Boston College's Andre Williams wasn't regarded among the top running backs in the Atlantic Coast Conference, let alone the nation, when the season started.
Williams is beginning to receive mention as a Heisman Trophy candidate after he followed a 339-yard outburst against North Carolina State with 263 yards against Maryland on Saturday.
The 6-foot, 227-pound senior has gone for more than 250 yards three consecutive weeks and is the 16th player in NCAA history to surpass 2,000 yards in a season.
His 188.5 yards a game leads the nation. Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona is next at 155.9 a game.
Williams finishes the regular season against Syracuse, which held Pittsburgh to 21 yards on 27 rushes in a 17-16 loss Saturday. That's not to say Williams won't put up big numbers this week. Florida State averaged almost 12 yards a carry while running for 225 yards against Syracuse on Nov. 16, and Georgia Tech ran for 394 yards against the Orange a month ago.
CAREY'S CARRIES: Arizona's Carey carried a school-record 48 times — the most in the Bowl Subdivision this season — while running for 206 yards and four touchdowns in the 42-16 upset of Oregon. Carey passed Trung Canidate (1996-99) to become the Wildcats' career rushing leader with 3,913 yards. His four TDs increased his career total to 49, breaking Art Luppino's school record of 48 from 1953-56.
WYOMING GOES WILD: Brett Smith passed for a Mountain West record-tying seven touchdowns, the most in the FBS this season, in Wyoming's 59-56 overtime win against Hawaii. Smith also ran for an eighth TD, setting a MWC record for touchdowns responsible for. He had a conference-record 640 yards of total offense while becoming the Wyoming career leader with 10,209 yards. Smith's 498 yards passing broke the school record, as well.
PROLIFIC TIGHT END: Texas Tech's Jace Amaro is the nation's most productive tight end, and no one is close. In fact, the 6-foot-5, 260-pounder's receiving numbers are so big — 92 catches for 1,157 yards and six touchdowns — he's a semifinalist for both the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end and the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver. The tight end with the next-best receiving numbers is North Carolina's Eric Ebron, who has 50 catches for 774 yards and three TDs.
URBAN'S GRAND RUSHER: Ohio State's Carlos Hyde, despite serving a three-game suspension to start the season, became the first running back on an Urban Meyer-coached team to go over 1,000 yards. Hyde reached the milestone with his 117 yards on 18 carries against Indiana. Buckeyes' quarterback Braxton Miller last year became the first Meyer-coached player to run for 1,000 yards. Running backs have come close since Meyer first became a head coach at Bowling Green in 2001. Brandon Warfield had 976 yards for Meyer's 2003 Utah team, and Hyde had 970 yards last season.
AROUND THE COUNTRY: Marcus Mariota threw his first interception in more than a year when Scooby Wright picked off a ball that deflected off receiver Bralon Addison on Oregon's first play from scrimmage against Arizona. Thus ended Mariota's Pac-12 record of 353 pass attempts without an interception. Mariota finished the game with two picks. ... Stanford set a "Big Game" series record for points in its 63-13 win against California. The Cardinal's 42 points through two quarters were most in a half in school history. ... After passing for 527 yards in a 69-28 win against New Mexico, Fresno State's Derek Carr leads the nation with 394.8 yards a game. He threw for seven touchdowns against the Lobos and leads the nation with 39 TDs through the air.