Williams, Freese Lift Boston College Past Maryland, 29-26
Nov. 23, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Andre Williams had already done his part, rushing for 263 yards to become the 16th player in NCAA history to top 2,000 in a single season.
Now it was up to Boston College senior kicker Nate Freese to deliver a victory over Maryland. With the score tied and two seconds left in the fourth quarter, Freese was called upon to kick a 52-yard field goal.
He missed -- for the first time all year. But Maryland coach Randy Edsall requested a timeout an instant before the kick.
"I knew either the ref blew a whistle or they called timeout or something happened,'' Freese said. "Going into that re-kick, I was a lot more confident.''
The second try went right through the uprights as time expired to provide the Eagles with a 29-26 win. As soon as the officials raised their arms, the Boston College players stormed the field to celebrate their fourth straight win.
Turns out, the timeout designed to freeze Freese actually warmed him up to the task.
"I was just calm, trying to get a little better judgment of the wind,'' the kicker said. "It was kind of going from my right to left. Being out there a little longer, I got a little better feel for it.''
Boston College coach Steve Addazio said, "I didn't know what to think on the first one. But when I saw that they called a timeout and he missed, I said to myself, `He's going to get this one now.' He's a real confident guy.''
Williams now has 2,073 yards on the ground this year. His second touchdown got the Eagles (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) to 24-20 with 10:33 left, and his 36-yard run in the closing seconds set up Freese's game winner.
"Let's let our best players go win it in the end, that's our strength,'' Addazio said. "Nate Freese is one of our strengths, and one of our strengths stood up as a senior and won it in the end.''
Edsall, meanwhile, could only shrug his shoulders over the ill-timed timeout.
"Obviously, I shouldn't have taken the timeout. He missed it,'' Edsall said. "But it's just one of those things that you feel you're doing something to put a little more doubt in the guy's head. I made a decision, it just didn't work out.''
It was the final ACC home game for the Terrapins (6-5, 2-5), who shift to the Big Ten in 2014. Maryland wraps up its ACC schedule next week at North Carolina State.
The Eagles trailed 24-13 before Williams ran 72 yards for a touchdown, a jaunt that moved him over the 2,000-mark. Maryland appeared poised for the clinching score when running back Jacquille Veii lost a fumble at the Boston College 7. Chase Rettig then threw to a wide open Alex Amidon for a 74-yard score to make it 26-24.
But the conversion was blocked, and Maryland's Anthony Nixon took it the distance the other way to tie it with 5:02 left.
That set the stage for the wild ending.
Williams limped off the field several times, the last time after his 36-yarder in the closing seconds. He finished with 32 carries and some very sore muscles.
"I know he's pretty banged up,'' Addazio said. "He took a lot of shots in there like he does each week, and they're cumulative. I got a feeling that we're going to have a pretty beat-up guy here come (Sunday).''
Maryland opened the second half with a 70-yard drive capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass from C. J. Brown to Amba Etta-Tawo for a 17-10 lead. The score came two plays after the Terrapins successfully gambled on a fourth-and-1 at the BC 34.
The Eagles closed to 17-13 late in the third quarter when Freese kicked a 19-yard field goal to end a march that lasted nearly seven minutes. The kick came after Boston College failed to get into the end zone on three runs -- two by Williams, one by Rettig -- from inside the Maryland 3.
The Terrapins went up by 11 on a 3-yard run by Brown with 10:52 to go, a score set up by Bryce Jones fumbling a punt at the BC 33.
Rettig was 1 for 7 for 1 yard and an interception before halftime, but Williams rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown to help Boston College forge a tie.
After Williams had runs of 31 and 30 yards on the opening drive to set up a field goal, Maryland pulled even on its second possession.
Late in the first quarter, Rettig was in shotgun formation when a low snap skipped past him. The quarterback chased down the ball and fumbled upon being tackled by Maryland linebacker Marcus Whitfield, who recovered at the BC 1. That set up a touchdown run by Albert Reid for a 10-3 lead.
The Eagles tied it when Williams scored on a 6-yard run after Manuel Aspirilla blocked a punt inside the Maryland 10.
