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Boston College vs. Syracuse: Can The Eagles Win Without Montel Harris?

BC will be without its leading rusher this weekend in the regular season finale against Syracuse. But how much does this matter, exactly? That's a question that seems to have a difference of public opinion.

Here's ESPN's Heather Dinich's take:

"Boston College won't beat Syracuse -- or anyone else for that matter -- without leading rusher Montel Harris, who injured his knee in the third quarter against Virginia on Saturday.

Harris is 125 yards away from becoming the leading rusher in school history. He's the most dependable player on that offense. He is the offense. The good news for BC? They're already bowl eligible."

Won't beat Syracuse, or anyone else for that matter? Riiight. Dramatic much?

Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley seems to have a very different take on Harris' absence this weekend.

"How good has Harris been? He's coming off his eighth 100-plus yard game of the season and recently moved into second place on the school's all-time rushing list with 3,600 yards.

That's all well and good but it's not like the Orange have fared any better against backups in recent weeks. Louisville's backup RB torched the Orange for two scores in that loss while Rutgers' backup put up huge numbers against the SU defense. In fact, Syracuse has been getting torn up on the ground in most of their recent games, regardless of who's holding the ball."

If I had to lean one way or the other, I'm going with Keeley's point of view. Perhaps it's my maroon and gold colored glasses, but BC's backup running Andre Williams ran for over 100 yards on Saturday (12 carries, 108 yards and nearly a touchdown) and provides the Eagles with a different look coming out of the backfield. Syracuse has been torched by backup running backs the last few weeks and has lost all three of their games against I-A competition in the Dome this year.

For what it's worth, Vegas seems to back us up. BC won't win against Syracuse without Montel Harris? Nevermind the fact that Syracuse is only giving just 3 points at home in the Dome (basically, a toss up). Also, forget how karmic forces have aligned and have set up BC to torch Syracuse with a backup running back in the regular season finale, on the road, six years to the day of Diamond Ferri's dominating performance that kept BC from winning the Big East outright.