SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Dalvin Cook is the one who breaks the tackles and scores the touchdowns.
And it’s Cook’s name that will forever be printed in the record books after he became Florida State’s all-time leading rusher during the Seminoles’ 45-14 win at Syracuse on Saturday.
But after the game, after he had racked up 225 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and after he had secured the record-setting ball, Cook was quick to point out that running backs don’t break records by themselves.
Not without an offensive line to help pave the way.
“The O-Line and the receivers, they do a great job every week of blocking,” Cook said. “So this award right here is for them, too. For them going out there and sacrificing their bodies for me. Me being at the top of the list is them being at the top of the list.”
Cook has seen plenty of familiar faces on the offensive line throughout his FSU career.
Left tackle Roderick Johnson, a junior like Cook, made his first appearance at Miami in 2014, and the two have been mainstays in the Seminoles’ starting lineup ever since.
And Cook built rapports with left guard Kareem Are and center Alec Eberle throughout the 2015 season, when they helped Cook set FSU’s single-season rushing mark.
“His offensive line is dedicated to protecting him and helping him to the get the best games he can,” Eberle said. “And he’s giving us all his all, which is pretty cool, too. …
“To help him get an individual success like that is pretty special. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”
Freshman Burns heating up
Brian Burns on Saturday had two sacks and blocked a punt before the end of the first quarter.
By the time the game ended, the freshman defensive end had perhaps his best performance of the season: Five tackles and 2.5 sacks while very nearly blocking another punt later in the game.
Burns was something of a revelation for Florida State’s pass rush, which was playing shorthanded in the absence of junior Jacob Pugh (concussion).
“He’s got a chance to be a really, really good football player, now,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He really does.”
Burns, a 6-5, 218-pound native of Plantation, Fla., now has eight sacks on the season. That’s comfortably the second-most on the team, and also the most for an FSU freshman since Ron Simmons had 12 in 1977.
And his blocked punt was the first for the Seminoles since Chris Thompson had one in 2010.
“Brian Burns did a very good job,” said senior DeMarcus Walker, who chipped in two sacks to bring his season total to 13.
“He had a great week of practice. When Jake went down, he stepped up, matured and was ready to take on that role. He’s one heck of a pass-rusher.”
Lane snags first INT
It had been more than a year – 385 days, to be exact – since Ermon Lane last caught a pass in a college football game.
Lane made sure it was worth the wait Saturday, when he made the first interception of his career after switching from receiver to safety earlier this year.
In an ironic twist, Lane’s last catch as a receiver came on Oct. 31, 2015 – against the Syracuse Orange.
“That was awesome,” Fisher said. “That was great to see.”
Lane has long been best known for his 47-yard, catch-and-run touchdown that helped lift Florida State to a comeback victory at Louisville two years ago.
It’s a sweet memory for Lane, but he said Saturday that he has a new favorite moment.
“It felt better than my touchdown against Louisville, to be honest,” Lane said. “I had the middle of the field and I saw the quarterback scrambling. And I saw the receiver kind of beat Tarvarus (McFadden), so I kind of cheated over to that side and he threw it right to me.”
And like any good defensive back, Lane is already thirsty for more picks.
“My pick-six is going to come,” he said with a smile.