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Cook's 25-Yard Run Sets Up 1st Career TD for C.J. Ham

Dalvin Cook's second NFL game was highlighted by a 25-yard run that led to a Vikings touchdown at Pittsburgh.

The play initially was called a touchdown before being reversed following the officials' review.

On the Vikings second possession of the second half, Cook recorded a 10-yard run to gain a Minnesota first down on second-and-6. Latavius Murray took the following handoff from Case Keenum, who started in place of the injured Sam Bradford, for a four-yard gain that moved the Vikings into Steelers territory.

Keenum then found Stefon Diggs deep with a 21-yard pass to give Minnesota a first down at the Pittsburgh 26.

Cook took the handoff out of the shotgun formation, made a quick cut and headed up the right side of the field, eluding safety Mike Mitchell before diving for the end zone as he was snagged by Steelers safety Sean Davis.

"I knew if I could get outside and get 1-on-1 with [Mitchell], I just felt like I [could make] him miss, and that was my approach about it," Cook said. "I saw the opening, and I just pressed the line of scrimmage and got 1-on-1 with the safety and just made him miss."

The referee signaled a score, but after reviewing the play he ruled Cook down at the 1.

The Vikings lined up on first-and-goal, and it was fullback C.J. Ham who scored the 1-yard touchdown run on his first career carry.

"I thought I got in. I thought it was a touchdown," Cook said. "But you reward your fullback sometimes, he does the dirty work. I'm glad he got the touchdown."

It was Ham's first in the regular season and Minnesota's only touchdown of the day.

"I definitely didn't want to take that from [Dalvin]. It was a great run by him," Ham said after the game. "But they called my number, and we got it done regardless."

Ham said that while he won't forget his first NFL touchdown, he would have rather had a "W" for the team.

"It was awesome to score, but at this moment it's all about the team," Ham said. "It would have felt a lot better getting the win and scoring my first touchdown."

After recording 127 rushing yards last week, Cook's largest run of the first half Sunday afternoon was a 7-yard carry on his first attempt of the game. It wasn't until the third quarter that Cook and the offense found more of a rhythm.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said during his post-game press conference that there were "some adjustments" made at halftime.

Cook also said he felt the unit had more vigor in the final two quarters. 

"I think in the second half we came out with a lot more energy, and we went out there and just executed the plays that were called, and we got a rhythm going," said Cook, who finished with 64 yards on 12 carries.  

Despite the Vikings playing without their starting quarterback, Cook said he and his teammates had plenty of confidence in Keenum and that the change in the play caller was not to blame for the team's difficulties.

"Case is a guy that carries a lot of confidence with him, and when you've got a quarterback that can do that, he brings a lot of energy to the offense," Cook said. "Those guys (Case and Sam) bring positive energy – that's what you want from a quarterback, and we loved it in the huddle."

Rather, Cook said that penalties – 11 flags for 131 yards – were the "main" issue of the day.

"Penalties can kill drives. [They] can lose you games. And we had enough of them today to kill all the drives," Cook said. "So we have to cut back on those, and if we cut back on those, we'll get a better outcome."

The Vikings now sit at 1-1 after falling 26-9 to the Steelers.

Cook emphasized, however, that it's important for the team to keep its focus on learning from the loss and improving for upcoming games.

"These guys right here in this locker room, we're all about work. We know we've got to get back to work and evaluate and just get better," Cook said. "We're going to be the team that we're going to be – a physical team – and we're going to come out and play football like Coach Zim' wants us to play football. So we just have to keep working, and next week is a new week for us, a new challenge."

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