Boston College football is back in the postseason for the first time in three seasons; Steve Addazio's first year at the helm. Over the next two weeks, leading up to the Eagles' matchup with the Arizona Wildcats in the AdvoCare V100 'Independence' Bowl, I'll pose a bunch of questions and BC Interruption's talented front page writers will answer.
Which running back -- Boston College's Andre Williams or Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey -- will rush for more yards in the Independence Bowl, and why?
Grant: Well, seeing as how BC has a better rush defense than Arizona, and Andre Williams has a lot more yards and an extra yard per carry than Carey, and is a better running back in literally every way than Carey... why would you NOT say Andre Williams?
Good for the Ka'Deelievers out there for getting their cute little propaganda machine going, but the rest of us live in a world of facts and numbers and reality.
Coach: The question here is who plays from in front and can stay with their game plan of running the ball. The teams are very similar statistically in terms of rush offense, pass offense, rush defense and pass defense, almost eerily similar, except in the method of how they run the ball. Boston College in Dazzler fashion is going to feature a single back while Rich Rod will use the spread, running both Carey and QB Denker. Mobile QBs who run by design, see Syracuse as the most recent example, have given BC troubles. So I expect that Williams will have more yards in the game, as Denker and Carey are more likely to split carries.
New Guy: I think it's going to boil down to who's defense performs better against the run. Andre Williams is such a huge role in the offense, but even against Syracuse we saw that BC could pass if they throw the gameplan out the window.
I think Williams might rush for more, if only because the Don Brown defense is going to be better prepared than Arizonas defense. Arizona will have to sell out entirely to stop the run, and I don't think they will be willing to do that.
A.J: I am going to have to go against BC on this one and say that Ka'Deem Carey will finish the game with more yards than Williams. I expect Carey to gash BC for some big plays, however I expect BC to stiffen up in the red zones and prevent him from scoring. What I would like to see from Andre Williams is controlling the clock and wear down the Wildcat defense late in the fourth quarter like he has done so many times before. Though he may have less yards than Carey I expect Williams to have a bigger impact in the outcome of this game, and it wouldn't shock me if he punches in the winning score late in the fourth quarter.
Jeff: Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey has had a very nice season and has a very similar offense to BC in that they are so dependent on the run in order to get anything going offensively. The major difference is though that Carey does not take on as much of the load as Andre Williams does for BC. Carey might see 2/3 of the carries in the bowl game for Arizona while Williams might see 85% of the carries for BC. Combine this with the fact that Williams averages 6.4 yards per carry compared to Carey's 5.3 and BC having a higher ranked rushing defense than Arizona and I think it is pretty clear that Andre Williams will outrush Ka'Deem Carey on New Year's Eve.
Brian: Assuming the shoulder is on the mend and he's healthy to go, Andre Williams is going to have more yards than Ka'Deem Carey. Rich Rodriguez hasn't been able to replicate the success his Mountaineer teams had against the run. His teams at Michigan and now at Arizona have given up chunks of yards on the ground and this year is no exception. Arizona hasn't limited a FBS opponent to under 100 yards rushing all season, including 244 total yards at Washington (161 from the legs of Bishop Sankey). The Wildcats D also gave up over 100 against three ostensibly terrible rushing offenses -- Cal, Colorado and Washington State, which ranks dead last nationally. In contrast, BC held three of the weaker running teams to under 100 in N.C. State (35 yards), Virginia Tech (55) and Wake Forest (55). Don Brown's defense has struggled mightily against the pass (huge understatement there), but the run has been fairly well defended.
Even if Arizona sells out to stop the run, I have a feeling BC and Williams is still going to get its yards. What makes the Eagles running attack so difficult to defend is the many different ways the line pulls and opens up holes for Williams to run through. I don't think the Wildcats D has had much experience defending against the style of running game BC employs, with many of the Pac-12 outfits preferring to spread out the defense and Arizona missing Stanford with the unbalanced cross-over division schedule.