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Freshman QB John Fadule gets the start against Notre Dame

John Fadule was thrown for a loss by North Carolina State, but he did pass for 257 yards.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

He made his first collegiate appearance in relief of ineffective redshirt freshman quarterback Troy Flutie in the first quarter against Virginia Tech.

Then, after leading the team in rushing (53 yards on 15 carries) and passing (143 yards, 8 for 20) in that 26-10 loss to the Hokies, John Fadule drew his first career start vs. North Carolina State.

He threw for 257 yards (on 23-for-37 passing, 1 TD, 3 INTs) in a 24-8 loss to the Wolfpack. It was the most passing yards by a BC quarterback since 2013, when Chase Rettig threw for 285 in a season-opening victory over Villanova.


Now, Fadule, a freshman walk-on from Wellesley, draws the biggest assignment of his BC career when he starts for the Eagles (3-7) in Saturday's Shamrock Series showdown at Fenway Park vs. Notre Dame (9-1), which is No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

"He's got to take another step,'' said BC coach Steve Addazio. "I told him today in practice, you go from reading cards [on the scout squad] and kind of freelancing and just making plays. Then you have to go ahead and make sure that we've got the play called. There might be a check involved, so you have to have a [man in] motion going, there are other things going on.

"And, oh by the way, on a certain play you've got to have a great play-action ball fake. Then you have to plant your feet, set your feet in the pocket, and throw the ball.

"It's no longer 'run around and just go make plays.' There's things you have to do because there's timing, there's execution involved, and he's got to take the next step there.''

And Fadule will have to do it against a Notre Dame defense that Addazio termed "one of the very best we will have played this season."


"What John does a really good job of, in my opinion, is he competes and he keeps his eyes downfield and he's able to create some plays," the coach added. "What he's got to do a better job of is executing the mechanics, and the fundamentals, and the checks of the offense, because when you go up against really talented teams like theirs, the freelancing stuff will catch you really quick.''

Matchup issues

After playing some of the toughest defenses in the country in their own Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Eagles will face yet another stout defensive front in Notre Dame.

"We've played against really strong defensive fronts, but we still have matchup issues,'' Addazio said. "We've got young guys matched up against first-round draft picks who are older guys. That doesn't go away, but we won't be shocked by it because we played against it.

"But we've played against it and struggled with it, to be honest with you. So you've still got to match up. I mean, our right guard [Chris Lindstrom] is a true freshman and we think he's going to be a heck of a football player, but he's 270 pounds. He's going against a first-round draft pick that's 290 pounds, so those matchup issues are there."

Feeling at home

Although the Eagles will don 1984 throwback white visitors jerseys and use the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park, Addazio has no problem with traveling the 4.1 miles from Chestnut Hill to play a "road'' game. "I'd much rather be playing this game at Fenway Park than traveling out to South Bend, Ind., right now,'' said Addazio. "We're in our backyard here, so it's like home. It's different, a unique setup over there, but I think it's going to be a great atmosphere and an exciting place to play.'' If there is one drawback, it is the fact the teams will be sharing the same sideline. "So substitutions are going to be very, very difficult because you've got a 10-yard gap between the teams from the 45 to the 45,'' Addazio said. "So we've got to get used to it, the coaches have got to get used to it. It's just awkward.''


Yiadom ready

The bye week seemed to help sophomore corner Isaac Yiadom, who injured his shoulder vs. Virginia Tech and sat out vs. North Carolina State. Addazio said Yiadom would be ready to return vs. the Irish. The week off didn't seem to improve the condition of senior punter/kicker Alex Howell, whose role has been limited to punting by a strained right quad . . . With only nine players on his roster who have played against Notre Dame, Addazio said he will have several alumni who not played against but had success against the Fighting Irish address the team this week and share their recollections of those victories . . . BC's season finale at Syracuse Nov. 28 will kick off at 12:30 p.m.