime high in the U.S. during the World Cup this summer. So, where to from here? The answer will depend a lot on three newbies

SPORTS SCIENCE
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POINT AFTER
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THE X-FACTOR

THE FRESHMAN RUNNING BACK'S MIDSEASON RISE ADDED A DIMENSION TO THE 'NOLES' ATTACK

DALVIN COOK, Freshman, RB

This is an article from the Dec. 29, 2014 issue

The Seminoles made a habit of the comeback this year, rallying in nine of their 13 wins, including six of their last seven. A slashing runner, Cook might have been the team's most important offensive player in squeakers over Louisville, Miami, Boston College, Florida and Georgia Tech. The 6-foot 200-pounder from Miami Central High became a featured part of the attack in FSU's sixth game—first, he had to learn the nuances of pass protection—and once he got the ball, he rolled up 5.8 yards per carry. More impressive, he seemed to find a different gear when it mattered most. When the 'Noles were trailing, Cook carried 36 times for 344 yards (9.6 per carry); rushed for six of his eight touchdowns; and had 13 runs of at least 10 yards and six runs of at least 20. He also became a fixture in the passing game, making 15 of his 19 catches in the final six games. Cook's ability as a receiver out of the backfield forces defenses to choose whether to cover the freshman (9.4 yards a catch) or concentrate on stopping receiver Rashad Greene (14.0 yards a catch) and tight end Nick O'Leary (13.1). Even when he's a decoy, Cook is gaining yardage for the Seminoles.

PHOTOSTEVE MITCHELL/USA TODAY SPORTS