Harris right at home
With the way Boston
College is struggling, this might
not be the best time to be playing a resurgent Florida State team
intent on reclaiming its good name in the
But for Jacksonville-bred Montel Harris, who grew up about 2 1/2
hours from Doak Campbell Stadium, the timing could not be
The Seminoles, who overlooked the Eagles running back when he
was playing at Trinity Christian High, always seem to bring out the
best in Harris. ”This is a big game,” Harris said with a wide
smile. ”It’s my third year and second time going back home to
Florida. And it’s especially big because they’re saying that this
is the Florida State team we used to watch growing up and that
they’re back. To come out with a victory would mean a lot to
The Eagles have beaten the Seminoles in their last two meetings,
and Harris played a big part in each. Last year at home, Harris
gashed the ‘Noles for 179 yards on 25 carries in a 28-21 victory.
Two years ago in Tallahassee, Harris gave FSU a dose of what it
missed out on when he set the tone in a 27-17 win with a 47-yard
run on the first play from scrimmage and finished with 121 yards on
That first homecoming is one of Harris’ best memories at BC.
”Breaking that first play for a long one, I never thought that
would happen. I still remember that,” said Harris, who’ll have
about 35 friends and family on hand in Tallahassee tomorrow.
These are troubled times for the Eagles offense, however. The
running game, long considered the bread and butter, has stalled
badly. The junior, still on pace to break the all-time BC rushing
record before he leaves, has been held well under 100 yards the
last two weeks, and the Eagles even had a hard time imposing their
will on Kent State.
Harris and the linemen believe they’re close to getting it
together, but everyone needs to be on the same page.
”I think the biggest thing that stands out now is people say
football is the ultimate team game
and, from an offensive line standpoint, if four guys are doing it
right and one guy is screwing it up, you’re not going to have
success on the play,” said right tackle Rich Lapham, adding the
culprit is not always the same guy. ”Something that we’re looking
at from the offensive standpoint is consistency.”
Some semblance of a passing attack wouldn’t hurt the ground
game, either, and BC might have a chance of mounting one with true
freshman quarterback Chase Rettig back under center.
”Teams have played a lot in the box with us and tried to play
man coverage,” Rettig said. ”We need to establish both,
especially passing. That will help open up stuff for Montel. It’ll
take a lot of pressure off the O-line and the running game.”
Meanwhile, Harris has taken his share of ownership of the
offense after being content more or less to lead by example as a
freshman and sophomore.
”Montel has definitely stepped up and become more of a vocal
and active leader in the offensive huddle,” Lapham said. ”I think
he needs to keep that up.”
Clyde Lee (leg) will miss his second straight game tomorrow
while fellow wide receiver Bobby Swigert (hip pointer) is probable.
Quarterback Dave Shinskie (concussion) is also out.
Left guard Emmett Cleary (leg), center Nathan Richman (illness)
and defensive end Alex Albright (leg) are probable.