Top 10 Moments of the Last 10 Years; #8: Jerious Norwood's 37 Yard TD Run vs. Florida in '04

#8 on the countdown comes from 2004, when a beyond horrible 1-5 Mississippi State team dealt a death blow to Ron Zook and #20 Florida. Jerious Norwood had 174 yards on 29 carries including the winning score - a 37 yard touchdown run to put MSU up 38-31.

When Sylvester Croom (my namesake) took over the head coaching job in 2004 MSU football was a disaster. It got even worse when State lost to Division 1-AA Maine, 9-7 (that might top the list on the 10 worst moments). A couple of weeks later the Bulldogs received a 2-touchdown beating from UAB. Florida was 4-2, having lost close games to Tennessee and LSU.....so this game wasn't supposed to be close, the spread was 24.5 points.

I remember the game well. I remember casually strolling to the game with a friend (who would eventually become my wife - perhaps this is our defining moment), 10 minutes before kickoff and getting a seat on the 40 (student section). There weren't too many people at the game...as no one expected a victory. This was, as it seemed, a horrible season you'd want to soon forget.

MSU took a 7-0 lead, then a 17-14 lead into halftime. It was weird, Mississippi State winning? What was going on? Isn't Florida ranked? Then we thought about how State had beaten them in their previous three trips to Starkville (2000, 1992, 1986). Maybe there was a chance?

Heading to the 4th quarter it was all tied up at 24. Que Jerious Norwood. He had 120 yards in the 4th quarter including 31 and a touchdown during State's first drive of the final period, giving MSU a 31-24 lead. After Chris Leak quickly lead the Gators to tie the game at 31, the Bulldogs next drive stalled out at the UF 36. Leak threw an interception on 1st & 15, leading to Norwood time. 4 yard run, 12 yard run, then a 37 yard dandy with 33 seconds left to give State the lead for good.

Jerious Norwood 37 yard game winning TD against Florida (via sfslickdawg)

And here's the audio from Jack Cristil, "...if they call a celebration penalty on this I'll shoot 'em!".

Fans stormed the field and even took down a goal post. It was literally unbelievable as bad as MSU had been that year. In the coming days, Ron Zook became the first coach to get "Croomed".

The Dawgs kept up the winning streak, beating Kentucky the next week in front of a lot more fans who were excited all of the sudden about MSU football. But...that was all she wrote and State ended the year 3-8.

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