clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MSU 30 for 30: Top Plays in Mississippi State Football History: Johnthan Banks 100-yard Pick Six on Tebow

In a play that put Johnthan Banks on the map as a freshman, the then-safety from Maben, Mississippi, exploded into the national spotlight when he intercepted a pass from Tim Tebow in the end zone and took it 100 yards to pay dirt.

The 2009 Mississippi State football season saw the Bulldogs take on several top 25 foes throughout the course of the year, including No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama. No one gave the Bulldogs much of a chance of beating the Gators on that October night in Starkville, but Mississippi State historically had a strange way of making life difficult for Florida teams in Starkville, having won the last three contests in Starkville in 1992, 2000, and 2004.

Late in the first half, it looked like the Gators were about to put Mississippi State away. Florida had the ball at the Mississippi State seven-yard line on a third and goal play, and they led 13-3 with under a minute to play. Tim Tebow heaved a pass to the end zone, and if it had been completed, the score would have most likely been 20-3 going into halftime.

Instead, Johnthan Banks managed to step in front of it and take it all the way back to completely shift the momentum of the contest and cut the Florida lead to 13-10. The faces of Florida fans told the story on that play. One has to think they knew a bit about Florida's history in Starkville because they had a look of "here it goes again."

Florida later appeared safely up 29-13 with the ball and four minutes to play when Tebow was hit by Pernell McPhee and Banks picked off his second pass and scored his second touchdown of the night cutting it to 29-19.

However, the magic did run out that night, and the Gators ended up leaving with a 29-19 victory.