Eagles Bowl-Eligible with 38-21 Win Over NC State
Nov. 16, 2013
BOSTON (AP) — Andre Williams stepped out from the sideline, his helmet off, and took a deep bow when the public address announcer recognized him for breaking Boston College’s single-season rushing record.
His day wasn’t done yet.
Williams returned for the Eagles’ next drive and went over the 300-yard mark, breaking the single-game record that he set last just week. And then, with BC just trying to run out the clock, Williams got loose for a 34-yard touchdown with 51 seconds left to finish with 339 yards and an Atlantic Coast Conference record.
‘‘He stands for what’s right in college football,’’ coach Steve Addazio said after the Eagles beat North Carolina State 38-21 to qualify for a bowl game. ‘‘He’s certainly, without a doubt, one of the more dominant players in college football and is an unselfish guy that realizes what’s important. He realizes it’s a team game.’’
Williams ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter, and early in the fourth secured his fourth 200-yard game this season. He broke Mike Cloud’s school record on a strange play when he broke four tackles on a 65-yard run but fumbled just before the goal line.
The leading rusher in the nation, Williams hit 300 yards on a 5-yard run in the final minutes to break the single-game record of 295 he set last week against New Mexico State. On his school record-tying 42nd carry of the day, he scored his second TD of the game and his 14th of the season.
‘‘We know he’s our Heisman,’’ said quarterback Chase Rettig, who completed 8 of 15 passes for 53 yards and also dove into the end zone to score on a 2-point conversion. ‘‘It’s fun to watch when you just hand the ball off, you’re rolling the other way and he’s already down the field.’’
Boston College invited the fans onto the field to celebrate after the game, and they swarmed around the players. Also making sure to congratulate Williams were several of the N.C. State players he had just run into or over.
‘‘I give him props,’’ Wolfpack linebacker Robert Caldwell said. ‘‘He’s leading the nation in rushing yards so he’s obviously the man when it comes to running.’’
With the win, the Eagles (6-4, 3-3 ACC) became bowl-eligible for the first time in three years, a quick turnaround in Addazio’s first season in Chestnut Hill. With regular-season games remaining against Maryland and Syracuse, both on the road, BC could move up in the bowl selection process with a chance to qualify for the Music City Bowl as the No. 5 pick in the ACC.
‘‘To do it, we need to win these last two games,’’ Rettig said. ‘‘That’s what’s driving us. We can’t let the season get away from us.’’
Backup quarterback Pete Thomas completed 22 of 33 passes for 207 yards for N.C. State (3-7), which lost its sixth straight game and fell to 0-7 in conference play for the first time ever. Jumichael Ramos caught five passes for 109 yards and a 52-yard touchdown that made it 31-21 with 1:53 left to play.
The 339 rushing yards for Williams broke the ACC record John Leach set at Wake Forest in 1993, and it is the most in an FBS game this season.
“I told our defense, ‘When you stop the guy, he’s not stopped,’’’ N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. ‘‘They’re going to keep giving it to him until they bust one, and that’s what they do. They just keep going to him and going to him.’’
BC placekicker Nate Freese also had a record-setting day, converting three field goals and three extra points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer with 299 points.
Williams surpassed Cloud’s single-season BC record of 1,726 yards when he got loose on a 65-yard run up the middle, breaking four tackles on his way before Wolfpack cornerback Juston Burris knocked the ball loose from behind at the 1-yard-line. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Alex Amidon fell on it for the touchdown; Rettig’s 2-point try gave the Eagles a 28-14 lead.
Thomas started in place of Brandon Mitchell, who had been listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury; he had broken his foot in the opener and missed five games before returning on Oct. 26.
Williams ran for 40 yards the second time he touched the ball, and 27 more on the next play to set up Freese’s 25-yard field goal. On BC’s next possession, he ran eight times for a combined 37 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
It was the fourth time this season Williams has surpassed 100 yards in the first half, and his eighth 100-yard game of the season.
Thomas hit Matt Dayes for a 61-yard pass to set up the Wolfpack’s only score in the first half, a 9-yard run by Rashard Smith to cut the BC lead to 10-7.
Williams left the game briefly, favoring his right shoulder, with about 6 minutes left in the first half, and Myles Willis made it a 10-point game with back-to-back runs of 24 and 19 yards.
Boston College Postgame Notes