2001 Miami Hurricanes football
BCS National Champions
Big East Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
2001 record12–0 (7–0 Big East)
Head coachLarry Coker
Offensive coordinatorRob Chudzinski
Offensive schemePro Style
Defensive coordinatorRandy Shannon
Base defense4-3 Cover 2
Home stadiumMiami Orange Bowl
(Capacity: 74,416)
← 2000
2002 →
2001 Big East football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1 Miami   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 representative as champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes football team was the national champion of the 2001 college football season and is considered one of the greatest college football teams of all time. They finished the 2001 season with a 37–14 drubbing of the vastly overmatched 2001 Nebraska Cornhuskers in the BCS National Championship Game.[1][2][3]

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, while the Seminoles' lone loss was on the road to the #3 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 #2 Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA ABC W 33–7   109,313
September 8 4:00 PM Rutgers #1 Orange BowlMiami, FL W 61–0   39,804
September 27 7:30 PM at Pittsburgh #1 Heinz FieldPittsburgh, PA ESPN W 43–21   57,224
October 6* 12:00 PM [[{{{school}}}|Troy State]] #1 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN+ W 38–7   36,617
October 13* 12:00 PM at #14 Florida State #2 Doak Campbell StadiumTallahassee, FL (Rivalry) ABC W 49–27   82,836
October 25 7:00 PM West Virginia #1 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN2 W 45–3   44,411
November 3 12:00 PM Temple #1 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ESPN+ W 38–0   31,128
November 10 12:00 PM at Boston College #1 Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA ABC W 18–7   44,500
November 17 3:30 PM #14 Syracuse #1 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ABC W 59–0   52,896
November 24* 8:00 PM #12 Washington #1 Orange Bowl • Miami, FL ABC W 65–7   78,114
December 1 1:00 PM at #14 Virginia Tech #1 Lane StadiumBlacksburg, VA (Rivalry) ABC W 26–24   53,662
January 3* 8:15 PM vs. #4 Nebraska #1 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 37–14   93,781
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.

Season recapEdit

Led by quarterback Ken Dorsey, running back Clinton Portis, free safety Ed Reed, wide receiver Andre Johnson, tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow II, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, and strong safety Sean Taylor, 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 [[{{{school}}}|Troy State]]. After building up a 4–0 record, Miami won over Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium, 49–27, ending the Seminoles' 54-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 one of the greatest college football teams 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, and Kevin Beard; tackles Bryant McKinnie and Joaquin Gonzalez; 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 2012, they had earned an astonishing 41 trips to the Pro Bowl: Ed Reed (9), Andre Johnson (6), Vince Wilfork (5), Frank Gore (4), 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).

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.[7] The University of Texas, led by Vince Young, defeated USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Starting lineupEdit


Position Name
QB Ken Dorsey
FB Najeh Davenport
HB Clinton Portis
TE Jeremy Shockey
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.
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 TeamsEdit

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 151 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 JohnsonWide Receiver 13 2003 Houston Texans
Sean TaylorDefensive Back 15 2004 Washington Redskins
Kellen Winslow IITight End 16 2004 Cleveland Browns
Bryant McKinnieTackle 17 2002 Minnesota Vikings
Antrel RolleDefensive Back 18 2005Arizona 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 2003Philadelphia Eagles
Phillip Buchanon Defensive Back 1 17 2002Oakland Raiders
D. J. Williams Linebacker 1 182004 Denver Broncos
Vernon Carey Tackle 1 19 2004Miami Dolphins
Vince Wilfork Defensive Line 1 212004 New England Patriots
Willis McGahee Running Back 1 23 2003Buffalo Bills
Ed Reed Defensive Back 1 24 2002Baltimore Ravens
William JosephDefensive Line1252003 New York Giants
Mike RumphDefensive Back 127 2002San Francisco 49ers
Kelly JenningsDefensive Back131 2006Seattle Seahawks
Rocky McIntoshLinebacker235 2006Washington Redskins
Clinton PortisRunning Back251 2002Denver Broncos
Roscoe ParrishWide Receiver255 2005Buffalo Bills
Frank GoreRunning Back365 2005San Francisco 49ers
Andrew WilliamsDefensive Line389 2003San Francisco 49ers
Rashad ButlerTackle389 2006Carolina Panthers
Leon WilliamsLinebacker4110 2006Cleveland Browns
Martin BiblaGuard4116 2002Atlanta Falcons
Jamaal GreenDefensive Line4131 2003Philadelphia Eagles
Orien HarrisDefensive Line4133 2006Pittsburgh Steelers
Najeh DavenportRunning Back4135 2002Green Bay Packers
Matt WaltersDefensive Line5150 2003New York Jets
Marcus MaxeyDefensive Back5154 2006Kansas City Chiefs
James LewisDefensive Back 6183 2002Indianapolis Colts
Chris MyersGuard6200 2005Denver Broncos
Darrell McClover Linebacker 7 213 2004New York Jets
Alfonso Marshall Defensive Back 7 215 2004Chicago Bears
Daryl Jones Wide Receiver 7 226 2002New York Giants
Joaquin Gonzalez Tackle 7 227 2002Cleveland Browns
Ken Dorsey Quarterback 7 241 2003San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Joseph Tackle 7 254 2004San Diego Chargers


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