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Photo: Dalvin Cook courtesy of College GameDay
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Seminoles.com) – There will be plenty of time to debate whether this one was more dramatic than the last.
But one thing is for sure: the Florida State Seminoles are still undefeated and still in the hunt for their second straight national championship.
Freshman running back Dalvin Cook scored two touchdowns and accounted for 110 total yards as No. 2 FSU erased a 21-point deficit and emerged from Louisville with a 42-31 victory over the Cardinals.
It's the second heart-stopping rally in as many games for the Seminoles, who topped No. 5 Notre Dame, 31-27, on Oct. 18.
Cook’s 38-yard run with 3:46 to go – on the first play of FSU’s drive – provided the winning margin. The Seminoles sealed their school record-extending 24th straight victory when quarterback Jameis Winston found Freddie Stevenson for a 35-yard touchdown pass on third-and-six with less than three minutes to go.
Winston finished 25 of 48 for 401 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions for the first time in his career.
Those interceptions led directly to 17 Louisville points and had the 55,000-plus at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium smelling an upset.
But a 35-10 run in the second, sparked in large part by true freshmen, kept unblemished.
In addition to Cook’s two touchdowns, freshmen receivers Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane added long TDs of their own.
Rudolph’s 68-yard score cut the Seminoles’ deficit to 10 early in the third quarter, and Lane added a 40-yarder that gave FSU its first lead of the game at 12:48 of the fourth.
Winston hit the 350-yard mark for the sixth time in school history, matching former Heisman-winner Chris Weinke for the most in school history.
Louisville senior running back Michael Dyer ran for 134 yards and three touchdowns and senior receiver DeVante Parker added 214 yards on 8 catches as the Cardinals moved the ball at will against an injury-depleted FSU defense.
With linebackers Terrance Smith (pectoral strain), Jacob Pugh (concussion), E.J. Levenberry (concussion) and Markus Eligwe (foot) all sidelined, Louisville racked up 488 yards of total offense.