The Boston College defense forced three turnovers and stopped Wake Forest with a pair of goal-line stands.
Andre Williams did the rest.
The BC running back rushed 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown — including a final drive in which he carried the ball eight straight times to help run the last 5 minutes off the clock — and Boston College matched its win total from last season with a 24-10 victory over Wake Forest on Friday night.
"You keep pounding the rock and pounding the rock, and the rock cracked," said BC coach Steve Addazio, who took over after Frank Spaziani’s team won only two games last year — just one in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "I’m proud of the fact that we’re 2-0. We’re scratching and clawing to get here, but we’ve got a lot of work to do."
Cornerback Bryce Jones had an interception and a fumble recovery, and Alex Amidon caught five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown for BC (2-0, 1-0 ACC). Kevin Pierre-Louis had 11 tackles for Boston College, and Steele Divitto and Steven Daniels had 10 apiece.
Chase Rettig completed 7 of 14 passes for 123 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But most of the offense came from Williams, who didn’t practice during the week after tweaking his hamstring against Villanova in the season opener.
With BC protecting a 17-point lead and 5:14 left in the game, Williams carried eight plays in a row for 44 yards and four first downs before Rettig kneeled twice to clinch it.
"We didn’t know how long he’d be able to go," Addazio said. "But he finished it. He finished it out."
Williams said the production was set up by a first half with play-action and an effective passing game.
"After that, we only ran a couple of plays," he said, "and they just couldn’t stop it."
Michael Campanaro caught five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown for Wake Forest (1-1, 0-1). Tanner Price completed 18 of 30 passes for 191 yards, but he also threw an interception and had a hand in two poor pitches that led to fumbles deep in Wake territory.
BC stopped the Demon Deacons on a pair of goal-line stands, one of them after a blocked punt gave them the ball at the 3 at the end of the first half.
"As it turned out, that will do great things for us," Addazio said. "But at the time it’s taking years off your life."
Wake Forest, coming off a 31-7 victory over FCS opponent Presbyterian, was sloppy early to help the Eagles take a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Demon Deacons fumbled the ball away on a sloppy pitchout on their second play of the game, giving BC the ball at the 27. Two plays later, Rettig connected with Amidon for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
Wake Forest tied it when Campanaro went down the middle and made a diving 30-yard touchdown catch. BC added a field goal, and then Price made a bad pitch that Jones pounced on at the Demon Deacons 22.
Rettig hit Spiffy Evans for the 22-yard score to make it 17-7.
That’s when the Eagles got sloppy.
Taking over with 76 seconds left in the half and the ball at their own 30, the Eagles burned only 24 seconds off the clock before being forced to punt. Nikita Whitlock got through to block the kick, and Steve Donatell gathered it in at the 3.
But BC kept Wake Forest from scoring, stopping Josh Harris after 2 yards on first down, for no gain on second and then forcing an incomplete pass on third. The Demon Deacons went for it on fourth down, but Harris was stuffed short of the goal line by Kasim Edebali and Divitto.
"I really want our mentality to be: `We can get a yard when we need it,’" Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "Looking back, it’s easy to say `kick the field goal.’ But I felt like the momentum was not going to be good either way. If we don’t get it in you lose momentum. But I felt like when you’re on the 1 yard line and you can’t punch it in and you’re kicking a field goal, that’s still a momentum swing."
Williams ran it in from 2 yards out with 2 minutes left in the third quarter to make it 24-7, and then BC again stopped the Demon Deacons inside the 5, forcing them to kick a field goal.