At the start of the 2013 Boston College football season, change was once again upon us. This, of course, was nothing new for senior quarterback Chase Rettig, who was about to take play calls from his fifth offensive coordinator in four years.
With a new coach and another new offensive scheme, there were substantial questions about ho would step up and how it would succeed. After all, the Eagles had been in an offensive decline for years and nothing was working. What we did not know back in August was that there would be improvement, and one player in particular was about to have a very special season.
Relative to the rest of the country, Boston College’s offense got better. Relative to the ACC, which grew from 12 to 14 members this season, the Eagles got marginally better. In almost every category, there was at least some sort of improvement.
The Eagles traded a pass-first offense in 2012 (which, if we’re going to be honest, wasn’t very effective, anyway) with a run-first offense in 2013. The result? Andre Williams rushing for a grand total of 2,177 yards and being invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony. Williams would go on to finish in fourth place in the voting, but that was far from all he achieved this season. A more complete list of Williams’ accomplishments in 2013:
• 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist
• 2013 Doak Award Award winner
• 2013 consensus All-American
• 2013 unanimous first-team All-ACC
• Boston College single-season record 2,177 yards
• Boston College single-game record 339 yards
• Boston College all-time rushing record 3,754 yards
Williams, and to some extent, Rettig, were not the only players to watch on offense this season. For example, senior wide receiver Alex Amidon became the program’s all-time leading receiver; he finished his Boston College career with 2,792 yards, over 300 more than second-place Rich Gunnell.
The offensive line was also much better this season. Offensive line coach Justin Frye did a great job with this group as they held up much better under pressure than in previous years, not allowing a great deal of sacks to Rettig in the event that he did throw, and more importantly, blocking extremely well for Williams en route to a tremendous season. Myles Willis was another beneficiary of the line’s solid play, as he scrambled for another 346 yards in limited playing time.
The 2013 Eagles offense was not good enough to contend with better teams like Florida State, but it was good enough to contend with the more mediocre teams on the schedule. If they intend to win more in the ACC, they will have to be even better down the road, but in no way can it be argued that Boston College was not improved on this side of the football in 2013. Yes, they literally had nowhere to go but up, yet thanks to Andre Williams, the offensive line, and some other key playmakers, they did go up.