Final ranking: #1 AP/#1 ESPN
Bowl game: Miami 37, Nebraska 14 in Rose Bowl BCS Championship Game
Points scored: 512 (42.7 points per game)
Points allowed: 117 (9.8 points per game)
Margin of victory: 32.9 points per game
Strength of schedule: 18th
Wins against ranked teams
Five- #14 Florida State (49-27), #14 Syracuse (59-0), #12 Washington (65-7), #14 Virginia Tech (26-24), #4 Nebraska (37-14)
Season in review
Miami entered the season seriously ticked off after finishing the 2000 season 11-1 and not being chosen for the BCS title game, despite beating the team (Florida State) that ended up losing 13-2 to Oklahoma.
The Hurricanes wasted no time dishing out some revenge, destroying Penn State 33-7, while gaining over 600 yards. The Canes jumped to an early 30-0 halftime lead and first-year coach Larry Coker let the backups play most of the second-half. The backups consisted of Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Vernon Carey and Rocky McIntosh. QB Ken Dorsey threw for 344 yards and three scores, while Clinton Portis gained 164 yards on the ground.
Miami kept it rolling the next week and steamrolled Rutgers 61-0 in a game that wasn't even that close. Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and Portis combined for 179 yards and two scores on only 32 carries. Dorsey tossed two TD passes, one to Jeremy Shockey and one to Andre Johnson. The Hurricanes defense held the Scarlet Knights to only 126 yards. Defensive back James Lewis recorded his second interception in as many games.
The week after, Miami traveled to Pittsburgh for a Thursday night game. The Panthers gave them a bit of trouble, but still lost 43-21, behind 131 yards and three TDs from Portis. McGahee chipped in with 74 yards and a score of his own.
After a 38-7 non-conference victory over Troy, in which Ed Reed returned an interception 27 yards for a TD, the Hurricanes geared up for a match-up with 14th-ranked Florida State.
Both teams showed up, and the Noles actually outgained the Canes, but four Chris Rix interceptions doomed FSU, and Miami rolled to a 49-27 win. Dorsey was flawless, tossing three TDs, including two to Johnson, who finished with 111 yards receiving. Ed Reed and Phillip Buchanon both picked off Rix twice in the contest.
After a week-and-a-half of rest, the Canes returned to the field, and to Big East play against West Virginia, and sent the Mountaineers back north with a 45-3 loss. This time the attention fell to Gore, who rushed for 124 yards and two scores on only six carries. Again, both Shockey and Johnson caught TDs and Reed recorded two more picks and picked up a fumble.
After another extended lay-off, the Canes destroyed Temple, 38-0, behind 203 combined yards from Portis and Gore, who each scored a TD. Johnson only had two catches, but made one of them count for a TD and Reed kept his streak going, picking off another pass. All-American punt-returner Buchanon returned a punt for a TD as well.
Miami almost saw their perfect season come to an end against Boston College the next week. Dorsey threw four picks and the Canes had to hold off a furious late charge by the Eagles, needing a Mark Walters interception in the Canes own red-zone to preserve an 18-7 victory.
Whatever plagued the Canes offense against BC, Coker exiled it and the next two weeks the Canes rolled to the biggest consecutive wins over ranked opponents in college football history. First up was Syracuse, ranked 14th. The Orangemen fell 59-0 thanks to four TD passes from Dorsey, two to Shockey and two to Johnson. Portis ran for 153 yards and a TD, while Gore gained 153 on only 11 carries.
Next up was 12th-ranked Washington in a rescheduled game. Nothing could prevent the Huskies from eventually meeting their end, 65-7. The Canes forced six Washington interceptions, one of which was returned for a score. Dorsey threw three TDs, Portis gained 105 yards and scored twice, and backup Najeh Davenport scored twice, once on the ground and once through the air.
In the Canes regular season finale, they bested Virginia Tech, ranked 14th, 26-24. Once again, the Canes had their defense to thank. The unit forced four more interceptions and Clinton Portis had a huge day, carrying 34 times for 124 yards and a score. Reed picked off two more passes, bringing his season total to nation-leading nine.
