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Star Warz: 2001 Miami Hurricanes vs. 2004 USC Trojans

Star Warz: 2001 Miami Hurricanes vs. 2004 USC Trojans

Match-Up: 2001 Miami Hurricanes vs. 2004 USC Trojans
The War: Who’s the better team?
Match-Up Preview: We put two of arguably the greatest college teams of all-time head to head to prove which team is the best of them all.

Tale of the Tape:

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2001 Miami Hurricanes
Record: 12-0 Total # of All-Americans: 6 Best Player: Ed Reed (Safety)
Strengths:
The Hurricanes scored 512 (42.6 points per game) points while yielding only 117 (9.75 points allowed per game). Miami beat opponents by an average of 32.9 points per game, the largest margin in the school’s history, and set the NCAA record for largest margin of victory over consecutive ranked teams (124–7). The offense set the school scoring record, while the defense led the nation in scoring defense (fewest points allowed), pass defense, and turnover margin. Additionally, the Hurricane defense scored eight touchdowns of its own. Among the numerous stars on the 2001 Miami squad were: quarterback Ken Dorsey; running backs Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Najeh Davenport, and Frank Gore; tight end Jeremy Shockey; wide receiver Andre Johnson; offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie; defensive linemen Jerome McDougle, William Joseph, and Vince Wilfork; linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams; and defensive backs Ed Reed, Mike Rumph, and Phillip Buchanon. Additional contributors included future stars Kellen Winslow II, Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Vernon Carey, and Rocky McIntosh. In all, an extraordinary 17 players from the 2001 Miami football team were drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft.

Weaknesses:
2001 may of had arguably the greatest college team of all-time, but you couldn’t tell if that fact was true based on the competition. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes WERE as talented as any team in the history of college football, however they played ZERO elite opponents that season. To make matters worse, they were tested on the road at BC (who played without their best player) and at Virginia Tech who dropped a 2 pt conversion that would have tied the game. Both of those games should have been easy blowout for this talented group. Then they faced a 2001 Nebraska team that had given up 62 points in their previous game and was rated by experts as the worst team to play in a national championship title game that decade. You can’t argue with Miami’s talent level, but given the games where they played down to their competition, you can only wonder how great they would be if they played an elite team on the road that year?

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2004 USC Trojans
Record: 13-0 Total # of All-Americans: 6 Best Player: Matt Leinart (Quarterback)
Strengths:
Whether it was through the air or on the ground, the Trojans were an offense juggernaut that scored almost every time they touched the field. The offense averaged over 450 yards a game and averaged 38.2 points per game. For as good as their offense was, USC defense in 2004 was even better. Their D only allowed an average of 13 points a game and was ranked 3rd in the nation in total defense. USC average margin of victory in 2004 was a whomping 25.2 points, the largest during the BCS era. The Trojans became just the second wire-to-wire No. 1 team in the AP poll (Florida State did it in 1999), finishing it off with that absolute crushing 55-19 victory over the Sooners in the Orange Bowl. This team had stars everywhere you looked: quarterback (and Heisman winner) Matt Leinart and running backs Reggie Bush and LenDale White in the backfield, Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith at receiver, Shaun Cody, Mike Patterson and Matt Groodegoed on the defensive line, Lofa Tatupu at linebacker.

Weaknesses:
The Trojans were not always as good as they were in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma, but they held off every challenge and won at least a portion of their second straight national title. Even though the Trojans averaged 25.2 margin of victory in 2004, 5 of their games that season was only won by single digits. Another issue for these Trojans was the emergence of mobile quarterback during the BCS era.

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And the winner is……:
Both Teams were stacked like non other, Seemed like both teams had more than half of there players going to play in the NFL. They were both Juggernauts. Video Game offenses, and the scary defenses. Up against anyone else in college football history, each team would probably blow them out by at least 20 points. But put up against one another you can’t help but give the ultimate edge to the one and only….2004 USC Trojans. Both teams are almost equal in every single way, but one place these Trojans have an impressive advantage in this dream match-up is the most important position on the field….quarterback. Miami’s Ken Dorsey is one of the most intelligent minds to ever control a high-powered Hurricane offense, but his knowledge far exceeded his athletic talent. USC’s Matt Leinart was a wiz with the playbook and the offense as well. Not only could he run any offense in the nation, but he also had the ability to make every throw and enough mobility to get you a 1st and 10 if the play completely breaks down. 10 out of 10 Ken Dorsey’s arm strength wouldn’t be good enough to lead them past a stellar SC defense in 2004, but Matt Leinart has the mind and the throwing ability to lead his Trojans to victory even against the dominant Miami D of 2001.

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