Williams breaking tackles, records for BC

Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

Andre Williams has been a dominant running back this season.Boston College is in midst of a resurgent season. It is one of four FBS teams that have already won five more games than last season and is bowl-eligible for the first time since the 2010 season.

After last season, the Eagles had nowhere to go but up. They finished 2012 with a 2-10 record, their worst winning percentage since losing a school-record 11 games in 1978.

Andre Williams Rushing This Season

To right the ship, Boston College hired Steve Addazio as their new head coach. Addazio has implemented a power-running scheme that heavily features senior running back Andre Williams.

With 263 yards Saturday against Maryland, Williams became the 16th player in FBS history to run for at least 2,000 yards in a season and the first since Connecticut’s Donald Brown in 2008.

With two games to go -- against Syracuse and a bowl game -- Williams has already set Boston College’s single-season rushing record, eclipsing Mike Cloud’s 1,726 yard season in 1998.

What makes him so good

Williams has gained 958 of his FBS-leading 2,079 yards after contact, 254 more such yards than any other running backs from a BCS automatic-qualifying (AQ) conference. Only 35 FBS players have more total rushing yards than Williams has after contact. Williams has broken 28 tackles this season, seven more than any other AQ running backs.

Most Broken Tackles
BCS-AQ Running Backs

Williams has accomplished this despite opposing defenses focusing on stopping him. Boston College’s opponents have put an average of 7.9 players in the box on Williams’ carries, the most among any AQ running back with at least 75 rushes.

Williams has 41 more rushes against eight or more defenders in the box than any other AQ running back. In such situations, he has gained 7.0 yards per rush and scored 15 of his 16 touchdowns, the most such touchdowns by any AQ running back.

Accolades abound

Williams's 263 rushing yards last week against Maryland was his lowest output in his last three games. Three weeks ago, he set the school-record for rushing yards in a game with 295 against New Mexico State and then broke it a week later with an ACC-record 339 against North Carolina State.

He is the only player in the last 10 seasons to have three straight games with at least 250 rushing yards. In fact, there have only been five other occurrences in which a player has had three straight 200-yard games during the last 10 seasons.

Williams has accounted for 51 percent of BC’s total yards this season, the highest rate for any FBS running back in the last 10 seasons. It is also almost 20 percentage points higher than any other FBS running backs this season.

Finally, consider this: Williams has more rushing yards than 78 FBS programs have as a team.

Looking ahead

If Williams gains his average in the next two games, 188.5 rushing yards per game, he would total 2,450 rush yards for the season. That would rank third in FBS history behind Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State in 1988 and Kevin Smith of UCF in 2007.

Williams jumped from 11th to second in the latest ESPN Heisman Watch. He will look to be the sixth 2,000-yard rusher to win the Heisman trophy and first since Ricky Williams won it in 1998.