Lawrence’s fondest memory of playing at Death Valley is not what you think

Lawrence’s fondest memory of playing at Death Valley is not what you think

Football

Lawrence’s fondest memory of playing at Death Valley is not what you think

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It was not his stare down of the South Carolina bench after throwing a touchdown pass in Clemson’s win over its rival in 2018.  It was not his first 300-yard passing performance in a rout of No. 16 NC State that same year. It was not even the Tigers’ win over No. 12 Texas A&M last year or their 42-17 victory over a seventh-ranked Miami team this past Oct. 10.

No, it was none of those.

Instead Trevor Lawrence’s fondest memory of playing at Memorial Stadium to this point is when he was not even playing. Lawrence described Clemson’s come-from-behind win over Syracuse back in 2018, as his fondest memory to this point at Death Valley.

Maybe Saturday’s home finale against Pitt will change that, as it will likely mark his final time playing in Clemson. Lawrence, who many considered to be the No. 1 pick in next April’s NFL Draft, is expected to be honored as a senior and will likely run down the hill one final time prior to No. 3 Clemson’s 3:30 p.m. kickoff against the Panthers.

Of course, the 2018 Syracuse game is special for Lawrence because it was his first career start. However, he was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a neck injury and the Tigers had to call upon backup quarterback Chase Brice, who is now the starting quarterback at Duke, to lead them to victory.

Brice, who started the week as the third-team quarterback before Kelly Bryant walked out the door, rallied the Tigers from 10-points down in the fourth quarter for a dramatic 27-23 victory, including a 20-yard completion to Tee Higgins on a fourth-and-eight play from the Clemson 48 to keep the game-winning drive alive. A few plays later, running back Travis Etienne scored the game-winning touchdown with 41 seconds to play.

“That was a super cool moment,” Lawrence said. “Obviously, I didn’t get to finish the game. I was out with an injury at the end of second quarter or something. But seeing the team come together, find a way to win and Chase, who was one of my good friends and still is, just come in and play well. It was a cool moment for everybody, I think our team really got stronger.

“We ended up that year winning the national championship. I think that year that was just a really special moment and was cool to be a part of.”

Odds are Saturday will be a special moment, too.

It is time to get ready for another great Clemson Christmas. The best collection of Clemson ornaments and other fine gifts are available at Clemson Variety & Frame

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