Boston College coach Steve Addazio keeps telling Andre Williams not to change a thing, not after rushing for a career-high 263 yards in his last game and tying a school record with five touchdowns.
“It’s really gone as good as it can go,” he told his running back, who wants to add a visor to his helmet to help keep debris out of his eyes. “You had the best rushing day of your entire career, maybe you ought to keep it that way.”
The No. 1 running back in Football Bowl Subdivision with 153.6 yards per game, Williams ran for 263 yards and five touchdowns in Saturday’s 48-27 victory over Army. The victory gave the Eagles a 3-2 record – topping their win total from all of last season – heading into this weekend’s game at No. 3 Clemson.
“Well, he has to be” leading the nation, coach Steve Addazio said on Monday. “For us to have success right now, that’s what he has to be.”
Williams actually matched the BC record of 264 yards rushing on a 3-yard run with about 10 minutes left in the game before losing a yard on the next play. Addazio took him out after that series, hoping to avoid injury.
Although the coach wasn’t aware how close Williams was to the record, he said he’s not sure he would have done anything differently if he had known.
“Not that I wouldn’t want him to have it. I pulled him out because I didn’t want to get him hurt,” Addazio said Monday. “For me to risk one of our top players, I don’t know. … I’m more interested in winning, and I’m more interested in the team. And so is Andre.
“How would I explain that to him, to his family, to you,” Addazio asked reporters on Monday. “Injuries happen, they’re part of the game. Now that’s an extreme picture I painted, but that’s what I think about. I’ve just got this mindset that they’re so hard to come by, these wins, and they’re so fragile, that let’s get this and get out of there.”
Montel Harris set the BC records of 264 yards and five touchdowns in a 2009 game against North Carolina State. Williams’ previous career highs were 204 yards – against Wake Forest last month – and two touchdowns, which he’d accomplished twice, including last year’s game against Army.
“He’s a load,” Army linebacker Julian Holloway said.
Williams did reach one goal he had set for himself.
Williams told the blog ajerseyguy.com that he used the visor all last year and during spring ball. But it was missing when he got his helmet this season. He told Addazio he likes it because the artificial turf is sprinkled with rubber pellets that make it softer and more like natural grass, and the pellets get kicked into his eyes.
Williams asked Addazio about getting his visor back, and the coach told him that he could have one if he ran for 200 yards against Army.
On Saturday, Williams scored on runs of 34, 1 and 37 yards in a first-half span of 11:19, then added a pair of touchdowns in the second half on 3- and 34-yard runs. He carried 30 times, the third-most in his career.
“Every year, I feel I get a little bit wiser, a little bit heavier, a little bit stronger, and this offense that we’re running right now is just brutal and physical,” he said on Saturday. “That’s the way I play the game. I’m just so happy it turned out this way.”
And he’ll get his visor, Addazio said