2001 Miami Hurricanes football team

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2001 Miami Hurricanes football
Miami Hurricanes logo.svg
Unanimous national champion
(19 of 19 official selectors)
Big East champion
Rose Bowl champion
Lambert-Meadowlands champion
Rose Bowl (BCS NCG), W 37–14 vs. Nebraska
Conference Big East Conference
Coaches No. 1
AP No. 1
2001 record 12–0 (7–0 Big East)
Head coach Larry Coker (1st year)
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski (1st year)
Offensive scheme Pro-style
Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon (1st year)
Base defense 4–3 Cover 2
Home stadium Miami Orange Bowl
(Capacity: 74,416)
← 2000
2002 →
2001 Big East football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1 Miami (FL) $#   7 0         12 0  
#14 Syracuse   6 1         10 3  
#21 Boston College   4 3         8 4  
#18 Virginia Tech   4 3         8 4  
Pittsburgh   4 3         7 5  
Temple   2 5         4 7  
West Virginia   1 6         3 8  
Rutgers   0 7         2 9  
  • # – BCS National Champion
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes football team was the national champion of the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season, voted by ESPN as one of the top college football teams of all-time. It finished the 2001 season with a convincing 37–14 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the BCS National Championship Game.[1][2][3]

Pre-season motivation[edit]

In 2000, Miami was shut out of the Orange Bowl BCS National Championship Game by the BCS computers. Despite Miami beating Florida State head-to-head that season and being higher ranked in both human polls, it was Florida State, and not Miami, that BCS computers selected to challenge the Oklahoma Sooners for the national championship (Oklahoma would win, 13–2). This was because Miami had lost to #15 Washington 34–29 on the road, while the Seminoles' lone loss was on the road to the #7 team in the country by 3. The experience led[citation needed] to alterations in the BCS rankings system to ensure that the situation would not repeat itself in the future. Nevertheless, Miami was left with a bitter sense of disappointment, believing they had been deprived of a shot at a potential national championship. That off-season, the team resolved to take the matter entirely out of the discretion of the computers by going a perfect 12–0. However, they had to do so under a new head coach, Larry Coker, who was named to the post after Butch Davis left to become head coach of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 1 8:00 PM at Penn State* No. 2 Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA ABC W 33–7   109,313
September 8 4:00 PM Rutgers No. 1 Miami Orange BowlMiami, FL ESPN+ W 61–0   39,804
September 27 7:30 PM at Pittsburgh No. 1 Heinz FieldPittsburgh, PA ESPN W 43–21   57,224
October 6 12:00 PM Troy State* No. 1 Miami Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN+ W 38–7   36,617
October 13 12:00 PM at No. 13 Florida State* No. 1 Doak Campbell StadiumTallahassee, FL (Rivalry) ABC W 49–27   82,836
October 25 7:00 PM West Virginia No. 1 Miami Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN2 W 45–3   44,411
November 3 12:00 PM Temple No. 1 Miami Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN+ W 38–0   31,128
November 10 12:00 PM at Boston College No. 1 Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA ABC W 18–7   44,500
November 17 3:30 PM No. 15 Syracuse No. 2 Miami Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ABC W 59–0   52,896
November 24 8:00 PM No. 11 Washington* No. 2 Miami Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ABC W 65–7   78,114
December 1 1:00 PM at No. 14 Virginia Tech No. 1 Lane StadiumBlacksburg, VA (Rivalry) ABC W 26–24   53,662
January 3, 2002 8:15 PM vs. No. 4 Nebraska* No. 1 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 37–14   93,781
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.


Season recap[edit]

Led by quarterback Ken Dorsey, free safety Ed Reed, running back Clinton Portis, wide receiver Andre Johnson, tight end Jeremy Shockey, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Miami won the 2001 national championship.

The Hurricanes began the season with a nationally televised primetime win over Penn State in Beaver Stadium. With a 30-0 halftime Miami lead, Coker pulled his starters and Miami cruised in the second half to a 33–7 victory. The 26-point margin tied for Penn State's worst home loss under Joe Paterno. Miami followed up the victory with wins over Rutgers, Pitt, and Troy State. After building up a 4–0 record, Miami won over Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium, 49–27, ending the Seminoles' 47-game home unbeaten streak. The Hurricanes then defeated West Virginia, 45–3, and Temple, 38–0, before heading to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College (BC).

Miami started with a 9–0 lead over the Boston College Eagles, but Miami's offense began to sputter as Dorsey struggled with the swirling winds, throwing four interceptions. The Hurricane defense picked up the slack by limiting BC to just seven points. However, in the final minute of the fourth quarter, with Miami clinging to a 12–7 lead, BC quarterback Brian St. Pierre led the Eagles from their own 30-yard line all the way down to the Hurricanes' 9-yard line. With BC on the verge of a momentous upset, St. Pierre attempted to pass to receiver Ryan Read at the Miami 2-yard line. However, the ball ricocheted off the leg of Miami cornerback Mike Rumph, landing in the hands of defensive end Matt Walters. Walters ran ten yards with the ball before teammate Ed Reed grabbed the ball out of his hands at around the Miami 20-yard line and raced the remaining 80-yards for a touchdown. Miami won 18–7.

