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FOOTBALL: Williams' Injury Deals Another Blow

Assoc. Sports Editor

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Early in the second quarter of Saturday’s 28-14 loss to Wake Forest, Boston College starting running back Andre Williams went down with an apparent abdominal injury. At first glance, spectators believed that Williams suffered a neck injury, after being ripped down by his facemask in the red zone.

“After the tackle, somebody jumped on me and kind of splayed my legs open,” Williams said. “I just felt my abdominal pull. It’s a little swollen right now. I’m going to have to see how it feels [Sunday].”

The injury is not new for Williams, who initially suffered an abdominal strain last season.

“I’ve been having up-and-down problems with my abdominal, but I’ve been keeping it under control,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get into the cold tub everyday, taking ibuprofens and anti-inflammatory whenever I need to, so everything’s been fine.”

Williams was attended to on the ground before walking off the field on his own, though with a noticeable limp. The third-year back said that the next week will be a slow process, but his goal is to return for Saturday’s match up with Notre Dame.

“I want to be back for Notre Dame, so that’s what I’m working for. But it’s just a day-to-day process.”

With their starting back down, the Eagles turned to freshman David Dudeck to take over. He finished the day with 14 carries for 32 yards, and was used more as a receiving threat with screens out of the backfield. Despite the solid effort from his teammates, Williams displayed his concern for the rushing unit.

“I am concerned just because at the end of the day, we really didn’t run the ball effectively at all at any point in the game,” he said. “Like I said, you can’t really have a balanced offense if you can’t run the ball. I guess we just need to go back to the drawing board, and see what the issue was.”

Questions arose after Williams went down as to the status of former feature back Deuce Finch. The junior running back has been dropped down to the scout team, and was not even brought on the trip to Wake Forest. When asked about the absence of Finch, head coach Frank Spaziani paused, before stumbling in his response on how to respond.

“He’s not on our depth chart,” he said.

When asked about the status of his teammates, Williams made his opinion very clear.

“Deuce is still a viable running back, so I’m pretty sure he’s definitely going to find his way back in the mix,” he said. “Other than that, I’m not too sure.”

Campanaro dominates

The biggest threat against the Eagles was wide receiver Michael Campanaro. The junior has been injured all season with a broken hand, and most recently suffered a sprained ankle during practice this past week.

Despite the injury, Campanaro came through for the Demon Deacons with a tie for the ACC record in receptions with 16. He finished the day with 123 yards and three first-half touchdowns to give his team an early lead.

Senior linebacker Nick Clancy said that his unit had prepared for quarterback Taylor Price’s top option, but it was unable to stop his production.

“We knew that he was going to be their top guy that they wanted to go to,” he said. “We’ve faced teams in the past where they’ve had their favorite receiver that they try to hit every time, so we knew that they were going to throw him the ball. He’s a heck of a receiver. There’s no denying that. He tore us apart in a lot of big situations. There’s no excuse. We knew they were going to throw him the ball. We just couldn’t execute.”

In the first quarter, Campanaro scored two touchdowns. The first came off BC quarterback Chase Rettig’s first of three interceptions on the day. Wake Forest began the drive on the Eagles’ 48-yard line, and Campanaro became the favorite target on the drive with a 15-yard, first-down completion, and finished the drive with a wide-open 5-yard reception for the score. The Demon Deacons added to their lead with just over a minute left in the first quarter when Price hit Campanaro for a 27-yard gain. Starting the drive at BC’s 47-yard line, Price made several big passes before hitting his wide receiver for the score. Campanaro found an opening down the field, and broke away for the diving touchdown.

His final score came in the final minute of the first half after Rettig fumbled to end his team’s previous drive on its own 15-yard line. After five plays, Price hit his go-to man for the 16-yard play that gave the Demon Deacons the 21-7 halftime lead.

A game of third and fourth downs

Besides turnovers, the biggest factor in the game appeared to be late-down conversions. The Eagles finished the day 4-for-12 on third-down conversions, while the Demon Deacons were 13-of-22. On fourth-down conversions, BC was 1-for-4, while Wake Forest was successful on 2-of-4 fourth-down attempts.

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