ACC Football: Boston College 52, Wake Forest 20
BOSTON ó Boston College running back Montel Harris made use of the trendy “Wildcat” offense.
Harris, running for big plays from a formation termed the “Wildcat” that was made popular by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins last season, set two school records with 264 yards rushing and five touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 52-20 win over North Carolina State on Saturday.
One big play early in the game provided a glimpse of what the potential was for Harris and the Eagles.
On its second series, Boston College went to what Harris said the team calls the “Bazooka” set before he busted through the line and down the right sideline for a 70-yard gain, moving the ball to the 2. He scored on the next play, making it 7-0.
It was the only time in the opening half that Harris lined up at QB in the formation.
“Oh, yeah, we don’t have to many plays that go for a 70-yard average,” said BC coach Frank Spaziani, when asked if he figured they’d go back to it often later in the game.
“I had a big smile on my face and I was looking forward to it in the second half,” Harris said, learning they’d use it more after halftime.
Ten players previously had four touchdown runs for Boston College, the last was Darnell Campbell in 1993.
Harris set the yardage record with a 9-yarder early in the final quarter, surpassing the previous mark of 253, set by Phil Bennett in 1972. He had one more run before leaving for good.
BC, which led 24-13 at halftime, broke it open by taking the ball on the first possession of the second half and marching 72 yards in 11 plays, with Harris capping it with a 10-yard TD run.
Harris had 46-yard run to push him over 200 yards and set up his own score, a 1-yarder two plays later, making it 38-13. He added a 29-yard TD run late in the third quarter, improving it to 45-13.
“I think we should have gone back to it a little earlier,” BC quarterback Dave Shinskie said. “That’s just a formation we put in for him.”
The Eagles (5-2, 3-2 ACC) improved to 5-0 at home this season. NC State (3-4, 2-3) dropped its third straight game following conference losses to Wake Forest and Duke.
“We have practiced it a lot,” NC State coach Tom O’Brien said about BC’s formation. “It’s not like we had not even seen it. He ran over things early, and then he cut back.”
In their first matchup, Spaziani defeated his longtime coaching mate.
Spaziani, who coach the Eagles to a victory at the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl after O’Brien bolted for NC State, worked under O’Brien for all of his 10 seasons at BC.
The two coached together for 26 years in total, also under George Welsh at Navy and Virginia. Spaziani became BC’s head coach after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired last winter for interviewing for an NFL vacancy.
Shinskie finished 13 of 25 for 187 yards with two TD passes.
NC State QB Russell Wilson had a 1-yard scoring run and was 23 of 40 for 243 yards with one TD.
The Wolfpack were allowing just 62.8 yards per game on the ground entering the game, but Harris wiped that out with his 70-yarder early in the game.
NC State tied it 7-7 on Wilson’s 1-yard TD plunge.
Larmond Jr. caught the slightly under-thrown ball before heading to the end zone to make it 14-7.
NC State’s Josh Czajkowski had field goals of 25 and 32 yards to cut to 14-13.