After the close win over Boston College, Miami went on to win over #14 Syracuse, 59–0, and #12 Washington, 65–7, in consecutive weeks in the Orange Bowl. The combined 124–7 score is an NCAA record for largest margin of victory over consecutive ranked opponents.

The final hurdle to the Rose Bowl BCS National Championship Game was at Virginia Tech. Miami jumped on Virginia Tech early, leading 20–3 at halftime, and 26–10 in the fourth quarter. But despite being outgained by the Hurricanes by 134 yards and being dominated in time-of-possession, the Hokies never quit. After a Virginia Tech touchdown and two-point conversion cut Miami's lead to 26–18, the Hokies blocked a Miami punt and returned it for another score, cutting Miami's lead to just two points. But with a chance to tie the game with another two-point conversion, Virginia Tech sophomore Ernest Wilford dropped a pass in the endzone. Still, the resilient Hokies had one more chance to win the game late, taking possession of the ball at midfield and needing only a field goal to take the lead. But a diving, game-saving interception by Ed Reed sealed the Miami victory, 26–24. Defeating Virginia Tech earned the top-ranked Hurricanes an invitation to the Rose Bowl to take on BCS #2 Nebraska for the national championship.

Nebraska proved to be no competition for Miami, which opened up a 34–0 halftime lead en route to a 37–14 final score. Miami won its fifth national championship in the last 18 years, and put the finishing touches on a perfect 12–0 season. Dorsey passed for 362 yards and 3 touchdowns, while wide receiver Andre Johnson caught 7 passes for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the stifling Miami defense shut down Heisman-winner Eric Crouch and the Huskers vaunted option offense, holding Nebraska 200 yards below its season average. Dorsey and Johnson were named Rose Bowl co-Most Valuable Players.


The 2001 Miami Hurricanes are considered by many experts and historians the greatest team in college football history.[5] The Hurricanes scored 512 (42.6 points per game) points while yielding only 117 (9.75 points allowed per game). Miami beat opponents by an average of 32.9 points per game, the largest margin in the school's history, and set the NCAA record for largest margin of victory over consecutive ranked teams (124–7).[6] The offense set the school scoring record, while the defense led the nation in scoring defense (fewest points allowed), pass defense, and turnover margin.[6] Additionally, the Hurricane defense scored eight touchdowns of its own. Six players earned All-American status and six players were finalists for national awards, including Maxwell Award winner, Ken Dorsey, and Outland Trophy winner, Bryant McKinnie. Dorsey was also a Heisman finalist, finishing third.

Among the numerous stars on the 2001 Miami squad were: quarterback Ken Dorsey; running backs Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Najeh Davenport, and Frank Gore; tight end Jeremy Shockey; wide receiver Andre Johnson; offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie; defensive linemen Jerome McDougle, William Joseph, and Vince Wilfork; linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams; and defensive backs Ed Reed, Mike Rumph, and Phillip Buchanon. Additional contributors included future stars Kellen Winslow II, Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Vernon Carey, and Rocky McIntosh. In all, an extraordinary 17 players from the 2001 Miami football team were drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft (5 in the 2002 NFL Draft: Buchanon, McKinnie, Reed, Rumph, and Shockey; 4 in 2003: Johnson, Joseph, McDougle, and McGahee; 6 in 2004: Carey, Taylor, Vilma, Wilfork, Williams, and Winslow; 1 in 2005: Rolle; and 1 in 2006: Kelly Jennings).

Overall, 38 members of the team would be selected in the NFL Draft. As of 2013, they had earned a combined total of 43 trips to the Pro Bowl: Ed Reed (9), Andre Johnson (7), Frank Gore (5), Vince Wilfork (5), Jeremy Shockey (4), Jonathan Vilma (3), Willis McGahee (2), Chris Myers (2), Clinton Portis (2), Antrel Rolle (2), Sean Taylor (2), Bryant McKinnie (1), and Kellen Winslow II (1). In addition, Vilma, Shockey, Wilfork, Joseph, Rolle, McGahee, and Reed have won the Super Bowl. It has been estimated that the 2001 Hurricanes would cost nearly $120 million as an NFL team as early as 2009.

