|Written by Stuart Wang|
|Sunday, 25 November 2007|
Page 5 of 6
1987 (12-0-0): Dominance From Start To Finish
The Hurricanes were supposed to be rebuilding. Reloading was more accurate. This Miami team was supposed be the lull before the storm of 1988 and 1989. After all, the Hurricanes had lost five starters on offense from a team that had come within a whisper of a national title in 1985 and a 1986 squad that was considered among the best ever, only to lose its title shot in the Fiesta Bowl.
But this team was more offensively balanced than the previous season's juggernaut and, with nine starters returning to an underrated defense, the Hurricanes were a more well-rounded team altogether. Ranked 10th in the preseason Associated Press rankings, this team quickly showed it would be better than advertised.
Miami ripped rival Florida in the season opener, then embarrassed Arkansas on the Razorbacks' home field. The season's third game was a classic. Being dominated by fourth-ranked Florida State, 19-3, late in the third quarter, Miami launched one of its greatest comebacks. The Hurricanes scored three lightning-quick touchdowns: a 49-yard bomb from Steve Walsh to Melvin Bratton, a 26-yarder from Walsh to Michael Irvin (plus a two-point conversion to tie it at 19), then a 73-yard strike from Walsh to Irvin for the lead with 2:22 remaining to give Miami a lead it would have to stop an FSU two-pointer to hold for a 26-25 victory.
There seemed to be no stopping these Hurricanes after that. Miami rolled through the remainder of the regular season, ripping tenth-ranked Notre Dame (24-0) and surviving a scare from eighth-ranked South Carolina (20-16) to set up a matchup with top-ranked Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl Classic on New Year's Day.
The Hurricanes bottled up OU's wishbone attack, holding the Sooners to just 179 yards on the ground (OU came in averaging 428.8). Elation for Miami was frustration for OU - the Sooners only three losses over the last three seasons had come to the Hurricanes.
1987 (12-0-0) Head Coach: Jimmy Johnson Date UM Rank Opponent Result Score Sept. 5 10 (20) Florida W 31-4 Sept. 26 5 at (10) Arkansas W 51-7 Oct. 3 3 at (4) Florida St. W 26-25 Oct. 10 3 Maryland W 46-16 Oct. 24 3 at Cincinnati W 48-10 Oct. 31 3 at East Carolina W 41-3 Nov. 7 3 Miami (Ohio) W 54-3 Nov. 14 3 Virginia Tech W 27-13 Nov. 21 3 Toledo W 24-14 Nov. 28 2 (10) Notre Dame W 24-0 Dec. 5 2 (8) South Carolina W 20-16 Jan. 1 2 *(1) Oklahoma W 20-14 412-125 *Orange Bowl Classic, Miami Starting Lineup Offense SE - Brian Blades LT - Matt Patchan LG - Mike Sullivan C - Bobby Garcia RG - Scott Provin RT - John O'Neill TE - Charles Henry FL - Michael Irvin QB - Steve Walsh FB - Melvin Bratton HB - Warren Williams Defense RE - Bill Hawkins RT - Greg Mark LT - Derwin Jones LE - Daniel Stubbs WLB - Rod Carter MLB - George Mira, Jr. SLB - Randy Shannon RCB - Tolbert Bain FS - Bennie Blades SS - Selwyn Brown LCB - Bubba McDowell Specialists PK - Greg Cox P - Jeff Feagles DS - Willis Peguese HOL - Jeff Feagles PR - Cleveland Gary KOR - Randal Hill, Alex Johnson Coaching Staff Head Coach - Jimmy Johnson Assistant Coaches Hubbard Alexander, receivers Joe Brodsky, running backs Dave Campo, defensive backs Butch Davis, defensive line Art Kehoe, offensive line Don Soldinger, tight ends Gary Stevens, asst. head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Dave Wannstedt, defensive coordinator/linebackers Tony Wise, offensive line Steve Hoffman, graduate assistant Bill Johnson, graduate assistant Ron Meeks, graduate assistant Tom Tuberville, graduate assistant Dan Werner, graduate assistant 1987 Statistical Leaders RUSHING Att. Yards Avg. TD LP Williams 135 673 5.0 5 49 PASSING A-C-I Yards Pct. TD LP Walsh 298-176-7 2249 59.1 19 73 RECEIVING No. Yards Avg. TD LP Irvin 44 715 16.3 6 73 INTERCEPTIONS No. Yards Avg. TD LP Be. Blades 5 61 12.2 0 26 PUNTING No. Yards Avg. I20 LG Feagles 34 1319 38.8 66 PUNT RETURNS No. Yards Avg. TD LP Perriman 15 97 6.5 0 13 KICKOFF RETURNS No. Yards Avg. TD LP Hill 19 497 26.2 0 60 FIELD GOALS 1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Total Davis 0-0 6-6 3-5 7-10 1-1 17-22
"If we stick together, we can climb mountains. Any mountain, anywhere." - Bennie Blades, safety
"We played our way to this championship. We have the best record versus anybody in the country . . . We beat Oklahoma three in a row, Florida State and Notre Dame three in a row, Florida a couple . . . What is sweetest is that we did it as a team. We lost starters and had other guys come in and played magnificently." - Jimmy Johnson, head coach
"You no longer have to stand in anyone's shadow. Do you hear me? No one's shadow! No one has done what you've done here. No one!"
- Father Leo Armbrust, team chaplain
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 December 2008 )|