Losing the ACC Preseason Player of the Year may seem like a fatal blow to the team, but the Eagles and their superfans should remain confident about winning games in his absence. Click "Next" if you would like to find out why.
Harris is only expected to miss 3-4 weeks. Thankfully, the first game of the season is still two weeks away. The only game that Harris is certain to miss is the team's season opener against Northwestern on September 3. Last season, the Northwestern defense was ranked 92nd in the nation against the run, giving up an average of 185 yards per game. Whoever BC throws up against the Wildcats, the running game looks to be successful even without Harris on the field.
With all the hype surrounding Harris and his potential record breaking 2011 season, many have forgotten about the Eagles' backup Andre Williams. Williams, entering his Sophomore season, proved that he is a worthy backup when Harris missed the final two games of the 2010 season. During the final regular season game against Syracuse, Williams made his first career start and set a BC record with 42 carries for 185 yards and a touchdown. If that was his first career start, and I can only imagine what he will be able to accomplish one year later in the place of Montel.
Ever since the departure of Matt Ryan, the Eagles have struggled to find a worthy replacement at quarterback. BC started last season with 26-year-old Sophomore Dave Shinskie at quarterback. Shinskie was a former minor league baseball pitcher. When the Shinskie project failed after a season and a half, true freshman Chase Rettig was thrown into the spotlight. He may be the next best thing passing the ball for the Eagles. Rettig, a California native, was the star of this year's spring game. He threw for 182 yards in the bitter cold of April. He is known to make good, smart decisions with the ball, and he has been given a plethora of both experienced and young receivers to throw to. It would seem that even without Harris dominating the running game, Rettig may just be able to carry the offense with passing for the first time since Matty Ice left Chestnut Hill for Atlanta.
There is no question about it. It sucks to think that Montel has to miss a game and worse to think that he may have to miss two. But, there is a supporting cast surrounding him and I am confident that the Eagles will be able to win without him.
As a closing note, BC hasn't lost their season opener since 2003, so why would they stop now?