Doug Flutie is a legendary quarterback who has won the Heisman Trophy, was an All-American, a Grey Cup MVP and a College Football Hall of Fame member and has 57,874 NFL career yards to his name. He was also the first major college football player to pass for more than 10,000 career yards.
Flutie starred as the quarterback for Boston College, Arizona’s upcoming opponent for the AdvoCare V100 Bowl. In 1984, he threw the game-winning Hail Mary pass into the endzone against the University of Miami with six seconds on the clock, a famous play he continues to be well-known to this day.
Flutie is now a college football analyst for ABC Sports and ESPN.
The Daily Wildcat had the chance to speak with Flutie about the upcoming bowl game and his thoughts on the future of Arizona football.
How do you think Arizona’s upset of Oregon a few weeks ago is going to impact the Wildcats in the future?
It’s a huge win — that’s a marquee win — and you bring attention. When you have the opportunity to knock off a team like Oregon, right away, you give yourself credibility. Guys want to be in a position, when they decide where they’re going, … to play for championships — conference championships and national championships. And with that comes the credibility, and the kids get excited about it. Of course, Oregon is such a high profile program. They’re the colorful program with the uniforms and everything else that the kids love.
Where do you see Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez taking his team in the next three years?
I think [Arizona is] going to be in the mix. The whole conference has gotten stronger, and that’s where the issue is coming. You can improve your program and you could be doing some great things, but all of a sudden you see UCLA is stronger, Stanford is a powerhouse, Oregon’s a powerhouse, USC got their act back together, Arizona State is strong. I think [Arizona is] headed in the right direction. I think they’re going to be in the mix as far as being competitive for it. To win your conference is just not easy.
Who do you think is going to win the Heisman Trophy? Do you think Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey had a chance among all the other contenders even though he’s not in the mix anymore?
[Carey] deserves to be in that conversation with everyone else that’s in the conversation, there is no doubt about it. He had an unbelievable year, putting up the yards, everything else, carried the football team as far as being the guy the team leans on.
Right now, I think because of his national attention, Jameis Winston is the definite front runner, and then there’s everybody else. Anybody out of that mix could be the No. 2 guy.
On that note, with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl coming up and the battle between two top leading rushers, Andre Williams and Ka’Deem Carey, who do you think might play the better game?
It’s two totally different types of running attacks. [Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez] has always been a “spread them out” guy and will have them run the football. Andre Williams is a power runner-type guy. Boston College had their identity early in the year against Wake Forest in the fourth quarter. They lined up in three tight ends and ran the football the entire fourth quarter. I’m going to give the advantage to BC in that because it’s more of a power attack. BC’s biggest challenge on the defensive side is going to be athletically. So it’s the finesse running game against the power running game.
What else do you think Arizona needs to know about this Boston College team?
The number one thing is be ready to strap your helmet on, because BC has had a change in attitude over the last year. They are a much more physical team. If they handle the physical part of BC, then Arizona is more athletic.
So, no game-winning Hail Mary’s?
The game-winning play with five seconds to go would be an 80-yard punt and run by one of the backs. It may be a quick game; the clock will be running the entire game.
How familiar are you with Shreveport, La.? What kind of time have you spent in the city?
I went there once for, believe it or not, a Canadian Football League game. The one aspect that I like about it is that the Independence Bowl [now the AdvoCare V100 Bowl] was one of the original bowls, and it’s been there a long time. I like the tradition of that. Other than that, get ready for some barbecuing.
What does B.J. Denker need to look out for in Chase Rettig?
[Chase] is a talented kid, he has a very strong arm, throws the ball extremely well. Now that they have a running attack and they’ve got physical depth, he doesn’t have to carry the load and throw the ball 40 times a game. So, his job is to just be efficient.
—Follow Megan Coghlan @MeganCoghlan