The Canes moved to 11-0, and earned the right to face the fourth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Rose Bowl. The Cornhuskers came into the game 11-1 and featuring Heisman trophy winner Eric Crouch.
The Canes put the hurting on Crouch and jumped all over the Cornhuskers, sprinting to a 34-0 halftime lead, while making the Huskers look no different than Troy or Rutgers. Dorsey led the way, passing for 362 yards and three TDs, two to Johnson. Both players were named co-MVPs and Miami cruised to a 37-14 win that wasn't even that close.
Player Stats and Team Rankings
Dorsey finished the season completing nearly 60% of his passes for 3,029 yards and 26 TDs.
Portis carried the ball 240 times for 1,304 yards and finished with 11 touchdowns on the ground. McGahee finished with 321 yards and three TDs, while full-back Kevin Bishop gained 565 yards and scored five touchdowns of his own.
Johnson led the way in the receiving game and was a touchdown machine, with 10 of his 37 catches resulting in six points. He racked up nearly 700 yards through the air. Shockey led the squad in receptions, with 45 and gained 604 yards on them, scoring eight times. Lesser known Mark Rossetti led the team with 881 yards receiving and caught 12 TDs.
In addition to finishing third in the nation in points per game, the Canes also finished eighth in total offense.
It was on defense that the Canes really made their mark. The allowed a nation's best 9.4 points per game. They finished sixth in total defense, aided by their second place finish against the pass, an effort that was helped greatly by the Canes astonishing 27 interceptions.
Reed checked in with nine interceptions, one of three seasons in which he recorded at least eight. He led the nation in picks each of his final three seasons. Buchanon finished with five, while James Lewis finished with three.
Together with 18 fumble recoveries the Canes posted the best turnover margin in the country at +26.
The Canes defense was so quick and so dominating that it scored eight touchdowns of it's own. They also only allowed two field-goals all season.
If the Canes had a weakness, it was in their ability to commit penalties. In true Hurricane fashion, the team racked up more penalties per game than all but three of the 115 Division I-A teams.
To save space and time, only the Hurricane's first-rounders are listed. Feel free to look up all their draft choices from these years on your own time.
2002- CB Phillip Buchanon, OT Bryant McKinnie, S Ed Reed, CB Mike Rumph, TE Jeremy Shockey
2003- WR Andre Johnson, DL William Joseph, DL Jerome McDougle, RB Willis McGahee
2004- OT Vernon Carey, S Sean Taylor, LB Jonathan Vilma, LB D.J. Williams, TE Kellen Winslow
2005- S Antrel Rolle
2006- CB Kelly Jennings
Awards and honors
QB Ken Dorsey (Maxwell, Big East Offensive Player of the Year), OT Bryant McKinnie (Outland), coach Larry Coker (Big East Coach of the Year)
Six Hurricanes were named to the AP All-American First-Team: McKinnie, PR Phillip Buchanon, OT Joaquin Gonzalez, S Ed Reed, TE Jeremy Shockey, K Todd Sievers
And an astonishing 13 of 26 players on the 2001 Big East All-Conference First-Team wore Miami white and orange, including: Dorsey, Portis, McKinnie, Sievers, Buchanon, Gonzalez, Shockey, C Brett Romberg, G Martin Bibla, P Freddie Capshaw, DE Jerome McDougle, Reed, LB Jonathan Vilma.
Clinton Portis. Jeremy Shockey. Andre Johnson. Ed Reed. Bryant McKinnie. Willis McGahee. Frank Gore. Vince Wilfork. Kellen Winslow. Antrel Rolle. Vernon Carey. Rocky McIntosh. Jonathan Vilma. D.J. Williams.
What more proof do you need that this team was the most stacked team in college football history?Together they put together one of the most impressive seasons in a very long time. They were exciting and explosive on offense, and dominating and destructive on defense.
Not even the nation's elite (Florida State, Syracuse, Washington, Virginia Tech, and Nebraska outscored by a total of 236-72) held a candle anywhere close to their greatness.