Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State doesn’t have the flashy offense of two years ago, when the Seminoles averaged 51.6 points en route to their third national championship.

They also aren’t the Cardiac Seminoles of a season ago, where they won six games in the fourth quarter.

But the one thing this year’s Florida State team has in common is it keeps winning. Saturday’s 29-24 win over Miami extended the Seminoles regular-season win streak to 32 and marked their 27th straight in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

With the win, the 11th-ranked Seminoles are 5-0 for the fourth straight season. Instead of looking at the rest of the college football landscape or upcoming pivotal tests in November at Clemson and Florida, coach Jimbo Fisher is keeping the focus on the here and now.

"You can’t worry about outcomes. I’m not worried about playoffs. I’m not worried about ranking. I’m worried about one thing — getting better each and every week and keep making our team better," Fisher said. "That’s all we can control, and that’s what I’m worried about."

The Seminoles offense appears to be gaining more consistency. Dalvin Cook, whose status most of last week was in doubt due to a hamstring injury, rushed for 222 yards and had three touchdowns. Cook has 792 yards, which is the second most in the ACC after five games since 1996, and is the first Florida State back with two 200-yard games in a season since Greg Jones in 1981.

For the second straight year, Cook scored the go-ahead touchdown against the Hurricanes. This time it was a 23-yard run around right end for the Miami native.

At this point barring injury, it’s not a matter if Cook will break the school’s single-season rushing record of 1,242 yards by Warrick Dunn in 1995 but when?

"Everyone says we’re a young team. But just like coach Fisher says, we just got to keep growing and keep buying in," Cook said. "We’re not worried about the long run we just take it week by week.

Everett Golson, who is the only senior starter on the unit, completed his first nine passes and was 25 of 33 for 291 yards. He also did a nice job distributing the ball as seven players caught passes and five had three receptions or more.

The biggest improvement for Golson is taking care of the football. Last season at Notre Dame he had 14 interceptions and lost eight fumbles. Florida State remains the only team in FBS without an offensive turnover.

The biggest thing that Fisher is pleased about is that he has seen his team respond to pressure. When Miami’s Stacy Coley scored on a 29-yard pass from Kaaya with 10:02 remaining in the game to give the Hurricanes a 24-23 lead, it marked the first time this season the Seminoles trailed. But Florida State responded with an 8-play, 84-yard drive capped by Cook’s touchdown.

"It shows we got that fight in us. We faced adversity tonight and we pulled it through," Cook said. "We didn’t point fingers at anyone, we just take it one play at a time."

A concern for the Seminoles though might be pass defense. Miami’s Brad Kaaya threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns against a short-handed secondary. Nate Andrews is limited due to an ankle injury and Tre Marshall was ejected in the first quarter due to a targeting penalty.

Florida State, which is also 3-0 in ACC play, will host Louisville on Saturday. The Cardinals (2-3) were off this weekend but the Seminoles have won both matchups since Louisville joined the ACC.

After that is a road game against Georgia Tech (Oct. 24), hosting Syracuse and then a pivotal Nov. 7 game at No. 5 Clemson, which could also mean a lot for the fortunes of getting an ACC team back in the College Football Playoff.

If the Seminoles can win that, the Nov. 28 contest at Florida could also have big implications. After being unranked three weeks ago, the Gators are No. 8 in the current AP poll. Florida was also the last team to defeat Florida State in the regular season in 2012.

That’s the least of Fisher’s worries though.

"Trust the process of how we do everything. When the process is right, the outcomes become right," he said. "Our guys are learning how to practice, train, compete and learning how no matter what it is, just playing the next play. If you do all those things consistent and create the right habits, good things happen to you. That’s what this team has got to learn."


AP college football website:

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox