Just as momentum was building for a Boston College program turning its season around, the Eagles were dealt a major blow Saturday when redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown suffered a right knee injury that will end his season.
While coach Steve Addazio wouldn’t detail the specific nature of the injury, Brown will undergo surgery.
“He’ll be 100 percent,” said Addazio. “He’ll be fine. This is a bump in the road. This is nothing more than that. He’s going to be a great player with a great future, and we couldn’t be more excited about what he’s gotten done, what he’s gotten accomplished, and what he’ll do in the future.
“He’s got a great attitude, great mind-set. He’s a tough competitor.”
Addazio handed Brown the keys to the offense after he won a preseason competition with Darius Wade. He became just the second freshman quarterback in BC history to start a season opener.
In 10 starts, Brown threw for 1,367 yards and 11 touchdowns, helping breathe life into an offense that had struggled in recent years.
“I think the most important thing is, for Anthony . . . for him to have a course that he’s going to be on, and we’re rolling forward,” Addazio said. “I think it’s really important in the mind of a champion like Anthony: ‘This is what I’m dealing with. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to be 100 percent.
“ ‘I’m going to be back ready to roll, and I’m going to be grateful for the year that I had, grateful for the unbelievable experience I had. It’s going to make me a better player.’ In his mind, he’s going to have an unbelievable year next year.”
With Brown out, the Eagles will turn to Wade, and Addazio is forced to make freshman E.J. Perry the backup quarterback, burning the Andover High School product’s redshirt.
Wade has appeared in seven games this season, completing 23 of 40 passes for 225 yards. When Brown went down with a shoulder injury in the win over Louisville last month, Wade filled in and connected on 7 of 10 passes for 91 yards, helping the Eagles pull off a come-from-behind win that sparked a three-game winning streak. They are in position to secure a bowl berth for the fourth time in five years.
But in Saturday’s 17-14 loss to North Carolina State, Wade struggled to get the ball out quickly, taking five sacks.
Addazio didn’t rule out the possibility of Perry seeing the field if need be, but he is confident in Wade.
“Obviously, Darius has been preparing hard and preparing well,” Addazio said. “E.J. Perry is completely on board and ready to play. As he said, ‘I came here to be part of this team. I came here because it’s a privilege, not a right. I’m going to do everything I can to help this football team win, whether you need me for one snap or 50.’ ”
‘Darius [Wade] has been preparing hard and preparing well.’