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Boston College could start freshman walk-on quarterback against Virginia Tech

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J. Smith run for 1 yd,J. Smith fumbled, forced by C. Wujciak, recovered by BC H. Landry,H. Landry return for 34 yds (0:34)

Jeremy Smith run for 1 yd to the Lvile 6 Jeremy Smith fumbled, forced by Connor Wujciak, recovered by BC Harold Landry , return for 34 yds to the Lvile 6 (0:34)

If one play ever could sum up a team's season, the one above does for Boston College's 2015.

Connor Wujciak forces a fumble, Harold Landry scoops the ball up and rumbles toward the end zone with it ... and then is brought down short of the goal line by the opposing quarterback. The moral of the story: A great defense can keep you in games, but unless it also scores more points than it allows you need offense to win games.

And though it leads the country in multiple defensive categories, including tackles for loss, rushing yards allowed per game and first downs allowed per game, BC hasn't had the offensive firepower it needs to win consistently this season.

Those problems are likely to get magnified this week against Virginia Tech. With Darius Wade out for the season with an ankle injury, Jeff Smith dealing with a concussion and Troy Flutie healthy but struggling, the quarterback carousel at BC (which in the past two years has also included Chase Rettig and Tyler Murphy) continues to spin at dizzying speeds.

Boston College is so banged up at quarterback that John Fadule, a freshman walk-on who until recently was a fourth-stringer leading the scout team in practice, got first-team reps this week.

"He's been outstanding," coach Steve Addazio told the media Monday. "He goes against our defense every day. He's tough, he throws it really well, and he is very physical, and he's got speed.

"He goes against our defense and he makes a lot of plays."

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, spent a postgrad year at Choate Rosemary Hall, throwing for more than 2,000 yards and 36 touchdowns as the Wild Boars romped to a 10-0 record and a New England prep school title. The year before that, Fadule led Wellesley High against current Eagles teammate and then-Natick High star Troy Flutie.

So, is the kid who called being at BC his "dream" ready to make playing for BC a reality?

The Eagles didn't make Fadule (or any of their QBs) available for interviews this week, but when he was asked earlier this month if he would've been ready to step in when Wade went down Fadule gave an honest answer.

"I don't know what ready means, because I've never played a college game before," Fadule told Rivals.com. "I felt like I was prepared and as confident as I possibly can [be], which comes when you study our stuff more. The better you know it, the faster you can play."

Smith may come back this week, and the BC QB mix may not change after all, but Addazio said the walk-on is definitely under consideration for playing time.

"I'm absolutely evaluating John Fadule," Addazio said Monday. "First of all, at a minimum, we have to have two quarterbacks game-ready. At a minimum. ... And then we have to evaluate what we need to do to be able to beat Virginia Tech."

The numbers say the Eagles will probably need to run the ball to beat the Hokies.

The Eagles are last in the ACC in practically every significant passing stat: completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, yards per game, touchdowns and passer rating.

Of course, having a freshman-laden offensive line that has given up 16 sacks through eight games doesn't help. Neither does losing lead back Jon Hilliman, or seeing backups Marcus Outlow, Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse banged up.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Addazio was still evaluating his options. He said Flutie and Fadule each had good (and bad) moments in practice, so there's a chance that the walk-on could still start.

The defense will be there. But will it get enough support from whoever winds up under center?

"I'm gonna put the best player on the field," Addazio pledged. "And I'll weigh it all in. Whoever I feel is best prepared to win."

Jack McCluskey is a Grantland copy editor and a contributor to ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.