'Canes Bury Penn State in Opener

Despite all of the intangibles that favored Penn State, Miami came ready to play and dominated. Miami scored on their first five possessions and six of their first seven to take a 30-0 halftime lead.

Larry Coker's debut couldn't have gone too much better. Miami was focused and superior in every facet of the game from the start.

With an announced crowd of 109,313 fans, Miami was up against the largest crowd ever to witness a college football game. Midway through the first quarter there were only about 5,000 fans cheering and those were in the orange and green.

After stopping Penn State on their first possession, Miami quickly drove down the field and settled for a Todd Sievers 25 yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. On the subsequent kickoff, Penn State broke a long return and only the speed of Phillip Buchanon saved a touchdown. Two plays later Jonathan Vilma blitzed and almost took the hand off, causing a fumble that safety James Lewis recovered. It turned out to be a huge shift in momentum as Miami marched down the field and scored on a 27 yard touchdown pass from Ken dorsey to Ethnic Sands. Miami was up 10-0 and never looked back.

As the defense continued to stop Penn State, Miami came back with two more Todd Sievers field goals of 42 and 37 yards. Then on a misdirection play Dorsey found a wide open Najeh Davenport for a 28 yard touchdown and a 23-0 lead. Shortly before the half, All American TE candidate Jeremy Shockey got into the scorebook with a 10 yard touchdown catch to make it 30-0.

Overall the box score is misleading. Miami did not score one point from their rushing attack but it was impressive all night. Miami averaged just under six yards per carry on the night. Junior Clinton Portis showed excellent vision and accumulated 164 yards on only 17 carries. Backup Willis McGahee tacked on 77 yards on 17 carries as well.

Fans hoping for a more aggressive defense were in for a treat. Defensive ends Jerome McDougle and Andrew Williams were disruptive all night. Miami was able to force four turnovers as well as register four sacks. It was vintage Miami defense - fast and mean.

News & Notes

The team captains for the game were Ken Dorsey, Najeh Davenport, Mike Rumph and Martin Bibla.

The 30-0 deficit was the largest at halftime in the history of Penn State football.

There are five players who were also part of the loss to Penn State in 1999. They are Joaquin Gonzalez, Martin Bibla, William Joseph, Ed Reed and Mike Rumph.

Seven true freshmen travelled to the game. They were Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Kellen Winslow, Mark Gent, Vince Wilfork and Buck Ortega.

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