Dabo Swinney did not want to address his quarterback situation during Sunday evening’s teleconference with the media.
The Clemson coach said he will not address whether Trevor Lawrence or Kelly Bryant will be the second-ranked Tigers’ starting quarterback when they host undefeated Syracuse next week at Death Valley.
“Our players are off today,” he said. “If anything changes you guys will certainly know about it. I am not going to get into any rotation or any depth-chart issues or any of that type of stuff.”
It would not be a surprise if Swinney, along with his offensive coaches, started Lawrence after the freshman threw four touchdown passes in the Tigers’ 49-21 victory over Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Saturday.
Lawrence, who completed 13-of-19 passes for 176 yards, led Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC) on five of its six touchdown drives. And though Bryant did not play bad, he was responsible for just one of the Tigers’ seven touchdowns on what was a record-setting day for the Clemson offense at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The Tigers’ 49 points were the most points scored by a Clemson team since the stadium opened in 1913.
As for Lawrence’s performance, Swinney says he still has some footwork issues in the run-game he can clean up, but not much other than that.
“He really played well. It was certainly his best game. He was very poised,” Swinney said. “The game has slowed down for him. He is making good decisions. He is decisive with the ball. He made a nice check on the touchdown to (Hunter) Renfrow. He made some beautiful throws. I mean some beautiful throws. Then he missed one. We had an opportunity for another big play to Tee (Higgins) and he just kind of missed him high.”
But Lawrence did not miss much and the Clemson offense ran efficiently, the best performance of the season. The offense racked up 480 total yards.
“I thought there were some technical things he needs to clean up, but I thought he managed the pocket well,” Swinney said of his freshman quarterback. “He was very patient when he got outside the pocket, you saw that when he was able to find Amari (Rodgers). He is accurate.”
Another thing Swinney was impressed with by Lawrence was what he called executing “the layups” in the offense.
“He was able to take advantage of what I call some layups that are built into the run game from time to time when defenses kind of give you some soft coverages,” the Clemson coach said. “We had guys that could run with the ball and he took advantage of those two or three times. He did a lot of good things for sure, but definitely still has room for improvement.
“He is a work in progress every week and every week is a season of its own. It was definitely his best game. He had six drives and five touchdowns. He was very productive with his opportunities.”
And Clemson was very productive on offense.