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(Pictured: Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams (44) scores a touchdown against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the fourth quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports; Courtesy of bceagles.com)
BOSTON (bceagles.com & AP) -Andre Williams ran for 339 yards to break Boston College's career and single-game rushing records, leading the Eagles to a 38-21 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday and helping them qualify for a bowl game for the first time in three seasons.
Williams ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter, and early in the fourth secured his fourth 200-yard game this season. He broke Mike Cloud's school record on a strange play in the fourth when he got loose on a 65-yard run but fumbled just before the goal line.
Williams hit 300 yards on a 5-yard run in the final minutes to break the single-game record of 295 he set last week against New Mexico State. On his school record-tying 42nd carry of the day, he scored on a 34-yard touchdown run.
With the win, the Eagles (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) became bowl-eligible in Steve Addazio's first season as head coach.
Backup quarterback Pete Thomas completed 22 of 33 passes for 207 yards for N.C. State (3-7), which lost its sixth straight game and fell to 0-7 in conference play for the first time ever. Jumichael Ramos caught five passes for 109 yards and a 52-yard touchdown that made it 31-21 with 1:53 left to play.
The Wolfpack tried an unsuccessful onside kick, and BC gave the ball to Williams on every play as it tried to run out the clock. He broke through the middle and scored with 51 seconds left to give the Eagles a 38-21 lead.
The 339 rushing yards for Williams, who entered the day as the nation's leading rusher, is an ACC record and the most in an FBS game this season. BC placekicker Nate Freese also had a record-setting day, converting three field goals and three extra points to become the school's all-time leading scorer with 299 points.
Chase Rettig completed 8 of 15 passes for 53 yards, and he also dove into the end zone to score on a 2-point conversion.
Williams surpassed Cloud's BC record of 1,726 yards when he got loose on a 65-yard run up the middle, breaking four tackles on his way before Wolfpack cornerback Juston Burris knocked the ball loose from behind at the 1-yard-line. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Alex Amidon fell on it for the touchdown; Rettig's 2-point try gave the Eagles a 28-14 lead.
Thomas started in place of Brandon Mitchell, who had been listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury; he had broken his foot in the opener and missed five games before returning on Oct. 26.
Williams ran for 40 yards the second time he touched the ball, and 27 more on the next play to set up Freese's 25-yard field goal. On BC's next possession, he ran eight times for a combined 37 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
It was the fourth time this season Williams has surpassed 100 yards in the first half, and his eighth 100-yard game of the season.
Thomas hit Matt Dayes for a 61-yard pass to set up the Wolfpack's only score in the first half, a 9-yard run by Rashard Smith to cut the BC lead to 10-7.
Williams left the game briefly, favoring his right shoulder, with about 6 minutes left in the first half, and Myles Willis made it a 10-point game with back-to-back runs of 24 and 19 yards.