MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- If Dalvin Cook has indeed taken his last snaps in a Florida State uniform, he left a pretty good impression in his hometown Friday night at the Capital One Orange Bowl. It was a fireworks-filled finish that will be hard to top this bowl season.
Cook ran for 145 yards on 20 attempts and added another 62 yards to his total on three receptions during a 33-32 victory for his Seminoles (10-3) over the Wolverines (10-3). He scored one touchdown and helped set up two more, including a 12-yard pass to Nyqwan Murray with 36 seconds remaining that negated Michigan's frantic fourth-quarter comeback.
"Nothing comes easy in anything, and we can make it that way," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I know that, dadgum."
A game that seemed thoroughly in the control of Florida State and its swarming defensive front for the majority of the first quarters spiraled into one of the more dramatic finishes of the bowl season to date. Michigan's own strong defense kept the Seminoles within striking distance, and linebacker Mike McCray's interception capped by a leap into the end zone provided the first burst of life and a hint of what was to come in the fourth quarter.
McCray's first career trip to the end zone made the score 20-15 with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Cook responded for Florida State by bursting down the Wolverines' sideline for 71 yards. He stepped out of bounds at the 16-yard line, setting up a short scoring run from quarterback Deondre Francois.
"I actually think I didn't step out," Cook said after collecting his Orange Bowl MVP trophy. "It was third-and-22, and it was a play Coach Fisher called that we called all year. ... I just tried to go the distance and change the scoreboard for my team."
The Wolverines -- playing without stars Jabrill Peppers and Jake Butt, who left the game in the second quarter -- scored twice in the final six minutes to take their first lead of the game 30-27 with under two minutes to play. Fullback Khalid Hill caught an 8-yard pass from Wilton Speight to give Michigan its first offensive touchdown on the game on its fourth trip inside the red zone. Freshman running back Chris Evans scored from 30 yards out on the following drive.
Cook & Co., though, had yet another answer. After a long kick return set the Seminoles up with a short field, Cook wiggled free from the backfield for a 21-yard reception to start the drive. Two plays later, Francois found Murray for his second passing touchdown of the game; the first was a 92-yard strike in the first half. Michigan blocked the ensuing extra point attempt and returned it for two points, pulling the Wolverines just one point shy of a tie score.
Cook, the Miami native, flipped off his helmet and sprinted to the end zone after the Seminoles' offense took a knee in hopes of wasting away the last few seconds of a tense final quarter. Michigan decided to stretch the game as far as it could by taking two more timeouts, and who could blame the Wolverines for keeping the faith after the wackiness of the final five minutes.