COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — On a day in which Maryland bids farewell to 15 seniors before its final home game in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Terrapins can only hope their most lasting memory Saturday isn’t the image of Boston College running back Andre Williams blasting through the line on a course to the end zone.
Williams leads the nation with 1,810 yards rushing, including an ACC-record 339 last week in a 38-21 win over North Carolina State. If the Terrapins (6-4, 2-4) are to build on last week’s upset win at Virginia Tech, their No. 1 priority is obvious.
“There is no secret to what we’ve got to do,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. “We need to stop the run and Andre Williams.”
Williams owns the ACC single-season record for yards rushing and is the main reason why Boston College (6-4, 3-3) has won three straight to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
“You’re not going to wrap your arms around this guy,” Edsall said. “You’ve got to put your shoulder into him and run your feet. You need more than one person there. He’s having a heck of a year and should be mentioned for the awards that are out there — All-American, Doak Walker, Heisman and all of the other things.”
Maryland will be without its leading tackler, linebacker Cole Farrand, who is out with a shoulder injury.
This will be the Terps’ final ACC game at Byrd Stadium before moving to the Big Ten next season. They finish next week at N.C. State.
Here are five things to know about the Boston College-Maryland matchup:
JOCKEYING FOR POSITION: Both teams already have the required six wins necessary to earn a bowl invite. The objective now is to pad the total and get a better bid.
“There is a lot at stake here,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. “It’s time for us to go get win No. 7 and set new goals and a new standard.”
BROWN VS BROWN: Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown held the same job at Maryland in 2009-10, so the Terrapins have a pretty good idea what’s coming. “I was here when coach Brown was here, so we’ve seen this defense numerous times,” Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown said. “Saw it last year when he was at UConn. They give you a lot of different looks, try to disguise a lot of different things and they bring a lot of pressure. It was will be a challenge.”
RUNNING THE SHOW: Syracuse quarterback Chase Rettig does more than merely hand the ball to Williams. The senior has thrown for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns this season as an efficient leader. “He’s an unselfish guy and he just wants to win,” Addazio said. “He knows for our team right now the best way to go about that is to be able to run the football, to be able to manage the game, hit play-action passes and be really efficient.”
RESPECT: The relationship between Addazio and Edsall extends beyond the confines of their respective sideline. “I really got to know Randy Edsall when he was at the University of Connecticut. Then I got to know him a little better because my son and his son were rooming together up at Syracuse for a little bit,” Addazio said. “I’ve always had a great deal of respect for him. He’s a really good football coach, a good recruiter, a good evaluator.” Maryland is poised to earn its first bowl bid since Edsall took over in 2011 after a successful run at Connecticut. The Terrapins this season have already matched their win total over the last two seasons.
MOMENTUM SWING: The Terrapins lost three straight and four of five before reversing the trend last week with their first win at Virginia Tech since 1949. Edsall said momentum for the victory began with a crisp week of practice. “I think by winning, they understood that there’s a certain way you have do things and they went out and did them,” Edsall said. “They saw how that paid off. They know if you’re going to continue to win, you have to do what you did and work to get better.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)