Prior to the 2006 Rose Bowl, ESPN's SportsCenter ran a special in which the 2005 USC Trojans, led by stars Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and LenDale White, were compared with the greatest college teams of the past 50 years, as picked by sports fans voting on ESPN.com, to determine their place in history. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes were the only team picked by fans to defeat the '05 Trojan squad, reflecting the esteem with which the 2001 Hurricanes are held in the college football world.[7]

Starting lineup[edit]


Position Name
QB Ken Dorsey
HB Najeh Davenport
HB Clinton Portis
TE Jeremy Shockey
WR Andre Johnson
WR Daryl Jones
LT Bryant McKinnie
LG Sherko Haji-Rasouli
C Brett Romberg
RG Martin Bibla
RT Joaquin Gonzalez


Position Name
RE Andrew Williams
DT Matt Walters
DT William Joseph
LE Jerome McDougle
OLB D.J. Williams
MLB Jonathan Vilma
OLB Chris Campbell
RCB Mike Rumph
FS Ed Reed
SS James Lewis
LCB Phillip Buchanon

Special Teams[edit]

Position Name
K Todd Sievers
P Freddie Capshaw
KR Daryl Jones
KR Andre Johnson
PR Phillip Buchanon


  • QB Ken Dorsey: 207/354 (58.47%) for 3,029 yards (8.56) with 26 TD vs. 10 INT (2.82%).
  • RB Clinton Portis: 240 carries for 1,304 yards (5.43) with 11 TD. 16 catches for 159 yards and 1 TD.
  • RB Willis McGahee: 69 carries for 321 yards (4.65) with 3 TD.
  • TE Jeremy Shockey: 45 catches for 604 yards (13.42) and 8 TD.
  • WR Kevin Beard: 29 catches for 450 yards (15.52) and 2 TD.
  • K Todd Sievers: 22 FGM and 60 XPM.

Awards and honors[edit]

First Team All-Americans[edit]

All-Conference Selections (First Team)[edit]

Awards Finalists[edit]

Bold indicates winners

Jack Harding University of Miami MVP Award[edit]

NFL Draft selections[edit]

Player Position Round Pick Year NFL Team
Andre Johnson Wide Receiver 1 3 2003 Houston Texans
Sean Taylor Defensive Back 1 5 2004 Washington Redskins
Kellen Winslow II Tight End 1 6 2004 Cleveland Browns
Bryant McKinnie Tackle 1 7 2002 Minnesota Vikings
Antrel Rolle Defensive Back 1 8 2005 Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Vilma Linebacker 1 12 2004 New York Jets
Jeremy Shockey Tight End 1 14 2002 New York Giants
Jerome McDougle Defensive Line 1 15 2003 Philadelphia Eagles
Phillip Buchanon Defensive Back 1 17 2002 Oakland Raiders
D. J. Williams Linebacker 1 18 2004 Denver Broncos
Vernon Carey Tackle 1 19 2004 Miami Dolphins
Vince Wilfork Defensive Line 1 21 2004 New England Patriots
Willis McGahee Running Back 1 23 2003 Buffalo Bills
Ed Reed Defensive Back 1 24 2002 Baltimore Ravens
William Joseph Defensive Line 1 25 2003 New York Giants
Mike Rumph Defensive Back 1 27 2002 San Francisco 49ers
Kelly Jennings Defensive Back 1 31 2006 Seattle Seahawks
Rocky McIntosh Linebacker 2 35 2006 Washington Redskins
Clinton Portis Running Back 2 51 2002 Denver Broncos
Roscoe Parrish Wide Receiver 2 55 2005 Buffalo Bills
Frank Gore Running Back 3 65 2005 San Francisco 49ers
Andrew Williams Defensive Line 3 89 2003 San Francisco 49ers
Rashad Butler Tackle 3 89 2006 Carolina Panthers
Leon Williams Linebacker 4 110 2006 Cleveland Browns
Martin Bibla Guard 4 116 2002 Atlanta Falcons
Jamaal Green Defensive Line 4 131 2003 Philadelphia Eagles
Orien Harris Defensive Line 4 133 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
Najeh Davenport Running Back 4 135 2002 Green Bay Packers
Matt Walters Defensive Line 5 150 2003 New York Jets
Marcus Maxey Defensive Back 5 154 2006 Kansas City Chiefs
James Lewis Defensive Back 6 183 2002 Indianapolis Colts
Chris Myers Guard 6 200 2005 Denver Broncos
Darrell McClover Linebacker 7 213 2004 New York Jets
Alfonso Marshall Defensive Back 7 215 2004 Chicago Bears
Daryl Jones Wide Receiver 7 226 2002 New York Giants
Joaquin Gonzalez Tackle 7 227 2002 Cleveland Browns
Ken Dorsey Quarterback 7 241 2003 San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Joseph Tackle 7 254 2004 San Diego Chargers



  1. ^ Johnston, Joey (December 28, 2008). "'Best Team In State History'". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ Bleler, Desmond (October 1, 2007). "They Were a Mighty Wind". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Best college football teams of all-time". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ "CMでも話題の独特な音を奏でる沖縄民謡を分析♪". 
  5. ^ http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1039966
  6. ^ a b "2001 football national championship". University of Miami. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Top Sports Searches - ESPN". 
  8. ^ "A Handy List of College Football's Heisman Trophy Winners". 
  9. ^ "2002 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com".