Steve Addazio knows better than anyone that one man will not have the kind of production for Boston College in 2014 that Andre Williams provided the Eagles last season. The ingredients in the run game this year will feature several more surprises, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the collective production will take a dip.
"Well let's say this: When I took this job a year ago, people didn't even know if Andre Williams would even start here," Addazio said recently. "Then all of a sudden Andre went on and had a great season and became a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. We're a gap-scheme team. [We] had a really good offensive line last year, we've got a really good offensive line here, and all those factors will go hand-in-hand and we'll be able to achieve productivity.
"We might be more diversified in our run game. Our quarterbacks now are dual-threat quarterbacks, so the defense will have more to worry about in the run game than just one tailback, so that'll open up some opportunities."
The one player who did outclass the others on Saturday, though, was a running back. And he did it in more ways than one.
Myles Willis opened the Jay McGillis spring game with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He added 75 yards on the ground. Tyler Rouse was no slouch himself, piling up 68 rushing yards, 41 of which came on a touchdown run.
Florida transfer Tyler Murphy threw for 78 yards in his public debut as a BC quarterback.
Addazio said last week that he was pleased with the intensity of practices, where the Eagles were missing a number of key components due to injury. Like most coaches at this time of the year, he would like more depth. But he knows his offense will be far from the one-trick pony it was for much of his first year in Chestnut Hill, Mass., when Williams seemingly came from out of nowhere to rush for an ACC-record 2,177 yards en route to a surprising 7-6 campaign.
Willis was the primary No. 2 back last season, rushing for 346 yards and two touchdowns. Rouse had 125 yards last season with two touchdowns.
Add to the mix three starters returning on an offensive line that helped pave the way for Williams' historic campaign, and it is easy to see why the Eagles are confident in their different look heading into Addazio's second year.
"I think our diversity in our run game will help us, so I think all those things will factor in," Addazio said. "You're never exactly the same, but you just keep tweaking things, and all that matters is what the output is in the end. It doesn't matter how you get there."