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Thursday, October 10, 2013
When the ACC media picked a pre-season all-conference football team, Duke Johnson from Miami had 58 votes to lead the balloting at running back and three other backs had at least eight votes.
Andre Williams from Boston College was not among them.
Six weeks into the season, Williams isn't just leading the ACC in rushing with 768 yards in five games. He leads the country with an average of 153.6 yards per game.
Williams, a 6-foot, 227-pound senior, rushed for 604 yards in nine games last year - his collegiate high until this year.
"Their running back is the heart and soul of what they do," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, whose Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) entertain Boston College (3-2, 1-1) this Saturday.
First-year Boston College coach Steve Addazio said "it's great to see but it's a reflection of a lot of people working. I'm not taking anything away from Andre. I'm just being honest."
Addazio pointed to senior offensive lineman Matt Patchan (6-7, 300) and Ian White (6-5, 302).
"Those two tackles are playing at a high, high level," Addazio said. "They're giant guys. They're fast, they're big, they're physical and those guys have a great demeanor. They just engulfed the guys from Army. Our line is a big-time line."
"Nobody knew anybody's names coming into the season," Swinney said. "I used that with our team. I did an interview with [commentator] Eddie George in the preseason and asked him if he knew any of our players on defense and he didn't.
"I think the biggest improvement is that people know some of their names. People know who [tackle] Grady Jarrett is now. He is a great player. Everybody knows [end] Vic Beasley now and they're even starting to make up new [nicknames] for him. These guys are starting to create an identity and I love that."
One-time Roanoker W.J. Blane was one of 32 former Georgia Tech All-America football players recognized in ceremonies prior to the Yellow Jackets' Sept. 26 game with Virginia Tech as part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Grant Field.
Blane, a real-estate developer in the Atlanta area, went to Jefferson High School in Roanoke before graduating from Patrick Henry in 1963. Blane's guests at the game included his brother, Bob, who lettered in football and baseball at Georgia Tech, and their buddy John Bays, erstwhile PH longsnapper and former Roanoke Times Fearless Forecaster.
W.J. Blane was an All-America linebacker for the Yellow Jackets in 1966.
Billy Sample, who went from James Madison University to a nine-year Major League Baseball career, grew up in Salem and has produced a film, "Reunion 108," that will play at the Salem 8 Cinema for two weeks starting Oct. 25.
Sample played football at Andrew Lewis High School and, as a junior wide receiver, played on the Lewis team that was immortalized in the movie, "Remember the Titans."
"Reunion 108" is a baseball-based comedy.
Tonight's meeting between an unbeaten Virginia women's soccer team that is ranked No. 1 in the country and No. 5 Notre Dame will mark Notre Dame's first game against UVa in any sport since joining the ACC. Kickoff at UVa's Klöckner Stadium will be at 7 p.m.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us