Florida running back Dameon Pierce scored one of the wildest touchdowns of the season on Saturday against Florida State. It's a shame that it didn't count.
Pierce tried to put Florida up three scores on its in-state rival in the second half without his helmet. Pierce kept charging toward the end zone — and through Florida State defenders — after his helmet got ripped off. And he successfully scored. But he violated a rule while doing so.
Dameon Pierce is a MONSTER pic.twitter.com/7kK56ldyYf
— CFB over all (@PickettsPool) November 27, 2021
If a ballcarrier has his helmet ripped off during a play, the play is stopped where his helmet came off. So the play legally stopped at the 4-yard line. But Pierce got penalized for continuing to play. Had he gone down — something that's not instinctive to any ballcarrier — he wouldn't have been penalized. However, it's against the rules to keep playing without your helmet. So Pierce got flagged 15 yards for illegal participation and the touchdown didn't count.
Florida State also committed a personal foul on the play so the Gators got the ball on the 10. Pierce then scored three plays later for real in his final home game as a Gator and put Florida up 24-7 in its first game without coach Dan Mullen. He was fired after the Gators lost to Missouri in Week 12.
That loss to Mizzou dropped Florida to 5-6 on the season and the Gators got back to .500 with a 24-21 win over FSU thanks to a hilarious onside kick attempt by the Seminoles in the final minute of the game. Florida will go to a bowl game at 6-6 while FSU's season is over with a 5-7 record.