Polls make Miami official champion

Saturday, January 5, 2002

PASADENA, Calif. -- Ten years after the Miami Hurricanes last ruled the college football world and a year after being frozen out of the title game, they are No. 1 again.

Miami left no doubt at the Rose Bowl, opening a 34-point lead in the first half against Nebraska on the way to a 37-14 victory Thursday night.

Even the Cornhuskers were impressed.

"I think anyone would have struggled with them the way they played," Nebraska coach Frank Solich said.

Ken Dorsey threw for a career-best 362 yards and three touchdowns, sharing the MVP award with Andre Johnson, who had seven catches for 199 yards.

Clinton Portis ran for 104 yards, including a 39-yarder for a touchdown, and safety James Lewis took an interception 47 yards for a TD as the Hurricanes finished a perfect season with a near-perfect performance.

"If you have any more questions, we're 12-0," Miami's All-American safety Ed Reed said. "There's a lot of people saying they should be here. If they were, they would have gotten the same treatment."

In winning its fifth national title -- third at the expense of Nebraska -- Miami defeated the Huskers more soundly than Colorado did in a 62-36 win on Nov. 23.

The 'Canes, who take a 22-game winning streak into next season, manhandled the Huskers. They held the nation's leading rushing offense to 197 yards on the ground and just 259 total yards -- nearly 200 yards under Nebraska's average.

The Associated Press poll of sports writers and broadcasters voted Miami No. 1 unanimously, giving the Hurricanes their first title since the 1991 season.

Miami picked up the trophy awarded by the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll following the game.

At a Friday news conference, coach Larry Coker claimed the other hardware -- trophies from The Associated Press, the Football Writers, and the MacArthur Bowl, along with the USA Today-ESPN coaches.

"I don't know what all these trophies are for, but apparently there's no split championship," he said. "This has been a tremendous week for the University of Miami. It's just been an unbelievable run."

Oregon (11-1), a 38-16 winner over Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday, finished second in both polls. Nebraska (11-2) dropped four places and finished No. 8 in the final AP poll, and seventh in the coaches poll.

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