It’d been a long three weeks away from the field for the Tigers. Third-ranked Clemson roared back and rolled Pitt 52-17 in its final home game of 2020.
It had been an even longer hiatus for Trevor Lawrence who made a triumphant return to the field after sitting out for five weeks with a COVID-19 diagnosis combined with the Florida State postponement.
The junior quarterback finished the game 26-of-37 passing for 403 yards and two touchdowns. Lawrence racked up an impressive 302 yards passing at the halftime break. In what could’ve been his final game in Memorial Stadium, Lawrence showcased his growth from a highly touted recruit to a top NFL prospect.
In his postgame interview Lawrence reflected on his time in Clemson.
On likely playing his last game in Death Valley
“That’s been the plan going into this season. You just never know. If it is, it was a fun one for sure. I’ve enjoyed it. This place has been so good to me and my family. I love it here. Whatever I decide to do, it’s going to be a tough decision because I love Clemson and I love the people. This was a good one if it’s the last one. It’s a good one to go out on.”
How the defense gave the Tigers momentum on offense
“That makes a really good team when you play complementary football, when they get a turnover and we’re scoring on it. That was one of the biggest takeaways from today was that we played really good, complementary football. We took advantage of all the opportunities. That’s why we jumped out ahead so fast in the first quarter because it was those turnovers and we turned them into points.”
On running down the hill for senior day
“It was awesome. I was a little bit more nervous that I was going to fall. Usually you have a lot of people around you so you don’t really think about it—but just trying to not trip. You know, I’ve made it this many times down it so I’d like to not fall down. It was really cool. I think that’s one of the coolest things we do is how we honor the seniors. It’s really special. Obviously, I wish the stadium could’ve been packed. That would’ve been even cooler, but still to have however many fans we had was special. Then my family got to come on the field after, my fiancée, just got to take some pictures and talk to them for a minute and just soak it in. It was really special. They took care of us.”
Lawrence soaked up the moment on Saturday
“I think I paid more attention to all the little things—smelled the roses along the way. Even just from the hotel, the ride over here, pregame, coming down the hill, all that stuff, I just really took it in. I’m just reminded constantly how special it is here. There’s just not many places like it I wouldn’t think. Obviously, I haven’t been a lot of other places but it’s just special. The people, that’s the best thing about it. There’s a lot of emotions for sure because this place has been good to me. It’s been awesome.”
On the growth he’s seen in Cornell Powell over the last three years:
“You can tell that his mindset had changed a little bit. He’s a little bit more serious, committed to it. He’s turned into a great player. It’s awesome to see him in his fifth year, going into it with that mindset of ‘This is my last season and I’m just going to leave everything out there’, it’s really paid off for him.”