The quarterback position has been a strength for Boston College this season, one in which the Eagles clinched their fourth bowl appearance in the last five seasons. But it became a question mark after the loss of Anthony Brown, who was on pace to challenge several school freshman records before sustaining a leg injury Nov. 11.
Darius Wade provided adequate answers in quarterbacking the Eagles to a 39-16 win over Connecticut at Fenway Park last Saturday. Now, he and backup EJ Perry are preparing for a tougher test as BC visits Syracuse in its final game of the regular season this Saturday.
“Darius is super smart, he understands everything we want to do,” coach Steve Addazio said. “He throws the ball very, very well. Darius is very athletic. And so, he’s got all that going for him.
“He can do everything we want him to do, he can do that physically and mentally. He’s very, very capable, throws a very good deep ball. So we still have an opportunity to see the best of Darius.”
Against UConn, the game plan consisted mostly of handoffs to A.J. Dillon and Jon Hilliman, but Wade gained credit for game management on a stormy day. Now, he is looking forward to performing in a climate-controlled setting, the Carrier Dome.
“Definitely a rivalry game,” Wade said. “It’s been pretty scrappy, so definitely excited to see how it turns out.
“I like the Dome, it gets pretty rowdy in there. You just feel like it’s a nice, sunny day out.”
Syracuse also could be going with a backup quarterback — Rex Culpepper or Zack Mahoney — as Eric Dungey recovers from a leg injury.
“They’re not going to change in terms of the throw game, maybe a little bit in the run game,” Addazio said. “Any time you’re already down in the quarterbacks, you’ve got to be a little concerned about running the quarterback too much. We all are. You’re one bad hit away from losing another guy.”
Which is among the reasons Addazio opted to burn Perry’s redshirt year with a late-game appearance against UConn.
“He’s one snap away from running this whole operation,” Addazio said. “That’s a tall order. It’s not as simple as, you’ve got to get him in the game, he’s got to start to get a feel, he’s got to get a lot of reps. Because one snap, one deal, and it’s all on him.”
Perry, who played under his father’s coaching at Andover High School, welcomed the chance.
“That first handoff was, like, tunnel vision,” Perry said. “It kind of really sunk in, looking up at [the stands]. Everyone, playing Little League around here, wants to play baseball there. So it was cool I get to tell my high school baseball coach I made it to Fenway.
“I knew coming into the season, [quarterbacks] coach [Scott] Loeffler said we want to redshirt you but if the time comes you’ll play,” Perry said. “So, I just do whatever they tell me to do. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. Every competitor wants to play. To get that opportunity was definitely exciting.
“I’ve been throwing with these guys since I got in here in January — seven on seven, spring practice. Hometown school, Power 5 school, it’s everyone around here’s dream to play here.”
Addazio is looking forward to a rematch with his former team.
“There should be rival games in every conference,’’ Addazio said. “When I was at Syracuse, [BC] was a big game, circled on the schedule.”