Saturday night was not an easy night for Trevor Lawrence.
From the outset, Miami was coming after the Clemson quarterback. On Clemson’s second drive, Lawrence took off for an 11-yard run and after giving himself up, safety Amari Carter tagged him in the helmet. The hit drew a penalty and then replay threw Carter out of the game for a targeting foul.
The hard hits continued throughout the game, including a shot to his stomach in the third quarter that knocked Lawrence briefly out of the game. Miami linebacker Keontra Smith was called for a late hit and again replay tossed him from the game when they saw he targeted the Clemson quarterback.
However, despite all the hits and the shot to his mid-section, Lawrence appears ready to go for next Saturday’s noon kickoff at Georgia Tech.
“He is good. He is ready to roll,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his Sunday conference call with the media.
Despite all the hard hits, Lawrence finished the game 29-of-41 for 292 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for 34 yards and scoring a touchdown in the top-ranked Tigers’ 49-17 victory.
“I’m sore,” the Clemson quarterback said following Saturday’s win. “First of all, hats off to Miami. They’re a really good team, they played us really tough, super physical. Got a lot of respect for them and their coaches.
“It was a physical game, I’m sore. That hit when I was down, I got hit in the stomach with his helmet and knocked the breath out of me. I couldn’t breathe, so I went out and got my breath back. Then the next play I was feeling good. It wasn’t anything serious. I was able to come back, just got the breath knocked out of me.”
After sitting out a play, Lawrence came back and led the Tigers (4-0, 3-0 ACC) back down the field and into the end zone, keeping the ball himself for a three-yard touchdown. After he scored the touchdown, he spiked the football in front of Miami linebacker Gilbert Frierson while also making some comments.
The spiking of the football in front of Frierson, drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and clearly showed Lawrence was not happy with the way the Hurricanes’ defenders were hitting him.
“Yeah, that was just a dumb play on my part,” Lawrence said. “That’s not what we’re coached to do. That’s not who we are. I’ll take that one obviously. I shouldn’t have done that. I was fired up. That’s all it was. I let my emotions get a little too high.”
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