What do you get when you combine a head cold, a hamstring strain and a week off from practice? If you’re Andre Williams, a career performance on national TV and an ACC Player of the Week honor.
On Monday, the ACC named Williams its offensive back of the week for his performance against Wake Forest, in which the 6-foot-1, 227-pound native of Schnecksville, Penn., carried the ball 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown.
Teammate Bryce Jones also received an ACC honor, being tabbed the conference’s defensive back of the week after tallying two tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup versus the Demon Deacons.
In his postgame chat with the media on Friday, Williams said he’d probably be sore on Saturday but that he welcomed the workload.
“I mean, I’m a running back, I love to run the ball,” he said of the heavy usage. “Put the ball in my hands and there’s nothing I like more than that. Coach Addazio, he’s an offensive guy and he loves to run the ball. It couldn’t have turned out better.”
Asked Monday how Williams was recovering from the pounding, Addazio said he’s responded well.
“I think those 35 carries helped him,” he said. “It’s good.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have him practice anymore,” a reporter offered.
“Maybe practice is overrated,” Addazio said with a laugh. “I don’t know.”
The 204 yards surpassed Williams’ previous career high of 191 (set at Army last October), and the 100-yard game was his second straight this season and seventh of his career (in 36 games).
Through the season’s first two games, Williams leads the ACC in carries (58), rushing yards (318) and rushing average per game (159.0). He’s third nationally in rushing yards and fourth nationally in attempts and rushing yards per game.
Jones got left out on an island by a breakdown in coverage in the first quarter Friday, the resulting one-on-one matchup with Michael Campanaro ending up in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Price even though Jones was running stride for stride with the all-ACC wideout.
But the 6-foot-1, 166-pound sophomore from University Heights, Ohio, didn’t let it throw him off his game. He came up with a Price fumble to end the first quarter, setting up BC’s second touchdown, and later picked off Price when he tried to find Campanaro one too many times.
Jones’ two interceptions, the first two of his career, have him tied for third nationally through the first two games.
“I think Bryce just rallied up -- he played a heck of a football game -- and came right back,” Addazio said.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.