Character, Class and Poise = Championship

The Hurricanes’ fifth national championship may have been the program’s most rewarding. A veteran senior class that had endured the shame of a losing season in 1997 and had rebuilt the program — inside and out — led this team. Miami returned to the top in 2001 by showing character, class and poise.

How good was this team? Many argue it may have been the greatest college football team ever assembled. This team beat opponents by the largest average margin in UM history (33.2 points per game), produced the biggest two-game whippings of any pair of ranked teams in history by defeating Syracuse and Washington by a combined 124-7, set a new UM record for scoring and featured a defense that scored eight touchdowns and led the nation in pass defense, scoring defense and turnover margin..

Throw in a kicking game that featured one of the nation’s finest punters and a placekicker that led the nation in field goals and it’s hard to argue against the 2001 edition. An astounding seven Hurricanes were named to at least one All-America team’s first unit. Six players were finalists for national awards, led by Outland Trophy winner Bryant McKinnie at offensive tackle and Maxwell Award winning quarterback Ken Dorsey.

The 2001 Hurricanes started with a stunning rout of Penn State on the road before the largest crowd (109,313) ever to see a Miami game. They ended Florida State’s 54-game unbeaten streak in Tallahassee with a resounding 49-27 whipping.

The stars were numerous. On offense: quarterback Ken Dorsey, tailback Clinton Portis (1,200 yards rushing), tight end Jeremy Shockey, an offensive line that allowed an incredibly low two sacks by the starting unit, a receivers corps led by Andre Johnson, a defensive line in which nine players could play without losing a step led by William Joseph, a linebacker corps that developed into a force and a secondary that was the nation’s best, led by safety Edward Reed and cornerbacks Mike Rumph and Phillip Buchanon.

The power of this team was evident for all to see in its Rose Bowl rout of Nebraska for the national title. Miami roared to a 34-0 halftime lead, erasing any doubts about what team was college football’s best in 2001.

2001 (12-0-0)
Head Coach: Larry Coker

DateUM RankOpponentResultScore
Sept. 1 2 at Penn State W 33-7
Sept. 8 1 Rutgers W 61-0
Sept. 27 1 at Pittsburgh W 43-21
Oct. 6 1 Troy State W 38-7
Oct. 13 2 (14) Florida State W 49-27
Oct. 25 1 West Virginia W 45-3
Nov. 3 1 Temple W 38-0
Nov. 10 1 at Boston College W 18-7
Nov. 17 1 (14) Syracuse W 59-0
Nov. 24 1 (12) Washington W 65-7
Dec. 1 1 (14) Virginia Tech W 26-24
Jan. 3 1 *vs. (4) Nebraska W 37-14

*Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

2001 Statistical Leaders

C. Portis 220 1200 5.5 10 45
K. Dorsey 319-184-9 2652 57.9 23 64
J. Shockey 40 519 13.0 7 56
E. Reed 9 206 22.9 2 80
F. Capshaw 36 1508 41.8 15 59
P. Buchanon 31 464 15.0 2 59
A. Johnson 13 254 19.5 0 30
Sievers 0-0 5-6 9-11 7-8 0-1 21-26

Starting Lineup
SE — Andre Johnson
TE — Jeremy Shockey
LT — Bryant McKinnie
LG — Sherko Haji-Rasouli/Ed Wilkins
C — Brett Romberg
RG — Martin Bibla
RT — Joaquin Gonzalez
FL — Kevin Beard
QB — Ken Dorsey
FB — Najeh Davenport
TB — Clinton Portis

RE — Jerome McDougle
RT — Matt Walters
LT — William Joseph
LE — Andrew Williams/Jamaal Green
WLB — D.J. Williams
MLB — Jonathan Vilma
SLB — Chris Campbell
RCB — Mike Rumph
FS — James Lewis
SS — Edward Reed
LCB — Phillip Buchanon

PK — Todd Sievers
P — Freddie Capshaw
DS — Chris Harvey/Joe Fantigrassi
HOL — Freddie Capshaw
PR — Phillip Buchanon
KOR — Andre Johnson, Frank Gore

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Larry Coker

Rob Chudzinski, offensive coordinator/tight ends
Randy Shannon, defensive coordinator
Vernon Hargreaves, linebackers
Curtis Johnson, receivers
Art Kehoe, offensive line
Greg Mark, defensive line
Don Soldinger, special teams coordinator/running backs
Mark Stoops, defensive backs
Dan Werner, quarterbacks
Frank Giufre, graduate assistant
Rod Holder, graduate assistant