For the second straight season people doubted Kelly Bryant would start a game at quarterback in a Clemson uniform. However, after spring practice and fall camp the coaches gave Bryant the nod to start in Saturday’s 48-7 win over Furman.
Bryant did not have a perfect game but together a solid start finishing the day 10-of-16 for 127 yards and a touchdown while rushing five times for 58 yards and a touchdown.
A lot of people are talking about Trevor Lawrence’s debut game, and rightfully so, as the freshman finished 9-of-15 for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
However, Bryant believes he did enough to maintain his starting job and lead second-ranked Clemson into Kyle Field against Texas A&M next Saturday.
“I think I did pretty good,” he said. “I could have been better in some areas. I missed some throws, but also I made a few plays. It’s just part of the game.”
Bryant certainly seemed out of his element early in Saturday’s game, failing to connect on a series of relatively short passes before dialing in later in the contest. He knows he didn’t get off to the start he wanted but attributes the rocky start to opening game jitters.
“I just had a little bit of jitters,” he said. “There were some throws I should have made but that’s just part of the game and I need to take one play at a time,” he said.
The senior finished the first half 5-of-10 for 60 yards including a 40-yard touchdown pass on a fade to Amari Rodgers before turning it around in limited second half action going 5-of-6 for 67 yards, while also rushing for a 35-yard touchdown
Next week Clemson faces a more daunting task heading into Kyle Field to square up with Texas A&M and Bryant believes he did enough to keep his current role as the starter but knows ultimately the decision is not his to make.
“I definitely did, but it’s the coaches’ decision,” he said. “Everybody played well, so we’re going to watch the film, grade it and just get better for next week, whatever the coaches decide.”
The differences between Bryant and Lawrence on Saturday were slight when you isolate the game against Furman. All things considered it is difficult to imagine next week’s game looking much different as far as reps between the two quarterbacks.
However, who knows what’s going to happen when you pair the competition at quarterback with the hostile environment in College Station? We’ll find out next Saturday at 7 p.m.