Nothing Furman showed Trevor Lawrence Saturday surprised him.
The freshman, who everyone at Clemson has been waiting to see, threw for 137 yards and three touchdowns, while sharing possessions with starter Kelly Bryant in second-ranked Clemson’s 48-7 victory over the Paladins at Death Valley.
On his first possession, Lawrence found Amari Rodgers on a third-and-short play to keep the drive alive. The drive ended with a 49-yard Greg Huegel field goal for a 13-0 lead with 9:19 to go in the second quarter.
The next time the Tigers (1-0) got the ball, Lawrence found Trevion Thompson for an 18-yard reception on third-and-five from the 10 to keep the drive going. That got the offense going and got the freshman going as well.
Lawrence later found Cornell Powell 42 yards down the sideline, setting up his own 6-yard touchdown pass to Diondre Overton for a 20-0 Clemson lead with 2:54 to play in the first half.
“Nothing really surprised me,” Lawrence said afterward. “We had a really good game plan and we knew what they were going to do and for the most part they did that. There were not really too many surprises.”
Lawrence later threw passes of 15 and 10 yards to freshman tight end Braden Galloway, setting up a 7-yard Travis Etienne touchdown for a 27-0 halftime lead for the Tigers.
In the third quarter, Lawrence found fellow freshman Justyn Ross for a 15-yard score and then later threw his third touchdown pass with a 9-yard pass to Galloway, giving Clemson a 48-0 lead with 13:42 to play in the game.
“You see what Trevor could do,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He is a special talent and he is just going to get better. It was a good time to see him get in there and get his first opportunity.”
Lawrence was just the second freshman in Clemson history to throw three touchdown passes in his first game. Charlie Whitehurst did the same at Duke in 2002.
“There are a lot of good things we can build on,” Swinney said.
Lawrence can definitely build on Saturday as the Tigers head to Texas A&M next week.
“It is really cool because we have such a veteran team, but we have a lot of young guys that are doing good too,” he said. “We are starting to mesh and playing really good so it is exciting for sure.”