Williams' career day carries BC's offense
September, 7, 2013
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com
NEWTON, Mass. -- Andre Williams was in the open field, rumbling up the right sideline late in the third quarter with the Eagles up 17-7 when he saw a Wake Forest defensive back cutting off his path to the end zone.
He could’ve veered out of bounds, content to take his 15-plus yards and a first down inside the red zone. Instead, Williams lowered his shoulder and delivered a big blow.
“It was intentional,” Williams said of the hit he dished out on the play. “I never want to be the type of back that is gonna run out of bounds. I always want to punish the DBs because the next play, it could be play-action and that DB is a little fazed and [Alex] Amidon will make a big play.
“I’m a big running back, I’m 230 pounds, and I just have to be true to myself and realize that I can punish people, I can wear down the defense, and that’s just the role I’m gonna embrace.”
While the hit was impressive, that’s only a part of what he produced in BC’s 24-10 win on Friday night. Williams carried the ball 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown (which he produced two plays after delivering that blow in the third quarter).
AP Photo/Michael DwyerAndre Williams rushed for a career-high 204 yards despite not practicing all week.
And he did it all after not practicing during the short week.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the senior tailback had to leave last week’s game against Villanova with a hamstring strain, as the preparation for Wake Forest got underway, the 6-foot, 227-pounder found himself under the weather with a chest cold, too.
Boston College coach Steve Addazio revealed after the game that the Eagles held him out of practice this week, in hopes that the hamstring would heal and the cold would dissipate enough to allow him to play against the Demon Deacons.
They’re glad now that they did.
“Andre ran really hard,” Addazio said. “And that was important. Andre knew that it was important for him to come to this game and get on that field and overcome the hamstring strain that he had and have the night that he had. He needed to do that. And he did it, to his credit, he did it. That was important, because the team was counting on him.”
The Eagles finished with 314 yards of total offense, meaning Williams alone accounted for almost two-thirds of the total.
“I thought our offense really punched hard and really wore down their defense and had a really great, critical last drive to just keep moving the chains,” Addazio said.
With BC leading 24-10 and just more than five minutes to go in the game, the Eagles got the ball back. Their strategy wasn’t hard to figure out on that final drive, as Williams got the ball eight straight plays, grinding out yards and letting time tick off the clock.
“That’s the beautiful thing about having a run game, is that you can do that,” Addazio said. “The run game is a funny thing. It’s not something that you can just all of a sudden show up and think you’re gonna have a run game. Sometimes it can be a little maddening. When you’re not hitting it when you want to hit it right. But you keep pounding at the rock, pounding at the rock and the rock cracked.”
After it was over and the Eagles had moved to 2-0 for the first time since 2010 and matched their win total from all of 2012, Williams was asked if this was his most satisfying game.
The tailback hesitated before answering.
“I don’t know if it’s the most satisfying game, because I’m sure there’s a lot of football left to be played,” he said. “And the next one is gonna be sweeter when we’re 3-0.”
True to form, Williams wasn’t thinking that enough’s enough. He wants more.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.