Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
The past and future of the Boston College offense were roommates in the team hotel the night before the ACC championship game. Injured quarterback Chris Crane told his replacement, redshirt freshman Dominique Davis, that Virginia Tech had been his toughest game of the season.
Davis would soon experience exactly what Crane was talking about.
After a polished performance at home against Maryland in his first career start, Davis struggled a week later against Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. He was sacked five times and completed 17 of 43 passes (40 percent) for two interceptions and one touchdown. He also fumbled the ball twice, losing it once, and the Eagles lost, 30-12.
He's ready, though, for the next big stage.
Davis said he learned from his mistakes in the ACC title game, and that he's more confident heading into the Music City Bowl against Vanderbilt. He'll need to perform better, as Vandy has the No. 3 passing defense in the SEC, and has excelled at putting pressure on quarterbacks.
Much like Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt has won games with its defense. Junior D.J. Moore is tied for fifth in the country with six interceptions. The Commodores are ranked 117th in the country in total offense. They are 0-2, though, against the ACC this season, having lost to both Duke and Wake Forest.
Davis has been working with offensive coordinator Steve Logan on his pocket presence.
"I'm more prepared," Davis said. "A lot of people tell me it's not going to get any worse than Virginia Tech. ... Even though we lost and my game wasn't all that great, it was still a confidence booster. I know what it takes to get there, what we need to win."
Davis said Maryland didn't put as much pressure on him as Virginia Tech did, and that the Hokies forced him to get rid of the ball faster. The Music City Bowl will only be Davis' third career start, but he said Virginia Tech's defense forced him to mature quickly.
"After I got beat up so much by Virginia Tech in the championship game," he said, "I don't feel like a rookie at all anymore."