The Best of 2011

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Dec. 30, 2011

As the 2011 calendar comes to a close, wants to take this opportunity to reminisce on some of the recent highlights.

The Athletic Communications staff recently sat down to compile a Top 10 listing of the biggest news stories for Miami Athletics. It was no easy decision, but we think we hit the mark on a great year.

Feel free to post your comments to @miamiredhawks on twitter and we will start sharing them.

Each day between Dec. 22 and Dec. 31, a different highlight of 2011 will be presented. Today, we present our runner up...

Football Makes History with Bowl Win

MOBILE, Ala. -- Austin Boucher threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns and Thomas Merriweather added 100 yards and two scores on the ground to lead Miami to a 35-21 victory over Middle Tennessee in the Bowl.

The victory made the RedHawks the first team in FBS history to go from double-digits losses (1-11 in 2009) to double-digit wins (10-4 in 2010). Miami aslo finished with an eight-game turnaround, the second-best effort in FBS history.

Miami fell behind 7-0 and 14-7 in the first quarter, but tied the game with 13:11 remaining before halftime.

The RedHawk defense gave Miami its first lead as true freshman Dayonne Nunley picked off a MT pass and ran it in from 52 yards to put Miami on top, 21-14. It was Nunley's sixth interception of the season and marked the second time in school bowl history that a pick was taken back to the endzone.

MTSU came right back on a 54-yard touchdown run to re-tie the score at 21-all but Miami took over from there. Chris Givens hauled in a 17-yard pass with 54 seconds left in the third to put the RedHawks on top, 28-21, then a five-yard touchdown pass to Harwell boosted Miami's lead to 35-21.

The RedHawks' celebration began shortly before the final whistle as Interim Head Coach Lance Guidry was doused in Gatorade, then Boucher (Overall MVP), Merriweather (Offensive MVP), Nunley (Defensive MVP) and Paine (Special Teams MVP) collected individual awards from spokeswoman Danica Patrick.

The party spilled into the team hotel, with the RedHawks slated to depart Mobile at 11 a.m. Friday morning, arriving in Dayton around 2 p.m. The buses should arrive on campus around 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

Some additional links to help you look back to the events of the week and of the game:

Final Stats
Photo Gallery 
AP Gallery 

January 6, 2011 - Day Five at Bowl Week
January 6, 2011 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: January 5
January 6, 2011 - Cajun Cookin' with The Coach
January 5, 2011 - Day Four of Bowl Week
January 4, 2011 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: January 4
January 4, 2011 - Day Three of Bowl Week
January 4, 2011 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: January 3
January 3, 2011 - Day Two of Bowl Week
January 2, 2011 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: January 2
January 2, 2011 - Miami's Football Team Arrives in Mobile
January 1, 2011 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: January 1
December 31, 2010 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: December 31
December 27, 2010 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: December 27
December 22, 2010 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: December 22
December 20, 2010 - College Football History Within Miami's Grasp
December 20, 2010 - JORDAN'S JOURNAL: December 19
December 18, 2010 - Miami Begins Preparations for Bowl