If Andre Williams doesn’t become one of the best running backs in the ACC this year, it certainly will not be for lack of opportunities.
Williams is playing for run-oriented coach Steve Addazio of Boston College, and in a 24-10 win over Wake Forest on Friday night, he got the rock 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown. This is one week after going for 114 yards on 23 carries in a 10-point opening game win over Villanova.
As fans from Addazio’s last two stops (Temple and Florida) know, he likes to run the ball — ad nauseum in many cases. While quarterback Chase Rettig, a fourth-year starter at quarterback for the Eagles, might not like that approach (he threw only five passes in the first half), it suits Williams just fine.
There is at least a method to Addazio’s approach this season as Williams is a 227-pound running back, following a line that averages 302 across the front, with a 253-pound tight end in C.J. Parsons and a 251-pound fullback (Jarrett Darmstatter).
That’s the BC the rest of the league will be seeing — a physical team that attempts to shorten games and kills the clock while keeping the ball away from opposing offenses.
Wake Forest could have made a game out of it, but turned the ball over twice in the first half and also failed to advance a fumbled punt in the last minute of the first half. Lou Holtz noted that at halftime on the ESPN2 telecast, saying “the biggest mistake Wake made was failing to advance the ball into the end zone on the fumbled punt.” The Demon Deacons could not punch it in on four tries after that, and never got closer.
Addazio, meanwhile, has not changed his approach in the first two games from his established pattern over the years. In addition to Temple and Florida, Addazio has also had stops as an assistant at Notre Dame, Syracuse and Indiana, and was a big proponent of the running game at all of those places.
If Williams benefits from Addazio’s approach, Rettig and wide receiver Alex Amidon might not. Amidon probably won’t put up the same receiving numbers he had last year (78 catches, 1,215 yards) when he was a first-team All-ACC performer, but then again, he probably won’t complain if it means a winning season for the Eagles.