THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Practice is what Spaziani preaches

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / October 12, 2009

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The theme of the week for the Boston College football team will be a simple one: Practice, practice, practice.

What else can coach Frank Spaziani tell his team after the way Virginia Tech took the Eagles apart in almost every way in Saturday’s 48-14 loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg, Va.

Are the Eagles that bad? Spaziani doesn’t think so. Are they good enough to compete with the Hokies, who have visions of playing in the Bowl Championship Series title game if they get some help? Of course not.

The Eagles are young, thin in a lot of areas, and prone to mistakes. Against a team like Virginia Tech, those mistakes show up on the scoreboard.

The second half of the season begins Saturday at Alumni Stadium when North Carolina State and former Eagles coach Tom O’Brien come to town. Spaziani and O’Brien are longtime friends, but each will be focused more on how to fix what is wrong with his team than any personal matchup.

The Wolfpack was a preseason sleeper to win the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division. But the defense has been snoozing the past two weeks in losses to Wake Forest and Duke, which overwhelmed N.C. State, 49-28, Saturday.

Spaziani’s focus yesterday was on fixing what went wrong against Tech.

“After looking at that game, I could just reach into the hat and pull stuff out,’’ said Spaziani when asked about finding particular things to work on.

Spaziani said the Eagles have reached another crossroads.

“In this team’s development and growth, this is a new situation,’’ he said. “How we respond is going to be interesting.’’

While Dave Shinskie is likely to remain the starting quarterback, one thing likely to happen is another appearance by freshman QB Mike Marscovetra, who threw a pair of touchdown passes in a mop-up role Saturday. However Marscovetra also made a planned appearance in the second quarter when the game was still within reach (Tech led, 17-0) and didn’t do much.