Saturday, December 27, 2014

Harris, McManus receive Big East honors

Temple running back Montel Harris and placekicker/punter Brandon McManus were both honored by the Big East on Monday.

Harris, McManus receive Big East honors

Montel Harris broke the school´s single-game rushing record. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)
Montel Harris broke the school's single-game rushing record. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)

Temple running back Montel Harris  and placekicker/punter Brandon McManus were both honored by the Big East on Monday.

 Harris was named the Big East offensive player of the week, while McManus was named the conference's specialist of the week.

Harris set Temple and Big East single-game records with 351 rushing yards and seven touchdown as the Owls battered Army, 63-32, on Saturday at Michie Stadium. McManus made nine extra points en route to becoming the Owls' all-time leading scorer with 330 points. Former Temple running back Bernard Pierce, a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens, held the record with 324 points.

This is the senior's fourth conference specialist-of-the-week honor this season.

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Harris' second Big East offensive-player-of-the-week honor comes one day after the Boston College transfer was named the College Football Performance Awards national player of the week. Harris was also named Big East offensive player of the week by College Sports Madness on Sunday.

Harris, a graduate student after a prolific career at BC, scored on touchdown runs of 60, 1, 1, 37, 2, 37 and 1 yards. Pierce held the old mark of five touchdowns in a game, set against Maryland last September.

Harris also broke the Big East mark of six touchdowns set by former Miami standout and current Denver Bronco Willis McGahee on Dec. 7, 2002.

He was only one rushing score shy of tying the FBS record of by former Illinois running back Howard Griffith on Sept. 22, 1990.

And Harris recorded more accomplishments.

Harris also shattered the single-game opponent rushing yard and touchdown records at West Point. Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett rushed for 268 yards against the Black Knights on Oct. 18, 1975. Four different running backs rushed for four touchdowns at the stadium. Temple's Matt Brown was the last to do so two seasons ago.

The 5-foot-9, 207-pound Harris broke the school game rushing mark of 349 yards that Paul Palmer set against East Carolina in 1986. The old Big East record of 337 yards was held by former West Virginia standout Kay-Jay Harris since 2004.

Harris now leads the conference in rushing yards per game (105.3) and total rushing touchdowns (12).

After being released from the  Eagles’ football team in May, Harris arrived at Temple in July.  He reunited with former Boston College wideouts coach Ryan Day and former Eagles offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers.

Day is Temple’s offensive coordinator and wideouts coach. Rogers is the Owls’ associate head coach and quarterbacks coach.

Harris was able to transfer without sitting out a year by taking graduate courses at Temple that are not offered at Boston College.

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com. Reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

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