|Richard Shiro / Associated Press|
|Senior running back Andre Williams is having a breakout season for Boston College.|
Boston College's Andre Williams rushed for 1,562 yards in his first three seasons with the Eagles. He has put himself in position to run for more yards than that this season alone, and in the process, he has gone from a fringe NFL prospect to one of the three or four best senior backs in the nation.
Williams (6-foot, 227 pounds) is No. 2 nationally in rushing at 147 yards per game -- he has rushed for 1,176 yards in eight games, and at his current pace, he will finish with 1,764 yards. The single-season school record is 1,726 by Mike Cloud in 1998, who was a second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1999 draft and played seven seasons in the NFL.
Williams ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns in an upset of Virginia Tech on Saturday. It was his sixth 100-yard game of the season, including 149 yards against Florida State. He scored against the Hokies on a sweep in which he broke a few tackles and also on a 64-yard run that gave BC the lead for good; that was his longest jaunt of the season.
"They were both sweet but they had a different flavor," Williams told reporters about his TDs after the game. "I think I was able to show two different sides to my game. I have speed and I can break away, and I can also break tackles and get the extra yards after contact."
Williams has had 11 100-yard games in his career, which has been marred by injuries the past two seasons. He has played a full season only once, in 2010 as a true freshman.
Williams always has been able to handle a heavy workload. He has had at least 30 carries three times this season and has had at least 23 carries seven times. He has had at least 20 carries 13 times in his career.
"This offense that we're running right now is just brutal and physical," he told reporters in early October. "That's the way I play the game."
One issue with Williams: He hasn't caught a pass this season and has just 10 receptions in his career.
The upset of Virginia Tech moved Boston College to 4-4, giving the Eagles a legit shot at a bowl bid in coach Steve Addazio's first season.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.