A March To Remember

Ken Dorsey could be on his way to owning every single passing record at the University of Miami by the time the curtain falls on his stay in Coral Gables. But no matter what other numbers Dorsey adds to the Hurricanes record books with his right arm, he has already produced the moment he will always be linked with at the university.

Dorsey can already put his name along side those of John Elway and Joe Montana-for orchestrating his own version of the The Drive'

Elway's plaque in Canton, Ohio will one day note that he failured in four Super Bowl before winning two. Still in small-type somewhere on that very plaque it will read like this: 40 game-winning and seven game-tying drives-especially the one on a cold day fifteen years ago in Cleveland.

January 11, 1986: Trailing 20-13, Elway directed his team 98 yards on 15 plays through the Brown defense, finding Mark Jackson in the endzone to send the game into overtime. Kicker Rich Karlis would kick a field goal to put Denver in the Super Bowl. Not to many remember Karlis' winning field goal. Instead, they are quick to recall Elway's magic.

Ditto for Joe Montana: Montana walked away from the game with a bag full of passing records. His defining moment? January 10, 1982 in the NFC Championship. Flushed out of the pocket by the Cowboys defense, Montana rolled to his right and found Dwight Clark in the back of the endzone to finish an improbable 28-27 win sending the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Dorsey has yet to reach the level or heights that Montana or Elway once did in the NFL. But he can put a 'Drive' on his resume.

It came a little over a year ago this week as Dorsey provided one of the most memorable moments in Hurricanes and Orange Bowl history.

"We had so much confidence. I just knew we we're up to something real special," Dorsey said.

Indeed.

October 7, 2000: After being ahead for the most of the game, the Hurricanes fell behind 24-20 to the then-No. 1 Florida State Seminoles with 1:37 remaining in the contest. Miami had 97 seconds to travel 68 yards to leave the stadium victorious.

Unfortunately for the Seminoles, Dorsey had time to spare.

Dorsey to Santana Moss for 13 yards; Dorsey to Jeremy Shockey for five yards; Dorsey to Reggie Wayne for 17 yards; Dorsey to Shockey for six yards; incomplete pass to Wayne; Dorsey to Moss for 19 yards; 5-yard penalty against Miami.

Then with 46 seconds remaining in the game Dorsey delivered a 13-yard TD pass to cap the 'Drive'. A missed Matt Munyon 49-yard field goal and 46 seconds later the Hurricanes were 27-24 winners over the Seminoles.

Dorsey can recall being part of a late drive in a high school game several years ago that got his team even on the scoreboard. But never had he experienced something of such magnitude as that October day in the OB a year ago.

"I had never been a part of something at such a high level. It was just a great feeling to cap it off with a touchdown. Its hard to put into words what goes through your mind in a situation like that," Dorsey said.

"It gave the team and especially myself loads of confidence the rest of the way."

Dorsey was the one behind center and lighting up the Seminoles secondary to the tune of 328 passing yards. But he credit his teammates for making plays and leading the way on the game-winning drive.

"Jeremy made a great play on the touchdown pass because he wasn't exactly wide open," Dorsey said. "He really came through for us and that is usually what great players do in big situations."

Earlier this week, Dorsey recalled that after the second pass completion to Shockey during the drive he felt confident that the Hurricanes were going to score.

"There was a belief in that huddle that we were going to get it done," Dorsey said. "It was very positive and everybody was extremly focused."

Shockey, who had missed most of the game with a knee injury suffered in the first quarter, made all three of his catches on the final drive by the Hurricanes. Although, Miami head coach Larry Coker, who was still the Hurricanes offensive coordinator at the time, didn't have anything special designed for Shockey during the sequence.

"We really didn't see anything in Florida State's defense that made us go to Jeremy," Coker said. "There aren't too many tight ends that are going to beat linebacker coverage-especially Florida State linebackers. Jeremy just made some great plays out there. Great plays by a great player."

When asked if he could think back to any memorable drives that stick out in his mind, Coker also pointed to the Elway classic in 1986.

"Personally I've never really been a part of any of those until the one last year," Coker said."The Broncos-Browns game about 15 years ago is really the one that I remember most."

All Coker has to do know is pop in a UM football tape dated October 7, 2000 to revisit a piece of college football history. And that he and Dorsey were part of it.

"It was a special day for all of us at the University of Miami," Coker said.

Dorsey would connect on 6-of-7 passes and capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey that gave the Hurricanes a 27-24 lead with 46 ticks of the clock left. A Matt Munyon missed field goal later and the Hurricanes had knocked off the top-ranked team in the country.

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