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2001 Miami Hurricanes football team

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes football team represented the University of Miami during the 2001 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It was the Hurricanes' 76th season of football and 11th as a member of the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes were led by first-year head coach Larry Coker and played their home games at the Orange Bowl. They finished the season 12–0 overall and 7–0 in the Big East to finish as conference champion. They were invited to the Rose Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game, and defeated Nebraska, 37–14, to win the school's 5th national championship. The team is considered by many fans to be the greatest in college football history.[1]

2001 Miami Hurricanes football
Miami Hurricanes logo.svg
Unanimous National Champion
Big East champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl (BCS NCG), W 37–14 vs. Nebraska
ConferenceBig East Conference
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
2001 record12–0 (7–0 Big East)
Head coachLarry Coker (1st season)
Offensive coordinatorRob Chudzinski (1st season)
Offensive schemePro-style
Defensive coordinatorRandy Shannon (1st season)
Base defense4–3 Cover 2
Home stadiumMiami Orange Bowl
(Capacity: 74,416)
← 2000
2002 →
2001 Big East football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 1 Miami (FL) $#   7 0         12 0  
No. 14 Syracuse   6 1         10 3  
No. 21 Boston College   4 3         8 4  
No. 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


Pre-season motivationEdit

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.


September 18:00 PMat Penn State*No. 2ABCW 33–7109,313
September 84:00 PMRutgersNo. 1ESPN+W 61–039,804
September 277:30 PMat PittsburghNo. 1ESPNW 43–2157,224
October 612:00 PMTroy State*No. 1
  • Miami Orange Bowl
  • Miami, FL
ESPN+W 38–736,617
October 1312:00 PMat No. 13 Florida State*No. 1ABCW 49–2782,836
October 257:00 PMWest VirginiaNo. 1
  • Miami Orange Bowl
  • Miami, FL
ESPN2W 45–344,411
November 312:00 PMTempleNo. 1
  • Miami Orange Bowl
  • Miami, FL
ESPN+W 38–031,128
November 1012:00 PMat Boston CollegeNo. 1ABCW 18–744,500
November 173:30 PMNo. 15 SyracuseNo. 2
ABCW 59–052,896
November 248:00 PMNo. 11 Washington*No. 2
  • Miami Orange Bowl
  • Miami, FL
ABCW 65–778,114
December 11:00 PMat No. 14 Virginia TechNo. 1ABCW 26–2453,662
January 38:15 PMvs. No. 4 Nebraska*No. 1ABCW 37–1493,781
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Eastern time

Season recapEdit

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 some experts and historians to be the greatest team in college football history.[2] 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).[3] The offense set the school scoring record, while the defense led the nation in scoring defense (fewest points allowed), pass defense, and turnover margin.[3] 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, 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.[4]

The team's first-, second- and third-string running backs all later became running backs with a start in the NFL, a feat only done at least five other times. It has been achieved by the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide football teams and the 2012 Wisconsin Badgers football team. They remain the only team to have its first-, second-, third- and fourth-string running backs all later become running backs with a start in the NFL.


2001 Miami Hurricanes football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
WR 1 Daryl Jones Sr
RB 2 Willis McGahee Fr
RB 4 Najeh Davenport Sr
WR 5 Andre Johnson So
WR 9 Kevin Beard So
QB 11 Ken Dorsey Jr
RB 28 Clinton Portis Jr
RB 32 Frank Gore Fr
RB 34 Jarrett Payton So
T 60 Vernon Carey So
G 65 Martin Bibla Sr
C 66 Brett Romberg Jr
T 73 Joaquin Gonzalez Sr
G 74 Sherko Haji-Rasouli Jr
T 76 Carlos Joseph So
OL 77 Chris Myers Fr
T 78 Bryant McKinnie Sr
TE 81 Kellen Winslow Fr
WR 84 Roscoe Parrish Fr
TE 88 Jeremy Shockey Jr
Pos. # Name Class
CB 6 Antrel Rolle Fr
CB 8 Mike Rumph Sr
LB 17 D.J. Williams So
FS 20 Ed Reed Sr
DB 25 Alfonso Marshall So
CB 26 Sean Taylor Fr
CB 31 Phillip Buchanon Jr
LB 48 Chris Campbell Sr
LB 49 Darrell McClover So
LB 50 Roger McIntosh RSr
LB 51 Jonathan Vilma So
LB 54 Alejandro Colon Fr
DE 55 Jamaal Green Jr
DT 56 Santonio Thomas So
DE 91 Matt Walters Jr
DT 75 Vince Wilfork Fr
DT 94 William Joseph Jr
DE 95 Jerome McDougle Jr
DE 99 Andrew Williams Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 16 Todd Sievers Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt


Starting lineupEdit


  • 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 honorsEdit

First Team All-AmericansEdit

All-Conference Selections (First Team)Edit

Awards FinalistsEdit

Bold indicates winners

Jack Harding University of Miami MVP AwardEdit

NFL Draft selectionsEdit

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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2010-01-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2010-01-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "2001 football national championship". University of Miami. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "Top Sports Searches - ESPN".
  5. ^ "A Handy List of College Football's Heisman Trophy Winners".
  6. ^ "2002 NFL Draft Listing -".