Showing strength and explosiveness, he was the reason Temple did not miss a beat after his backfield mate, Matt Brown, suffered a fourth-quarter ankle injury.
"Montel stepped up big for us today, especially with Matt going down there with the injury," Owls quarterback Chris Coyer said. "We needed a boost. He was there. He ran the ball really well."
Before the game against the Bulls, the ballyhooed Boston College transfer had been ineffective because of a sore hamstring.
Harris played only in the first half of the season-opening Mayor's Cup game against Villanova because of the injury. It also sidelined him for the game against Maryland after the Owls' first bye week.
Harris came into Saturday's game with just 35 yards on 15 carries this season.
The same Temple fans who were overjoyed when he transferred to the Owls in July questioned if he had been overhyped or had lost a step.
"That was kind of in the back of my mind," said Harris, who said his hamstring became fully healed this week. "I didn't get a chance to show Temple fans how well I could play. So I was just glad that I was able to come out here and run the ball and get a win today."
A healthy Harris could be a huge lift for the Owls.
He left BC as the school's all-time leading rusher, with 3,735 yards. Harris is also BC's career leader in 100-yard games (22) and carries (786) and ranks third in touchdowns (27).
Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock. Read his blog, "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/owlsinq