WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The way Boston College’s running backs had dwindled over the course of the year, the question made sense.
They were down to Andre Williams as the feature back and freshman David Dudeck as his backup. But who would coach Frank Spaziani go to if he needed another?
Earlier in the week Spaziani said he was thankful the Eagles had two healthy backs. But when Williams left Saturday’s 28-14 loss to Wake Forest in the second quarter with an abdominal injury, it left Spaziani with just Dudeck to handle the carries.
Williams was injured after Wake Forest defensive end Kris Redding grabbed his facemask on a second-down play from the Eagles 5-yard line, but the penalty had nothing to do with it.
“After the tackle, somebody jumped on me and kind of splayed my legs open and I just felt my abdominal pull,” Williams said.
He said there was swelling, and that he would be examined Sunday. He hopes to play next week against Notre Dame.
“I guess it’s just a day-to-day process,” said Williams, who was in street clothes the second half.
The worst ground game in the Atlantic Coast Conference gave the Eagles just 12 yards on 21 carries. Last week against Maryland, BC totaled 8 yards. Williams has two 100-yard games this season, but on the whole the rushing attack has been unreliable.
“We’re not running the ball well and it’s not totally the running backs,” Spaziani said.
Nothing was more telling than a third-and-2 play from the 50 on the Eagles’ first drive when offensive coordinator Doug Martin chose to let Chase Rettig throw the ball rather than hand it off to Williams. BC came up a yard short, and on fourth down Rettig was intercepted.
“I am concerned,” Williams said. “Because at the end of the day, we really didn’t run the ball effectively at any point in the game. You can’t have a balanced offense if you can’t run the ball.”
Dudeck, a much smaller back who had been used primarily as a receiving threat, ran for 32 yards on 14 carries.
After him, there are nothing but question marks.
Earlier in the week Spaziani said that Rolandan Finch had been working hard in practice, and even though he had fallen all the way to splitting time on the scout team, he still had a chance to move up the depth chart.
But the junior running back didn’t even make the trip Saturday.
Asked for a reason, Spaziani said, “He’s not on the depth chart.”
Finch ran for a team-high 705 yards and three touchdowns last season, but hasn’t played since the third game of the season against Northwestern.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with the running backs,” Williams said. “[Finch] is still a viable running back. So, I’m pretty sure he’s going to find his way back in the mix.
“Other than that, not too sure.”
White suffers injury
Right guard Ian White had to be carried off the field in the second half. The junior used crutches to get to the locker room . . . Wake Forest converted more third downs (13) than the Eagles had third-down chances (4 of 12). BC was 1 for 4 on fourth down . . . Alex Amidon had his second 10-catch game of the season and his sixth 100-yard game . . . After going to the well a handful of times earlier in the season, Martin once again called a wide receiver option. Bobby Swigert found tight end Chris Pantale for a 12-yard touchdown. Martin had the right receiver throwing the ball. Swigert played quarterback his senior year in high school in Louisville, Ohio, throwing for 760 yards in four games before suffering a season-ending injury.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.