Boston College has all but abandoned a passing offense in favor of running the football. This has resulted in fewer overall yards than what the Eagles had last season, but they are scoring a few more points. The improved run game is clearly this offense’s best asset, combined with offensive line play that is far beyond its standing from 2012. Andre Williams is the second-leading rusher in the nation with 1,176 yards, and he could easily add a three-digit number to his total on Saturday.
Williams is plenty talented by himself, but this weekend, Boston College will face the nation’s worst run defense. By a wide margin, no team has given up more rushing yards than the Aggies, who allow on average 312.11 per game. For some perspective, the second-worst team, Eastern Michigan, allows just 265 rush yards per game. Opponents have rushed for 2,809 yards in nine games, scoring a staggering 39 touchdowns on the ground (4.33 per game), both of which are the most allowed in the nation.
Even though Boston College is likely to move the ball very effectively in the hands of Williams and Willis, the Eagles will probably still mix in the pass every now and then to keep the Aggies honest. Alex Amidon is virtually the only player on the team who is called upon consistently to catch passes at this point, leading the team with 49 receptions and 638 yards. No other player has more than eight catches, and all others are below 100 yards. Amidon also leads the team with three receiving touchdowns.
There is virtually no aspect of defense in which the Aggies are acceptable, except for turnovers: New Mexico State has gained 15 of them so far this season. Senior safety Davis Cazares and freshman corner Kawe Johnson each lead the Aggies with two picks, while seven individual players have each recovered a fumble.
Otherwise, senior linebacker Trashaun Nixon leads the team in both sacks (2.5) and tackles for a loss (10.5) this year.
When your defense allows over 550 yards per game and 46 points, obviously you’re going to lose many games. So far, New Mexico State has done that eight times. If they don’t suddenly figure out how to stop one of this season’s most productive running backs, it could well be nine by Saturday night.
Andre Williams could run for 250 yards in this game and Myles Willis could add close to a hundred more on top of that, and given the state of both teams, that’s completely plausible. There’s no guarantee it will happen, but based on everything that’s happened to this point, it probably should. Another 4+ touchdown performance for the senior running back could be in the offing if the Eagles play their game and play it right. Boston College favored.