The AdvoCare V100 Bowl — aka the Independence Bowl – from Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana pitting Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) against Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) featured two of the nation’s top rushers in Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman trophy finalist Andre Williams of the Eagles and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Ka’Deem Carey of the Wildcats.
Williams led the nation with 2,102 rushing yards on 329 carries with 17 touchdowns while Carey had 1,716 yards and 17 TDs on 322 carries coming into the game.
Both Carey and Williams were bottled up early. The BC back managed just 4 yards on five early carries as two Eagles’ drives stalled. Carey fumbled on his first carry, recovered by BC’s Justin Simmons at the Eagles’ 30-yard-line and both teams came up empty on their initial possessions.
Wildcats’ quarterback B.J. Denker connected on passes of 11, 23 and a 56 yard strike to Nate Phillips on their second possession of the ballgame to set up a 2-yard Carey touchdown scamper and the scoring was on.
Boston College managed a 13-play, 54-yard drive on their ensuing possession, highlighted by three 3rd down conversions courtesy of quarterback Chase Rettig and 5 carries for 16 yards from Williams. The Eagles’ couldn’t punch it in the end zone, however, and settled for a 32-yard Nate Freese field goal.
The score after one quarter: Arizona 7, Boston College 3.
Arizona was forced to punt to start the quarter and the Eagles’ engineered another 10+ play drive, this time going 11-plays and 46 yards, but it stalled again at the Wildcats’ 24-yard line and resulted in a 41-yard Freese field goal.
Arizona was forced to punt again and BC took over at their own 15. The Eagles’ managed a first down but on a following 3rd-and-4, Rettig was picked off by Wildcats’ defensive back William Parks and he took it 69 yards to-the-house to put Arizona up 14-6.
Boston College went three-and-out on their ensuing possession and Arizona went back to work.
Denker connected with Nate Phillips twice for 22 yards and managed two rushes for 20, setting up a 26-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Trey Griffey – son of future MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. – for the first score of his career.
Surprisngly, the stars of the first half were neither Williams nor Carey. Arizona’s Denker went 8-of-12 for 145 yards and a score, with 101 of those coming on four passes to Phillips. Carey managed 47 yards and a TD on 12 carries in the first half. Williams managed 47 yards on 18 carries.
Halftime score: Arizona 21, Boston College 6.
Denker and Carey went to work in the third quarter. Denker connected with Phillips four times – including a key 23-yard 4th down conversion that put the Wildcats inside the BC 10 – and Carey rattled off three runs for 24 yards including a 5-yard TD jaunt to cap off an 11-play, 75-yard drive that brought the score to 28-6.
The Eagles’ next possession stalled and Arizona put together another scoring drive – this one an 8-play, 93-yard affair highlighted by a 42-yard Denker completion to Phillips and finished with a 14-yard run for a score by the QB.
Boston College was forced to punt yet again on their ensuing drive and the Wildcats went right back to work, again.
Their third consecutive scoring drive consisted of 12-plays and 80 yards and ended up with Griffey’s 2nd TD catch, this time from 3 yards out.
The route was on with Arizona leading 42-6.
Boston College next drive – albeit penalty riddled – went 4-plays and 65 yards and the Eagles finally punched one in the end zone on a Williams 4-yard TD rush. The 2-point conversion failed.
Arizona was finally stopped, but chewed up almost 7 minutes off the clock after an 11-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a turnover on downs.
Boston College managed one final scoring drive, capped off by a 6-yard Tyler Roush touchdown run to bring the game to it’s conclusion.
Final Score: Arizona 42, Boston College 19.
Arizona finishes the season with an 8-6 overall record while Boston College dropped to 7-6
Notable Individual Stats
Arizona: Carey – 28 rushes for 165 yards, 2 TDs; Denker 17-of-24, 276 yards, 2 TDs; Phillips 9 catches, 194 yards; Griffey 3 catches, 41 yards, 2 TDs.
Boston College: Williams – 26 rushes, 75 yards, TD; Rettig 17-of-27, 204 yards, 2 INTs; Alex Amidon 10 catches, 129 yards.