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


football world.

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

25 carries.

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.”

BC notes

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.