SHREVEPORT, La. — After spraining his right shoulder and sitting out most of the second half of Boston College’s 34-31 loss at Syracuse Nov. 30, Andre Williams looked none the worse for wear as the senior running back donned full pads in practice Saturday for the AdvoCare V100 Bowl game New Year’s Eve against Arizona.
“It feels really good and I’m glad to be here in Louisiana with my team for one more ride,’’ Williams said. “I’m just going to try and make the most of it.’’
It was the first full-pad session for the Eagles since they arrived in Shreveport Friday.
“As you would expect, we came off the plane and we came out here after guys had had 4-5 days off for the holidays and it was real raggedy,’’ BC coach Steve Addazio said. “Then we came out this morning and I wanted to be in full pads. I wanted to feel the weight of the pads and I wanted to feel some contact and the speed to pick up.
“It was a little better than [Friday], but not good enough in the first half of practice,’’ Addazio added. “By the second half, we started to get a little more feeling of tempo going again, a little bit more of the speed of the game, so I felt a little bit better by the end of practice.’’
Addazio expected his team to be a little rusty after the Christmas break.
“As I told the team, what happens sometimes is at the end of the season, you finish your last game and before you start bowl prep, they’re in school [for exams], they’re in their rhythm, they come back in and the days off don’t bother you that much,’’ said Addazio
“But when you go home for the holidays, all of us have a tendency to let the air out of the balloon. It seems harder to pump it back up. I think we made a lot of progress today and tomorrow is a big polish day for us. We should start to get back and hit our stride a little bit.’’
Asked how Williams looked in practice, Addazio replied, “Good. Oh, he looks good and feels good.’’
Brown to UMass?
In the aftermath of Charley Molnar’s dismissal at UMass, BC defensive coordinator Don Brown, who did stints in Amherst as a defensive coordinator (1998-99) and head coach (2004-08), has surfaced as a possible successor.
Brown said he has had no contact with UMass.
“That’s so far from me right now, I haven’t talked to a soul,’’ Brown said. “I have no comment on that deal.’’
Addazio said sophomore Al Louis-Jean, a backup cornerback from Brockton, Mass., was not with the team because of an unspecified violation of team rules . . . Addazio said the time off enabled the Eagles to get back some banged-up players. “[Defensive back] Sean Sylvia [hamstring] feels 100 percent better, [running back] Tyler Rouse had tweaked his hamstring again and he feels 100 percent better,’’ Addazio said. “The trick here is not to blow ’em back up again but to get yourself ready to play again. The bowl game is just a balancing act. The way you handle that goes a long way to how you play.’’Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.