This Date In Hurricanes History…November 17, 2000
Brought to you by the UM Sports Hall of Fame!
UMSHoF Class of 2011 members, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Dan Morgan led the 2nd ranked Miami Hurricanes to a 26-0 victory over the Syracuse Orangemen in front of a Syracuse Dome sellout crowd and a national television audience !
UMSHoF Class of 2012 member Ed Reed picked off his school record 21st career interception, also !
Miami would defeat Boston College 52-6 the next week at the Orange bowl...but be denied the chance to play Oklahoma for the national championship, settling for the next best thing...a 37-20 victory over the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl, to finish 11-1 .
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Miami coach Butch Davis said he wouldn't run up the score against Syracuse. He never said anything about the other side of the ball.
The Miami defense met the Orangemen at every turn Saturday night, limiting them to 83 yards rushing, 83 passing and just nine first downs in a 26-0 victory. James Jackson rushed for 101 yards and scored twice as the Hurricanes remained in the hunt for the national championship.
Miami (9-1, 6-0 Big East), which has one game left, against Boston College, entered the game ranked second in the BCS standings, which will decide the national championship game.
There was concern by Miami before the game that the winner of the Florida-Florida State game, also played Saturday night, might vault past the Hurricanes, so a strong performance against Syracuse was a must.
"They say we had to win by 20, and we did that tonight," said Davis, who was whooping it up in the locker room afterward, praising his defense. "I would be disappointed if we didn't stay second, especially with the tough stretch we've had. Every team we've played has had a winning record.
Including Syracuse (5-5, 3-3). But the Orangemen also had a redshirt quarterback starting his first game at home, and that made Miami's task easier.
"We knew they were going to try to run some option, try to confuse us," said linebacker Dan Morgan, who aggravated a toe injury in the second quarter but still managed three tackles behind the line of scrimmage. "One little mess-up and they are going to bust a play on you."
There were none on this night. In its eight possessions of the first half, Syracuse did not gain a first down on seven of them as quarterback R.J. Anderson failed to generate anything offensively. The Orangemen, who entered the game ranked 17th in the nation in rushing with a 206-yard average, gained 42 yards on 29 plays in the half and had only two first downs.
"I was a little anxious," said Anderson, who finished 11-for-25 and suffered a costly interception.
Meanwhile, Miami won the field-position game handily, took a 23-0 halftime lead and took the capacity Carrier Dome crowd of 49,327 out of the game. The stands were more empty than full after Todd Sievers kicked a 33-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
"We felt very comfortable and were able to operate, even with the noisy conditions," said quarterback Ken Dorsey, who was 16 of 28 for 263 yards and one touchdown. "The offensive line did a great job of pass protecting and the receivers were running great routes. They made my job easy."
Of their eight possessions in the opening half, the Hurricanes started either near midfield or in Syracuse territory six times, and that was costly for Syracuse.
"We were counting on getting at least some field position, but those things did not happen early on," Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "And that, in my mind, was the game."
Leading 3-0 on a 23-yard field goal early in the first quarter by Sievers, Miami scored three touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second quarter to put the game away.
Dorsey got the Hurricanes going with completions of 32 yards to Jeremy Shockey and 23 yards to Daryl Jones. A key 11-yarder to Santana Moss on a third-and-10 play set up Jackson's 5-yard scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.
Syracuse entered the game with the seventh-rated pass defense in the country, allowing 163.8 yards per game. Dorsey completed 9 of 19 passes for 183 yards in the first half alone. One was a 32-yard touchdown strike to Reggie Wayne on a crossing play over the middle that put Miami ahead 16-0 with 11:51 remaining in the half.
Strong safety Edward Reed nabbed Miami's 21st interception of the season to stop Syracuse's next possession and Jackson scored on a 33-yard run two plays later to make it 23-0.
"We weren't thinking about the BCS," Reed said. "Any time you can get a shutout, you try your hardest. We could have run up the score, but that's not the kind of team we are."
Syracuse had relied all season on its defense, which was expected to keep the Orangemen in this one despite the absence of defensive end Dwight Freeney, who sat out his third straight game with an undisclosed viral infection. Freeney still led the nation with 13 sacks.
But the pressure that harried Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick, sacking him an amazing nine times in a 22-14 loss to the Hokies a month ago, never materialized.
Syracuse, which suffered its first shutout at home since a 43-0 loss to West Virginia in 1993, mounted only two sustained drives in the game.
The best chance to score came in the first quarter as Anderson moved the Orangemen from their own 36 to the Miami 17 in nine plays. But Mike Shafer's 40-yard field-goal attempt was wide left, his 11th miss in 25 attempts this year.
"Momentum is a big thing in football," said Dorsey, who was rarely hurried. "I really felt like we got the momentum back after they missed the field goal. I think that really helped us through the entire first half."