Boston College Postgame Notes
Boston College Postgame Quotes
Head coach Steve Addazio
"Obviously, I'm so excited to stand up here after getting our seventh win. We played a tough game. Two teams really battled against each other. I thought Maryland was really well prepared for this game. It was kind of the tale of a bunch of different swings in the game. You saw about everything out there. I'm really proud of the way out kids fought. They were resilient and never gave in. They had great faith and we had some great performances. Obviously, Andre [Williams] rushed for about 265 [yards], which put him over 2,000. We had 375 or so on offense. We made some chunk plays on offense. We held them to under 300 and I thought our defense played exceptionally well, especially in the first half. It was just one of those tough games with two evenly match teams just battling with each other. I'm proud of our team for going on to get a road ACC win on senior day here. My heart goes out to the kids at Maryland because I thought they fought really hard. I know how hard it is to lose a game like that on the final kick, but I'm proud of our guys and how resilient they are and how they represented our university. I can't say enough good things about our staff and our team and how they've stuck together and fought."
On if he's ever seen a stranger fourth quarter:
"No. Right up through the blocked extra point that got returned for two points to tie the game up. The swings were unbelievable. I've got to do a better job of making sure to cover that blocked extra point. Everybody just kind of stood around and watched it. There was highs and lows and everything in between. There was a little bit for everybody."
On quarterback Chase Rettig:
"I've been telling everybody for a long time that Chase has been extremely unselfish and resilient. I know he was disappointed early, but he showed great leadership and toughness. He made a couple of big throws that were really critical for us. I'm just happy for him and proud of him. I can't say enough good things about Chase Rettig in terms of his leadership, his competitiveness and his value to our football team."
On what he thought when running back Andre Williams was hurt:
"I was worried about him. I'm still worried about him. He's a competitor, but I know he's pretty banged up. He took a lot of shots in there like he does each week. We're going to have a pretty beat up guy come tomorrow and we've just got to do the best we can to get him back. We're a really physical team."
On place-kicker Nate Freese:
"I was honestly really confident [he'd make the kick the second time]. I didn't know what to think on the first one. When I saw they called timeout and he missed it, I said to myself, he's going to get this one. He's a real confident guy. I have faith in players that are together and that prepare hard and believe in each other. Let's let our best players go win it at the end. That's our strength. Nate Freese is one of our strengths."
Quarterback Chase Rettig
On the game-winning field goal:
"We had some confidence; we're a fourth quarter team. I couldn't imagine a better way to end the game than my roommate kicking a field goal."
On it being a back-and-forth game:
"It went back and forth, we were down 10 at one point. A big emphasis today was just having faith and believing in situations that we could still win the football game. It just goes to show we have some trust in each other; we rallied around each other and ended up making the plays when it mattered the most."
Running back Andre Williams
On getting the seventh win of the season:
"My goal this year was to win. Coach said something a few weeks ago that I took to heart "accomplishments are derivatives of success; real success are winning these games". So that's what we keep our minds on. Now we have to go get win number eight, I've never seen that before in my career at BC so this is history for us."
On the touchdown run:
"These coaches are so smart; once they diagnose the situation, they have a play that's going to work as long as we execute as an offense. On that play, it was designed to hit inside and they overplayed the boundary."
Wide receiver Alex Amidon
On the fourth quarter:
"It was a crazy game. I've never won a game on a field goal like that. It was something unreal."
On getting the seventh win:
"It's important to secure the bowl and it's great to secure a winning season. Those two things are awesome for this team."
Place-kicker Nate Freese
On having two chances to win the game towards the end:
"It was an exciting game. Everyone kept telling me `it's coming down to you in the end', and I'm glad we got a shot."
On what he was thinking after the timeout:
"I heard it coming from their sideline, so I knew something happened. Going into that re-kick I was a lot more confident."
On his out-of-the-ordinary and wild day:
"I take all the blame for that PAT, the one that they returned. I knew I had to help out the team and make up for it with that last kick."
On what he was thinking about before making the game-winning kick
"I was calm. I was trying to get a better judgment of the wind, which going from my right to left. Being out there a little longer let me kind of got a better feel for it."
Defensive end Kasim Edebali
On what the seventh win means:
"Right now I am still really emotional. This is everything we are about. Coach came in and said, `We were going to win this game in the fourth quarter. It's going to be a game where you have to grind. Stay with executing the game plan and keep having faith in each other' and in the end the outcome was great."
On Maryland's success with short passes:
"Everybody knows we play aggressively. If they sometimes catch us when we are not on-point with our technique, that's where they could get us. They got a couple of screens that hit us pretty good, so we had to go to the sideline, get the corrections right, maybe switch up the defense a little bit, and then just keep playing our game."