Lawrence, Clemson have some bad news for opposing defenses

Lawrence, Clemson have some bad news for opposing defenses

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Lawrence, Clemson have some bad news for opposing defenses

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Tigers’ quarterback says he is even more confident in his abilities than he was last year

The only thing that has changed about Trevor Lawrence since leading Clemson to a national championship is his confidence.

That’s probably not the news Georgia Tech and the Tigers’ other 11 opponents want to hear heading into Thursday’s season-opener at Death Valley.

“I’m still the same person,” Lawrence said. “I think the only thing from the success is just having a little more confidence.”

It is hard to imagine Lawrence being more confident than he was at the end of last season. The first-team preseason All-American shined in the College Football Playoff games, as he shredded both Notre Dame and Alabama’s defenses.

As everyone kept waiting for Lawrence to have “that freshman moment,” he completed 27-of-39 passes for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic and then ripped apart Alabama for 347 yards on 20-of-32 passing with 3 more touchdowns and no picks in the national championship game.

His quarterback rating in the title game was 98.2, the highest rating by any quarterback that has ever faced a Nick Saban defense. Lawrence finished the 2018 season with 169 straight passes without an interception thrown … a Clemson record for interception avoidance.

“I’m starting the year, as opposed to last year, when I had not played any college football, yet. So, I have a little bit more confidence, but I am still the same person,” Lawrence said.

The sophomore finished his freshman year by completing 65.2 percent of his 397 passes. He led the ACC in passing efficiency (157.6), as well as in touchdowns thrown (30) and fewest interceptions (4). He was 11-0 as a starter, and by the way, they were all Clemson records for a freshman quarterback.

But there are still cries out there. Some wonder if Lawrence is due for a sophomore slump. Or how he will respond if and when he faces some adversity this coming season.

“I feel like I am prepared, and I feel like this whole team is prepared,” he said. “That has been our big thing is just not to be complacent. We have worked really hard this off-season in camp to get ready for this season and we are ready for it.”

Lawrence and the top-ranked Tigers will get to show just how much on Thursday at 8 p.m., against Georgia Tech. The game will be televised by the ACCN.

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