Wade, Dillon lead Boston College over Syracuse
Boston College backup quarterback Darius Wade enjoyed a career day and running back AJ Dillon continued his stellar freshman season as the Eagles thumped Syracuse 42-14 Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Wade, a graduate senior, reached career highs in completions (16 in 20 attempts) and yards (248), and he also threw for one touchdown with no interceptions. Wade is subbing for starter Anthony Brown, who suffered a season-ending injury to his right leg against North Carolina State on Nov. 11.
Dillon, who entered the game ranked second in the ACC to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in rushing yards per game (112.6), gained 193 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns. Led by Dillon, the Eagles (7-5, 4-4 ACC) won five of their last six regular-season games to and qualified for a bowl game for the fourth time in five years.
Syracuse, which hasn’t appeared in a bowl game since 2013, finished 4-8 overall, 2-6 in the ACC. The Orange went 0-5 after shocking then-No. 2 Clemson 27-24 on Oct. 13 at the Carrier Dome. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey missed his third consecutive game with a foot injury, and Syracuse started third-stringer Rex Culpepper against the Eagles.
Culpepper completed 24 of 34 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossed one interception and lost two fumbles.
Wade went 4-for-4 for 62 yards on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half that ended with Dillon’s 1-yard touchdown plunge. The Orange then drove 87 yards to the Eagles’ 5-yard line but safety Lukas Denis stuffed a fourth-and-1 play as Boston College maintained its 35-14 advantage.
Wade’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Travis Levy increased the Eagles’ lead to 42-14 early in the fourth quarter.
On his first three touches of the game, Dillon ran 22 yards for a touchdown, 50 yards to move the Eagles deep into Syracuse territory, and 8 yards for his second touchdown to give Boston College a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Wide receiver Jeff Smith’s 64-yard run accounted for the Eagles’ third first-half score, and defensive back Will Harris picked up a botched throw behind the line of scrimmage and scampered 30 yards to boost Boston College’s lead to 28-7.
Culpepper tossed two first-half touchdowns to wide receiver Steve Ishmael for 37 yards and wide receiver Erv Phillips for 17 yards, but also airmailed an easy interception to Denis in Eagles’ territory with a chance to cut Syracuse’s deficit to one touchdown.
With 11 receptions for 187 yards, Ishmael because the Orange’s single-season reception leader (105) and career leader in receiving yardage (2,891).