There is no doubt Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are two of the most feared offensive players in college football.
Lawrence, as he proved in the College Football Playoff, is ahead of his time. He plays the game like a seasoned veteran, not as a quarterback that is entering his second year as a starter for the defending national champions.
Then there is Etienne. The reigning ACC Player of the Year is coming off a season in which he broke Clemson’s single-season records for rushing yards (1,658), rushing touchdowns (24), total touchdowns (26) and yards per carry (8.1).
Now it’s the job of opposing defensive coordinators to try and stop this one-two punch that allowed Clemson to average 44.3 points and 527.2 yards per game in 2018. Not even mighty Alabama and head coach Nick Saban could handle the Tigers’ two-headed monster last year.
Against the Crimson Tide, Lawrence threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 20 of 32 passes with no interceptions. He completed 8 of 10 passes on third down, as Clemson went 10 for 15 for the game.
Etienne scored three touchdowns, all inside the five-yard line, while running for 86 yards. One of his scores was a touchdown pass from Lawrence.
Lawrence started the last 11 games for Clemson. The Tigers of course won all 11 games, including the last 10 by 20 or more points. The ACC’s Rookie of the Year completed 65.2 percent of his 397 attempts. He threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had just four interceptions all season.
Lawrence just did not tear up the ACC and Alabama. He also threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns against Notre Dame’s top 5 passing defense in the CFP Semifinals at the Cotton Bowl. He finished that afternoon by completing 27 of 39 passes with no interceptions.
He also threw for 393 yards and a touchdown against South Carolina. Lawrence finished the season throwing 169 consecutive passes without an interception, a new single-season record at Clemson.
Etienne rushed for 100 yards or more eight times last season, including a career-high 203 yards against Syracuse. He also rushed for 150 or more yards five other times and scored at least 3 touchdowns in four different games.
–video courtesy of The ACC Digital Network