The Run For The Roses

Miami brought back national championship #5 to Coral Gables with an impressive blowout of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the rose Bowl. Here is a recap of the season game by game.

GAME 1: UM 33, Penn State 7
Sept. 1; State College, Pa.
What was supposed to be a formidable road challenge for rookie Larry Coker and the rest of the Hurricanes instead was a laugher as UM ran off to a 30-0 halftime lead and eventually racked up their first win of the season. Clinton Portis celebrated his 20th birthday in grand fashion, rushing for a career-high 164 yards, and Ken Dorsey recorded 344 passing yards and three touchdowns. By the end of the first quarter, the scoreboard read ‘UM 13, Penn State 0' and the Beaver Stadium faithful had been reduced to silence. In the process, the Hurricanes prevented Penn State coach Joe Paterno from tying the mark for most career coaching victories. The win would also vault the Canes to No. 1 in the AP poll.

GAME 2: UM 61, Rutgers 0
Sept. 8; Orange Bowl
Usually, host are supposed to be courteous when it comes to welcoming guest. That was hardly the case as the Hurricanes walloped the Scarlet Knights 61-0 in Greg Schiano's first trip back to South Florida since taking over the coaching reigns in Piscataway, New Jersey. The Hurricanes were in no mood for greetings as Dorsey threw two TD passes and four different backs found the endzone. Andre Johnson showed everybody why his considered a future star with two receptions, 104 yards and a touchdown, including a 64-yard grab. The Canes convinced the coaches this time, as they were ranked No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

GAME 3: UM 43, Pittsburgh 21
Sept. 27; Pittsburgh, Pa
The Hurricanes handled a 19-day layoff (caused by the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks) between games with ease as they pulled away in the second quarter to hand the Panthers a third straight home loss. The offense unit was a bit sloppy at the outset, although the Miami defense had three turnovers to turn the tide and send the Hurricanes to a 23-7 halftime lead. Portis ended up with three touchdowns and 131 yards as the Canes rolled up over 400 yards of offense. John again led the Miami receiving corp with four receptions, 42 yards and a touchdown. Phillip Buchanon had an interception of Pitt back-up Rod Rutherford.

GAME 4: UM 38, Troy State 7
Oct. 6; Orange Bowl
Despite winning by over four touchdowns, the Hurricanes lose their No. 1 AP ranking thanks to a lackluster outing. The Canes led 17-7 at the intermission, but were stymied by the Trojans defense repeatedly and were held to 101 rushing yards for the day. Ken Dorsey had another solid game (299 yards, two touchdowns) and Todd Sievers nailed a field goal late in the second quarter. The Canes defense surrendered over 300 yards of total offense.

GAME 5: UM 49, FSU 27
Oct. 13; Tallahassee, Fl
The Hurricanes put any whispers of them falling from the top to rest with a sound 49-27 beating of their state-rivals and handed the Seminoles their second consecutive defeat. The Hurricanes defense made things difficult for Noles freshman QB Chris Rix, who threw four interceptions and fumbled on two separate occasions. The Hurricanes capitalized on the field-position afforded by the Noles, scoring on drives of 27, 36 and 18 yards. Portis again orchestrated an effective rushing attack with 122 yards on 17 carries. Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Vilma had a 36-yard fumble recovery for a score in the third quarter, while Ed Reed and Phillip Buchanon added two interceptions each.

GAME 6: UM 45, West Virginia 3
Oct. 25; Orange Bowl
The Mountaineers were the victims of the Hurricanes' frustrations at being ranked No. 4 in the inaugural BCS standings. The Hurricanes scored six touchdowns in the last 45 minutes of the contest on their way to the easy victory. The Hurricanes defense again was the life of the party with six turnovers and five sacks. Ed Reed did his part with two interceptions and a fumble recovery and James Lewis had an interception return in the second quarter. Freshman running back Frank Gore had Canes fans salivating with 124 yards on six carries, including a 49-yard scoring run. In the game, Ken Dorsey tied the school record for career touchdown passes with 48. He was 16-of-27 for 192 yards.

