Boston College coach Steve Addazio said Monday he had no idea Andre Williams was on the threshold of a school rushing record when he took the senior out of Saturday’s 48-27 victory over Army after he had rushed 30 times for 263 yards.
Williams, who tied Montel Harris’s BC record with five touchdowns runs against Army, was on the verge of breaking Harris’s record of 264 yards (vs. North Carolina State in 2009) when he was stopped for a 1-yard loss on his last carry.
Had he been aware Williams was that close, Addazio said, he still is not certain he would’ve put the bruising, 6-foot 227-pounder, who ranks as the nation’s leading rusher at 153.6 yards per game, back into the contest.
“Not that I wouldn’t have wanted him to have the record, but I had just pulled him out because I didn’t want to get him hurt,’’ Addazio said. “So I always look at it from the eyes of we’ve got to get ready for the next game.’’
The Eagles (3-2 overall, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will resume league play when they travel to Clemson, S.C., to face the third-ranked Tigers (5-0, 3-0) in an Atlantic Division clash Saturday afternoon.
“For me to put a guy back in and risk an injury to one of our top players to get that,” Addazio said, “God forbid if something ever happened to him.’’
Addazio recalled a cautionary tale from his first year as an assistant at Florida, when the Gators were in the midst of suffering a 31-3 smackdown at Alabama Oct. 1, 2005. The Crimson Tide’s star receiver, Tyrone Prothro, entered the game late and wound up suffering a career-ending fracture of his left tibia and fibula.
“I always thought about that,’’ Addazio said. “You can take a couple of different attitudes and approaches with this, so I’m not sure what I would’ve done had I known. But I’m very hesitant to put a guy in a situation where he might get hurt.
“I’m real interested in winning and I’m real interested in the team and so is Andre. That’s not on my radar, but had someone told me, would I have given him one more shot in there? I don’t know. It’s hard to say.
“But when I get really nervous at a certain point, then you’re out, and once I make my mind up like that, I have a real hard time going back because how I would explain that to him? To his family? To [the media]?
“Injuries happen, and they’re part of the game, but if I put him back into the game for that purpose and he got hurt, could you imagine if, God forbid, something happened? I’d feel like that was completely on my shoulders.’’
Making the grade
Addazio grades each player on a play-by-play basis, not just a cumulative score. So, then, how did senior right tackle Ian White grade out on his rare double-pancake block that sprang Williams on a 37-yard touchdown against Army, BC’s longest run from scrimmage this season? “That was a plus-block,’’ Addazio said. But, the coach added, left tackle Matt Patchan also recorded one. “It was the same thing, going the other way,’’ Addazio said. “Those two tackles are playing at a high, high level. I mean, they can run, they’re fast, they’re big, and they’re physical. They’ve got a great demeanor and they’re starting to impose [it] on the rest of the offense. They’re just giant guys and they kind of engulfed the guys from Army.’’ . . . Addazio is hoping that senior defensive lineman KalebRamsey, who was limited by a shoulder strain last week, and junior safety Spenser Rositano, who sat out the Army game because of a concussion suffered against Florida State, would resume normal activity this week . . . As has been their custom after each win this season, the Eagles enjoyed a victory dinner Sunday evening. “We went to Fogo de Chao,’’ said Addazio, referring to the Brazilian steakhouse chain. The coach chuckled when asked if “Chao’’ was spelled “c-h-o-w” . . . Tickets for a raffle benefiting Dick Kelley, the former BC assistant media relations director who is battling ALS, remain available at www.dkfightsals.com. The grand prize is a pair of tickets, hotel accommodations, and $500 cash to attend Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium Feb. 2, 2014. The grand-prize winner will be announced live on the ABC/ESPN2 telecast during halftime of the BC-Clemson game.
Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.