Saturday, November 16, 2013
Rapid Reaction: BC 38, NC State 21
By Jack McCluskey
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College rode another huge day by its star tailback to a 38-21 win over visiting NC State on senior day at Alumni Stadium.
How it happened:Andre Williams outgained the Wolfpack all by himself in the first half -- and nearly for the game.
The country’s leading rusher entering the game, the Eagles’ stud tailback had 19 carries for 154 yards in the first two quarters Saturday. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack ran 36 offensive plays and produced only 141 total yards.
vWilliams had runs of 40, 27 and 17 yards in the first quarter, the last going for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 10-0. A Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Williams came into the game needing 256 yards to break the Eagles’ single-season rushing record (1,726 yards by Mike Cloud).
With 113 yards on 11 carries in the first quarter, it looked like he had a shot at breaking the record before halftime. But Williams had only 41 yards on eight carries in the second quarter and fumbled with a shot at more late.
With time running down and the Wolfpack in position to convert the turnover into points, the Eagles’ D came up with a big stop when Kevin Pierre-Louis came free on a rush on third-and-3 and sacked Pete Thomas for a 9-yard loss.
After a bad snap on a field goal attempt, BC escaped with a 17-7 lead at the break.
The Wolfpack used a trick play, with Rashard Smith lining up wide left and coming in motion to take a handoff from Thomas before hitting Quintin Payton for a 49-yard touchdown, to cut the BC lead to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter. But Williams and the Eagles answered immediately, the back shaking off three would-be tacklers and running for 65 yards -- setting a single-season rushing record in the process -- before Juston Burris tomahawked the ball free at the 2, Alex Amidon falling on it in the end zone for a touchdown.
Just for good measure, BC went for two and Chase Rettig kept the ball, going airborne to get the two and make it a 14-point game.
Williams finished with a BC single-game record 339 rushing yards. He tied another school record for most carries in a game with his 42nd and final tote of the afternoon, which he took 34 yards to the end zone for the game's final touchdown.
What it means: Less than a year after finishing 2-10, BC is back to bowl eligible at 6-4 and still has two games to improve its potential postseason landing spot. The Eagles have tripled their win total from 2012, the final season of the Frank Spaziani era, in the first season of the Steve Addazio era.
What’s next? BC will finish up the 2013 season on the road, with games at Maryland on Nov. 23 and at Syracuse on Nov. 30.
The Eagles are 1-9 in their past 10 road games, with the win coming last week at New Mexico State.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.