GAME 7: UM 38, Temple 0
Nov. 3; Orange Bowl
Miami continued on their winning ways, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games and match a Big East record of 14 straight conference wins. The defense held the Owls to a measly 34 yards passing and a season-low 152 yards of total offense, while recording their second shutout of the season. Dorsey became the school's all-time passing touchdown leader with 50, surpassing the old mark shared by Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde. Reed tied Bennie Blades' career interceptions record at 19. Portis had 117 yards on 20 carries to become the fifth UM player to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing plateau in a career.

GAME 8: UM 18, Boston College 7
Nov. 10; Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The Hurricanes survived a late-second Boston College winning drive and held on as Matt Walters intercepted a Brian St. Pierre pass that bounced off Mike Rumph's knee. After returning the ball about 10 yards up field, Walters had the ball taken from him by Reed, who finshed the 80-yard interception return for the touchdown. The touchdown helped UM escape a cold and gloomy day in which Ken Dorsey threw four interceptions and went without a TD pass for the first time as a starter.

GAME 9: UM 59, Syracuse 0
Nov. 17; Orange Bowl Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney let it be known in the days leading up to the game that he would be making a his ‘first million' off Miami star offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie. It really would have helped if the Orangemen would have helped with a few points. The Hurricanes rendered Syracuse scoreless, all the while McKinnie held Freeney without a tackle, sack or pressure. Ken Dorsey was efficient (224 yards, four touchdowns) after his struggles against Boston College and Andre Johnson came up with 116 yards and two touchdowns. Portis gained 132 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown, while Buchanon had a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final quarter. Gore had a game-high 153 yards rushing as the Hurricanes had 566 of total offense.

GAME 10: UM 65, Washington 7
Nov. 24; Orange Bowl
By the time the clock had reached :00, the Huskies athletic director was screaming foul and her players probably were wishing the game never showed up on the schedule. Miami avenged their only blemish of the 2000 season convincingly with 37 first-half points that included three touchdowns by Clinton Portis (12 rushes, 105 yards). Miami led wire-to-wire and Jonathan Vilma set the pace to the evening with an interception of Cody Pickett on the third play of the game. The Hurricanes took the lead less than two minutes into the game as Portis went into the endzone from seven yards out. After taking the bite our of the Huskies, the Hurricanes had the top-spot in the BCS rankings, AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls and one more test before competing a perfect regular season.

GAME 11: UM 26, Virginia Tech 24
Dec. 1; Blacksburg, Va.
Miami was on the verge of letting a substantial fourth quarter lead slip away before Ed Reed saved the day with an interception of Hokies quarterback Grant Noel to secure the nail-biting win and send the Hurricanes packing for Pasasdena, California and the Rose Bowl. The game could have taken a different turn, but Hokies receiver Ernest Wilford dropped a two-point conversion that would have tied the score with six minutes remaining but On a day when the Hurricanes offense wasn't on its best behavior, junior kicker Todd Sievers more than made up for it. After having his initial try blocked, Sievers nailed 34, 43, 42 and 39 attempts and two PAT's to account for 14 points. With the effort, Sievers set the Hurricanes' single-season record for points scored by a kicker with 119.

GAME 12: UM 37, Nebraska 14
Jan. 3; Pasadena, California
The Hurricanes left no doubt here, bringing the curtains down on their fifth championship and a perfect season by making short work of the Cornhuskers. Miami blew the game open with four touchdowns in the second quarter and sped to a 34-0 cushion at the half. James Lewis started the onslaught with a 47-yard interception return that put Miami in front 21-0. Andre Johnson gave the nation a sneak peek of the future with 199 receiving yards, seven receptions and two touchdowns to share Rose Bowl MVP honors with Ken Dorsey. Clinton Portis rushed for 104 yards on 20 carries to crack the 100-yard mark for the sixth straight time.

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