Eagles Notebook: Montel Harris Running To The Top

Montel Harris just keeps on running for Boston College.

Harris became the first junior in school history to surpass the 3,000-yard mark after rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries during last Saturday's 24-21 loss against Maryland.

For his career, Harris now has 3,051 rushing yards and ranks fourth among Boston College's all-time rushing leaders behind Derrick Knight (3,725 yards), Mike Cloud (3,597 yards) and Troy Stradford (3,504 yards).

"I saw him play in high school a lot," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. "He and Jamie (Harper) were high school teammates. He was committed to Duke for a long time and backed off right before signing day. That was a great pick up for Boston College; he's a heck of a player. He is so consistent and comes to play every game. Every film you watch you are impressed with him.'

Harris will look to take another step toward becoming Boston College's all-time rushing leader when the Eagles host ACC rival Clemson at Alumni Stadium on Saturday.

While Harris won't be able to catch Troy Stradford for third on the Eagles' career rushing list on Saturday, barring a miraculous performance, he will most likely make strides towards catching the former BC great.

This season, Harris has averaged 99.1 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry. In total, Harris has rushed for 721 yards (694 net yards) on 149 carries and has scored three touchdowns. His longest run of the season went for 72 yards against Florida State.

Based on his numbers this season, Harris is on pace to surpass Stradford in the Eagles' season finale against Syracuse.

Should he continue to rush for nearly 100 yards per game, he will be the Eagles' all-time leading rusher by the third game of the 2011 season.

Others are certainly taking notice.

"Montel Harris is a very good back and is leading the league in rushing," Swinney noted. "He's a tough runner and capable of making big plays."

Barring a major injury or slump, Harris may wind up the Eagles' greatest running back of all time. But for the immediate future, he'll have to settle for trying to tear up Clemson's defense.

EAGLES STUCK IN REBUILDING RUT

Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani has been stuck in the rebuilding process ever since he took the job as the Eagles' head coach prior to last season.

After an encouraging 8-4 finish in his first full season, a year which many picked the Eagles to finish last, Boston College has regressed.

After two solid victories over FCS Weber State and Kent State, the Eagles have lost their composure and have been spiraling out of control.

"Those are very logical and good questions, but I've been out front of these problems from day one," Spaziani said when asked how he plans to maintain his goal of rebuilding the team in the right direction. "Although the frustration is with one, wins and losses, I know I have my mind in the right frame. We have to move forward. These aren't issues...certainly they compound themselves at certain times, but as I've said all along we have to work our way through it and that's the way it is."

When a team goes through a major rebuilding period, these types of seasons are bound to happen.

It's not like Spaziani was handed a strong program upon the departure of former Eagles head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, as ESPN's Heather Dinich pointed out in her story on ESPN Boston this past Tuesday.

Boston College fans have been quick to criticize coach Frank Spaziani after the program's 2-5 start.

Too quick.

Boston College coach Frank Spaziani appears to have the program headed in the right direction.
Boston College is heading towards its first losing season since 1998, but it didn't happen overnight -- and it didn't happen under Spaziani's watch. It's important to remember how the Eagles got here -- a combination of poor recruiting, deflections, coaching changes and injuries.

INJURY UPDATES: ALEX ALBRIGHT DONE FOR SEASON; WES DAVIS OUT VS. CLEMSON

Eagles senior defensive end Alex Albright is done for the season after suffering a broken right fibula in Boston College's loss against Maryland.

Albright will not need surgery, and doctors are waiting for swelling to decrease before placing him in a cast, ESPN Boston's Jack McCluskey reported in his BC Notes.

"Alex has a fractured fibula, so he is out" Spaziani said following Saturday's loss.  " Yeah, it's tough."

McCluskey also reported that, should Boston College become bowl eligible, Albright may be able to return for one final game with the Eagles.

In the meantime, the loss of Albright is devastating for Boston College.

"There are only so many seniors that have played and taking two of those guys (Alex Albright and senior safety Wes Davis) that we were counting on out of the playing mix leaves opportunities for other guys to step in," said Spaziani. "As for our leadership, it's a loss."

As for Davis, who suffered a neck injury on a tackle during the loss to Maryland, he will not play against Clemson.

Davis was on the ground for nearly 10 minutes after suffering the hit and was eventually taken away in an ambulance to St. Elizabeth's hospital for further evaluation.

He was released on Sunday morning and will receive an update from doctors later in the week, McCluskey also report.

RELIVING THE (PAINFUL) PAST

It's been a little over a year since Boston College suffered one of its worse losses in program history: a 25-7 shellacking at the hands of the very same Clemson Tigers the Eagles welcome to Alumni Stadium this weekend.

It wasn't so much the score that was gruesome, but Boston College's overall offensive production.

The Eagles collected a meager 54 total yards in front of 77,000 fans at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina.

In the game, Eagles quarterback Justin Tuggle completed 4-of-20 passes for 23 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Despite the blowout, Swinney still knows that Boston College will put up a fight.

"Boston College is always tough," he said. "You can take the names off the jerseys every year and it really doesn't matter. They're big and strong and always a very difficult team to play. We've only won in their stadium one time. It's not a place Clemson has had a lot of success."

Hopefully for the Eagles' sake, their home crowd can cheer them on to victory. If not, a losing season would seem all but inevitable.

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