Wade at the controls
BC quarterback set for bowl drive
Darius Wade experienced the same pain, frustration and heartbreak that Anthony Brown is going through now.
Brown started 10 straight games at quarterback for Boston College this year before suffering a seasonending knee injury in the Eagles’ 17-14 loss to North Carolina State last Saturday at Alumni Stadium.
Wade will make his fourth career start when BC (5-5) takes on UConn (37) in a non-conferece “road” game on Saturday night at Fenway Park. BC can attain bowl eligibility with a win.
“I’m pretty much trying to keep things business as usual,” Wade said after yesterday’s practice at Alumni Stadium. “It is a situation where we have to make this as seamless as possible. It is a very unfortunate thing that happened, and you never want to earn your job through injury. However, that is how it panned out this time. We have to keep attacking it, and we have a lot of things ahead of us with two games remaining to get bowl eligible and get to a bowl game.”
After serving as freshman understudy to Tyler Murphy in 2014, Wade emerged from training camp in 2015 as the best quarterback on the roster. He started two wins against Maine and Howard and made his Atlantic Coast Conference debut against defending champ Florida State. Wade suffered a broken ankle on a second-quarter roll out and was lost for the season.
“I told (Brown) to pretty much keep his head up,” Wade said. “Mine was different because it happened in the beginning of the season, but it is a very unfortunate situation to have a season-ending injury. Like me, for him this is the first time it (injury) has happened. He has never really been hurt like that before. There is definitely a lot of overwhelming emotion that kind of hits you all at once.
“There is the pain of the injury itself as well as knowing you can no longer play this season. Your teammates are out there playing, and you are watching them on crutches.”
Wade’s biggest contribution in 2017 occurred in the second half of the Eagles’ 45-42 upset of Louisville on Oct., 15. Brown aggravated an existing shoulder injury on the Eagles’ opening drive of the second half and had to exit.
Wade’s game management against the Cardinals was masterful. Using freshman tailback A.J. Dillon as his primary weapon, Wade drove BC to four consecutive touchdowns that put the Eagles’ up 42-28 with 11:59 to play in the game.
Wade complemented the Eagles’ power run game with timely and effective rollout and play-action passes, primarily to tight end Tommy Sweeney. He completed 7-of-10 passes for 91 yards as Dillon ran wild for 272 yards on 39 carries.
Eagles coach Steve Addazio appreciates what Wade accomplished against Louisville, but he wants more than just an effective game manager against the Huskies.
“I think we need playmaking. We are going to attack just like we have been,” Addazio said. “Not really looking for a game manager to be honest. We got out of that mode and grew and got to the point of attacking defenses. We’ve just got to get our game plan right and make sure we are doing everything that everyone can do.”