In 2001, Roethlisberger, a redshirt freshman, led Miami (Ohio) against Harrison's Kent State squad. Roethlisberger was sacked five times in a 24-21 loss, with four sacks belonging to Harrison.
"It was three fulls and two halves so I'm going to call it five," Harrison said with a laugh, per the Cincinnati Bengals' official website. "To be honest with you, I just know the numbers. He jokes about it that he's the reason I'm in the league."
The two players spent the last nine years together in Pittsburgh and will face each other as pros for the first time Monday night when the Cincinnati Bengalshost the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers severed ties with Harrison, not wanting to pay the aging linebacker whose production faltered in 2012.
Harrison said he doesn't expect his years of practicing against Roethlisberger to be much help because the quarterback plays at a different speed during games.
"He's elusive, he's a big guy and it's like he has a third eye, where and when to step and avoid pressure," Harrison said.
Harrison plays a bigger role in run defense for the Bengals than in the pass rush, so the meetings between the two are unlikely to be frequent.
"He's probably something like a football Moses to them, having been to the promised land a few times and understanding what type of work it takes to go from undrafted free agent to defensive MVP," Clark said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.