With a 17-yard rushing touchdown on Florida State’s second drive against Florida on Saturday, junior running back Dalvin Cook moved into sole possession for first place in FSU history with 45 career rushing touchdowns, surpassing Greg Allen.
It’s another accolade to add to Cook’s already long-winded list that includes being the school’s all-time leading rusher and being the only Atlantic Coast Conference running back to rush for more than 4,000 yards in just three seasons. He is also one of just seven running backs in ACC history to record three-straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Now, Cook, a former standout at Miami Central High, is looking to take the ACC career rushing record, which is 4,602 yards and was set in 1978 by NC State’s Ted Brown.
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The Florida-Florida State game has been an accurate gauge over the past six years in determining which team will have the better recruiting class.
The Seminoles won five of their past six games against Florida heading into Saturday’s late kickoff. When National Signing Day rolled around the following February, FSU finished ahead of UF in 247Sports.com’s recruiting each year except for its 2013 class, which came after Florida defeated FSU 37-26 in Tallahassee to close out the 2012 regular season.
As of Saturday, Florida State’s 2017 recruiting class ranked 10th in the country. Florida was 18th.
“I think anytime you play you gain momentum in the recruiting piece, and yet there’s certain guys that are going to be a fit for them,” UF coach Jim McElwain said on Wednesday. “There are certain guys that are going to be a fit for us. The great thing about the state of Florida [is] there’s a lot of players.”
But even with that, the Gators have had trouble convincing in-state players to play at Florida.
In the last three recruiting cycles, UF has signed just 14 players who ranked among the top 50 high school players in the state of Florida. In that same span, Florida State has signed 26 players of that caliber and the University of Miami has signed 21.
FAILED OPENING DRIVES
After the Gators marched 73 yards down the field and faced a fourth and 2 on their opening drive, McElwain opted to go for the touchdown instead of attempt the easy field goal.
The plan backfired, with quarterback Austin Appleby’s pass in the end zone to Brandon Powell falling incomplete.
With the turnover on downs, the Gators only scored twice on their opening drive during the 11-game regular season.
The other nine drives resulted in the turnover on downs, a pair of missed field goals, four punts and two interceptions -- one of which was returned for a touchdown.
FSU’s first drive, which began at its 2-yard line following the turnover on downs, resulted in a missed 49-yard field-goal attempt from freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo.
Before the game, FSU honored Monk Bonasorte, a former All-American safety and longtime athletics administrator, with a moment of silence. Bonasorte died Nov. 19 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 59. Bonasorte played at FSU from 1977-80, finishing his career with 15 interceptions -- the second-most in school history behind Terrell Buckley.
Saturday was the last home game for FSU’s 13 seniors. The highlight of the group is defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker, who came into the game ranked second nationally and first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 13 sacks. His 25.5 career sacks heading into Saturday ranks No. 3 all time in FSU history, behind just Reinard Wilson (35.5) and Peter Boulware (34).