CFB Film Review: Dancing Dalvin Cook

The Florida State Seminoles defeated the South Florida Bulls 34-14, and it was the dynamic running of Dalvin Cook that provided the highlights as FSU triumphed. Mark Schofield breaks down Cook’s best run of the day.

New Florida State quarterback Everett Golson, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, struggled mightily Saturday,  completing 14 of 26 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in the 34-14 victory. However, Dalvin Cook ran for three scores on the day, and it was Cook’s first touchdown run that showed how personnel, design and talent can unite to bring about huge plays for an offense.

FSU faces a 2nd and 10 on its own 26-yard line, and have Golson in the shotgun with 10 offensive personnel on the field. Cook stands to the left of his QB, and the offense has trips formation to the left. The Bulls have their 4-2-5 nickel package on the field:


The secondary shows Cover 1 with the man defenders in off man alignment. Because of this, the linebackers adjust their alignment towards the trips, with linebacker Auggie Sanchez (#43) aligned well outside the left tackle, splitting the difference between the LT and the inside trips receiver. He takes this alignment to prevent any quick smoke route or pause adjustment, protecting the cushion the outside defenders are giving the wide receivers. With Sanchez this wide, Golson cannot simply throw the ball immediately to the outside to exploit the off man technique.

But Golson is not throwing the ball. Instead, he hands off to Cook on a simple inside zone play, aiming toward the B-Gap on the right side:

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Right guard Wilson Bell and right tackle Brock Ruble have the key blocks at the point of attack. First Ruble does a great job of widening himself with his initial right step, giving him leverage against defensive end Eric Lee (#91) at the point of contact. Good leverage allows him to control the DE, riding him away from the B-Gap.

Inside, Bell collapses down on the defensive tackle, forming a huge hole. To make things worse for the Bulls, both linebackers blitz on the play. When Cook bursts through the four-lane highway, he’s into the secondary with no immediate defensive threats. From there it’s all Cook. The RB makes several defenders miss, then a nice cut near midfield on defensive back Jamie Byrd (#2), and follows that by lowering his shoulder on CB Tajee Fullwood (#13), sending the defender sprawling on  the turf. Cook picks up a nice block downfield from WR Travis Rudolph (#15) and finally reaches the end zone 79 yards later. Again, the marriage of design, formation and talent adds up to a big play for the offense.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.

All video and images courtesy the ESPN.

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