Trevor Lawrence made it look easy.
On first-and-five with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter last Saturday, the Clemson quarterback took the snap from The Citadel 44-yard line, briefly scanned the coverage the defense was showing and then he let the football fly down the middle of the field.
Lawrence effortlessly dropped the ball over the right shoulder of wide receiver Amari Rodgers in the end zone for six points.
“That was an absolute dime because it was tight coverage. He literally just dropped it right in there,” Swinney recalled.
Lawrence did it again with 9:55 to play in the second quarter, as he hit Frank Ladson in perfect stride for an easy pitch-and-catch 54-yard touchdown.
“That was a deep ball that hung up in the air and hit him in stride where he never had to slow down, so the defender could never catch him,” Swinney said. “He never had his paws on the ball. Hit him right on the run and that is hard to do fifty-plus yards down the field.”
But Lawrence makes it look like any old Joe can come onto Frank Howard Field in Clemson and make those throws. That is how well, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior is playing. He is playing at a level that no one comes close to in the college game right now.
“He is locked in. He is owning the plan. He has the details down,” offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “He is what you would expect from a third-year guy in this system. He is now in complete control and now he is out there one step ahead of everybody because he has complete control and understands the details.
“Overall, for Trevor, he has just been consistent at a high level to match the talent that he has.”
Through the first two weeks of the season, Lawrence has completed 30-of-37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns and more importantly no interceptions. He is completing 81.1 percent of his passes.
“He is obviously the best quarterback in the country, and he continues to make amazing throws whether it be in practice or be in a game,” tight end Braden Galloway said.
Galloway says the best throw he has seen from Lawrence this year did not even go for a touchdown. It came on a corner route for a 19-yard gain in the season-opener at Wake Forest.
“I did not realize how hard of a throw that was,” Galloway recalled. “He just made it look so easy that a lot of people just kind of overlooked it because they expect that from him. That is what he has shown every day in practice since he has been here.
“So, a lot of things he does on an everyday basis comes as a surprise to some people that don’t see it all the time.”
The play Galloway is referring to came early in the second quarter with the ball resting at their own 49-yard line. The Demon Deacons were sitting in Cover 2 and Galloway was lined up in the slot and ran a corner route on the field side.
Moving right to left on the film, Lawrence was set on the right hash when he dropped back to pass, scanned the defense and then threw a laser to Galloway on the left sideline for a 19-yard gain to the Wake Forest 32.
“You have to see it multiple times and you have to realize that was kind of a hard throw before you actually (appreciate it) because sometimes he just makes it look so easy,” Galloway said.
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