Boston College closes the season at Syracuse on Saturday, but this might not be the Eagles’ only visit to New York this year.
BC (6-5, 3-4 ACC), bowl-bound for the fourth time in five years after a 39-16 victory over UConn Saturday, could be a candidate for the Pinstripe Bowl, scheduled at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 27.
Until bowl selections are made, though, BC coach Steve Addazio is concentrating on the conclusion of the conference season.
“It means the world to us [but] being bowl eligible has nothing to do with our approach to this game,” Addazio said Monday. “Our approach to this game is it’s the Super Bowl and we’ve got to go win it. They’re all huge.”
The Eagles have won four of their last five games and have a three-game road winning streak (UConn was designated as home team for the game at Fenway Park).
“It’s a preseason goal,” Addazio said of BC becoming bowl eligible. “So when you achieve it it’s a barometer of success and it gives you an opportunity to get another month’s worth of practice to develop your team.
“When you lose that, that hurts you. We’re fortunate to go to four bowls in five years and develop our players. Postseason play is exciting and it matters in recruiting and you want to be in that whole hub. So, it’s fantastic and it’s gratifying. Having a schedule like we’ve had and the way it’s played out has been unbelievable, battling in every game, overcoming a bunch of stuff along the way, and playing really talented teams.
“It’s been a part of the development of our teams, which bodes very well for this weekend and for the future. It’s a chance to showcase so many young players that are as talented as any in the conference and in the country. All these freshmen who have important roles on our team, they get a chance to extend into the bowl. Never mind the obvious ones, what about the not as obvious ones? I can’t wait to see them grow and develop.”
BC lost to Penn State, 31-30, in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl and broke a five-game bowl losing streak with a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl last season.
Addazio expects the BC passing game to be a factor against the Orange, thanks to the Carrier Dome field conditions. The Eagles totaled 330 rushing yards and Darius Wade had 55 passing yards in a rainstorm against UConn.
“We tried to throw downfield, dropped a couple balls,” Addazio said. “It was pouring rain and cold, and we had a hot hand [rushing].
“We’re going to spend a whole lot of time on the throw game. They bring a lot of pressure, and when you do that you’ve got opportunities on the perimeter and we have the ability to strike there. We will have perfect weather. It’s probably a great advantage for them, too. But we’re not going to have to deal with the elements.”
Wade replaced Anthony Brown, who sustained a season-ending leg injury in a 17-14 loss to North Carolina State on Nov. 11. Freshman quarterback EJ Perry made his debut as a late-game replacement Saturday.
“Darius did well, made some big plays, managed the game well,” Addazio said. “[Perry] has been dynamic running the scout team and doing a lot of things. This is his first week of having to work the offense. I think it’s a big step. I would’ve liked to play him at least another series.”
Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, who has missed the past two games with a lower-leg injury, likely will miss Saturday’s game, according to the Associated Press.