He is as cool as the other side of the pillow.
That is the way the late great SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott would have described Trevor Lawrence in Clemson’s win over Ohio State Saturday night in Glendale, Arizona.
All night, in Clemson’s 29-23 win, you never saw any panic or too much emotion from Lawrence. Even when the Tigers were down 16-0 late in the second quarter he did not panic. He calmly led the Tigers to one of the greatest comebacks in Clemson history.
“It just shows the type of player Trevor is,” wide receiver Justyn Ross said. “For him to be able to do that as a sophomore, it is crazy.”
With Tee Higgins banged up on the bench and Travis Etienne being bottled up, Lawrence put Clemson on his back and led them back into the game. He guided the Tigers to scoring drives in the final 2:45 of the second quarter to pull Clemson within two points.
Playing against the No. 2-ranked defense in all of college football, and against this year’s most dominant defensive player in defensive end Chase Young, Lawrence led the Tigers on 75- and 83-yard touchdown drives. The final drive before halftime he did all on his own, running 67 yards for a touchdown with 1:10 remining in the half.
Lawrence finished the game with a career best 107 yards on the ground, while he threw for 259 more and two more touchdowns on 18 of 33 passing.
“He is a guy that plays with poise. You guys saw that tonight,” wide receiver Tee Higgins said. “He is not ever going to give up. He is a guy that is never going to give up no matter the circumstances or what the score is and that is what he did tonight.”
Lawrence really displayed his poise on Clemson’s final offensive drive of the night. With 3:07 left in the game and 94 yards away from the Ohio State end zone, the sophomore huddled up his teammates and delivered a direct message.
“He basically said to the point of ‘Hey! I want to see that look in everyone of your eyes that we are going to go get this done. Everybody be locked in and focused on your job, and let’s go win it,’” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “It was very similar to what Deshaun [Watson] said to those guys down in Tampa and for me, being in both huddles, it brought back that memory.
“When those guys left that huddle, there was a lot of belief that we were going to get it done. I think we would have been surprised if we did not get it done rather than be surprised that we did.”
It took Lawrence just four plays to drive the Tigers down the field and he accounted for all 94 yards.
He opened the drive with an 11-yard completion to Ross that moved the ball to the 17. Then on a designed quarterback run, he carried the ball 11 yards for another first down to the 28-yard line.
On the third play, Lawrence found Amari Rodgers across the middle and the junior wide receiver did the rest by going 38 yards to the Buckeyes’ 34-yard line. Then, Lawrence faked the quarterback run and threw a jump pass to Etienne over the middle and Clemson’s All-American running back did the rest as he found a way to get through the trash and take it the distance for the winning touchdown with 1:49 to play in the game.
“We all believe in Trevor,” Higgins said. “He took over that leadership role. He came up to us, ‘Guys! I love you guys no matter the outcome of the game. I love you guys! Let’s go finish it, though!’ And that is what we did.”
And the whole time, Lawrence was as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!