FOOTBALL: Williams Wears Down Wake Defense With Power Running
Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 00:09
Standing at six-feet tall and 227 pounds, Boston College senior running back Andre Williams knows how to pummel through defenders and keep running.
The Pennsylvania native gained a career high 204 yards, averaging out at 5.8 yards per carry, in Friday night’s 24-10 victory against Wake Forest, scoring the final touchdown.
Williams is reaping the benefits of the new offense.
“Boston College was built on toughness, the ability to play great defense and the ability to run the ball,” said head coach Steve Addazio.
This culminated in Williams receiving 35 carries on the night, while the passing game was noticeably left out of the second-half game plan.
“I had 14 pass attempts—that’s probably the fewest since my freshman year,” said quarterback Chase Rettig, who was also complimentary of the way Williams and the offensive line performed.
Williams was excited at the prospect of getting more time with the ball.
“I’m a running back,” Williams said. “I love to run the ball. So, put the ball in my hands and there’s nothing I like more than that.”
This worked to BC’s favor, as Williams’ physicality wore down the Wake Forest defense as the game went on.
“The first couple drives of the game, the defense is always really hype … We made some adjustments, and after that we were only running a couple different plays and they couldn’t stop it,” he said.
His noticeably physical game showed when he slowed down a 21-yard, third-quarter run on the way to the Wake seven to intentionally duck his head and hit a Deacon cornerback.
“It was intentional,” Williams said. “I never want to be the type of back that is going to 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. 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 going to embrace.”
To make this even more significant, Williams was coming off both sickness and injury.
He suffered from a hamstring strain and a cold earlier in the week and was questionable for the game.
He did not practice for the entire week.
But Williams finished the game, taking snaps even when the Eagles were 14 points ahead of Wake Forest in the fourth quarter.
“I thought the line blocked really well at that point, we were getting a lot of surge,” Addazio said. “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.”
It was the first game that Williams had ended against Wake Forest without having to be sent off for injury. He suffered a sprained right ankle while playing against Wake Forest in 2011 and an abdominal strain in 2012.
“He gutted it out,” Addazio said. “That’s important.”
Despite Williams recovering from a hamstring injury, he remained in the game for the final two drives with the Eagles up 14.
“He’s in because he’s ready to roll and we’ve got to go win a game,” Addazio said. “I’m not going to take him out of the game and put a true freshman in in that situation. We’ve got to go win the game. We had to move the chains, get first downs, and win the game. That’s just what it is. It’s not like we’re putting him in any harms way. He’s playing football. Go finish the game out.”
Williams was too happy after the game to focus on any bruises from his 35 carries.
“I feel great. I’m sure I’ll probably be a little sore tomorrow morning, but right now I’m still running on a high of adrenaline,” he said.
He was also already looking ahead to next week.
“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.”