With two-thirds of the season gone, it has been a productive year for the ACC and a better one than most had anticipated. The ACC is not lacking in its share of stars of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate while Clemson’s Sammy Watkins is making a serious run at the Biletnikoff Award. While others have stolen headlines this year, one guy that has been lost in the mix may actually mean more to his team than any other player in the ACC.
Although he probably won’t win ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Boston College senior running back Andre Williams has had an outstanding season. With a first-year head coach in Steve Addazio, the Eagles have already doubled their win total from a season ago and with four games to play, BC needs just a 2-2 finish to become bowl-eligible for the first time in three years.
Williams leads the ACC with 1,176 yards rushing which ranks second nationally. Williams also leads the ACC with 10 rushing touchdowns. While Williams receives very little media attention, he has arguably been a bigger part of the Boston College offense than any other player to his team in the conference.
Florida State’s Jameis Winston has talent all around him and despite an outstanding season from the freshman that has FSU thinking national championship, the Seminoles have very few weaknesses on either side of the ball. For Clemson, quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins make for an outstanding duo, but where would each be without the other?
Williams has accounted for 44 percent of Boston College’s offense this season and 82 percent of its rushing yards. Despite receiving little help from Chase Rettig and the Boston College passing game, Williams has still managed to average a solid 5.4 yards-per-carry although the opposing defenses know what’s coming in most cases.
Williams has been the definition of a work-horse having carried the football 56 times more than the ACC’s next closest rusher in Virginia’s Kevin Parks, who has actually played an extra game to this point. Despite carrying the football on seemingly every play, Williams has managed to remain healthy while the conference’s other stars like Maryland’s Stefon Diggs, Wake Forest’s Michael Campanaro and Miami’s Duke Johnson have all gone down with season-ending injuries.
Williams has been able to produce running the football regardless of the opponent. While Williams did have pedestrian days against USC and Clemson, against Virginia Tech and Florida State, two of the ACC’s top three rush defenses, Williams rushed for 315 combined yards while averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry.
Although Williams probably won’t take home many individual accolades, he has been a big reason as to why the culture of Boston College football is starting to turn back to what it was less than a decade ago. Williams will certainly be All-ACC, but the Offensive Player of the Year Award will likely belong to Winston or Watkins. It’s tough to argue with either of those guys winning the award, but both Florida State and Clemson are still likely bowl teams without those guys and perhaps still ACC championship caliber teams. Eagles’ fans don’t even want to begin to think about where BC would be without Andre Williams.
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