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FOOTBALL: Unexpectedly, Williams Able To Run Freely

Heights Editor

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


Graham Beck / Heights Editor

TALLAHASEE, Fla. — Coming into Friday’s game, the Eagles knew it was going to be very challenging to move the ball against the Seminole defense. Florida State came into the game ranked fourth in total defense, fifth in run and pass defense, and seventh in scoring defense in the nation. While the Eagles were shut down through the air, the ground game was a different story.

In the first half, Andre Williams had 89 rushing yards on just 14 carries, giving him an average of 6.4 yards per carry in the half, and he finished with 104 yards on the day. His burst at the line and power to shed arm tackles allowed him to find holes in the defense and consistently have solid gains. Being down by so much early on in the game, however, the Eagles were forced to focus on trying to score quickly through the air rather than pound it on the ground.

“I’m definitely glad we were able to run against their defense because everyone was telling us we weren’t going to be able to run,” Williams said. “We got some good yardage in the first half, but in the second half we just weren’t putting it together.”

This was Williams’ second straight 100-yard rushing performance, and he is now averaging 4.8 yards per carry on the season.

Despite the team having some strong passing and some strong rushing games, the Eagles are still figuring out how to mesh the two for a more successful offense overall.

“I think we’re realizing that it’s got to come from both ends, both pass and run, for us to be able to move the chains,” Williams said. “Too much of one and not enough of the other is gonna get us three and out.”

BC hopes it can sustain its recent productivity in the running game against Georgia Tech, who is giving up an average of 163 rushing yards per game.

FSU Goal-Line Stand Stuffs BC    
What many will point to as the pivotal moment in the game came on the Eagles’ first drive, as they failed to get a touchdown after having first and goal on the Florida State one-yard line.

BC elected to try a short pass to Swigert, which fell incomplete, and then followed that up with two unsuccessful runs up the middle. On a critical fourth and inches, BC called a play-action pass, but FSU defensive lineman Bjoern Werner exploded through the line and was in Rettig’s face the moment he turned to find his receiver, forcing him to get rid of the ball in a hurry.

“I don’t know if that’s going to be a difference in the game, but it certainly sets a little different tone,” said head coach Frank Spaziani.

That was followed up on the very next series with a lucky break for Florida State. On third and three, the Seminole receiver fumbled the ball after being stopped well short of the first, but the ball popped out directly to FSU quarterback EJ Manuel, who ran for the first down. In a matter of just a few plays, the momentum had completely swung in the Seminoles’ favor.

“College ball is a lot about momentum and being able to build and sustain your momentum, and it was a real buzz kill when we couldn’t get the touchdown from the one [yard line],” Williams said. “But, at the same time, we need to be able to move on to the next series.”

Making Bad History
After this weekend’s game, BC has played FSU 11 times in school history and eight times since joining the ACC. The Eagles had never lost by more than 30 points since joining the ACC until last year’s 38-7 loss at home, and this past weekend marks the first time in history that BC has lost by more than 40 points. Spaziani is now 1-3 against Florida State in his BC career.

Saturday night’s game was also the first time since 2000 that a Florida State quarterback passed for over 400 yards, as EJ Manuel more than doubled the amount of passing yards the BC defense has allowed on average so far this year. Despite defensive back Jim Noel recording his second interception of the season and defensive back Manny Asprilla getting his first, the Seminole offense still dominated and posted 649 total yards in the game.

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