Third-ranked Clemson rolled Notre Dame 34-10 on Saturday to claim its sixth straight ACC Championship Game and trip to the College Football Playoff.
The Tigers displayed their offensive firepower as they racked up 541 yards of total offense. And the Clemson defense shut down the Irish and held them to 263 yards of total offense and just 44 yards on the ground.
Trevor Lawrence show cased his ability to change a game and finished the game with 412 total yards and accounted for three touchdowns. He also made a clear and decisive closing argument for the Heisman Trophy voters.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney made it clear who he thinks the most outstanding player in the country is after the game.
“This is what I will say. It would be a crying shame if the Heisman did not attach its name to Trevor Lawrence. That would be a shame,” Swinney said. “I know that has become a stat award, but if you watch college football and you don’t know this is the best player in the country, I don’t know what you are looking at. To me, the Heisman should want their name attached to Trevor Lawrence.”
The junior quarterback finished the game 25-of-36 passing for 322 yards and two touchdowns and added 14 rushes for 90 yards and another score on the ground to earn ACC Championship Game Most Valuable Player honors for the first time.
Lawrence’s ability to make plays on his feet, particularly with the zone read, forced Notre Dame to stay honest on defense and opened up the playbook for the Tigers. It also opened up lanes for running back Travis Etienne who finished the game with 10 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Lawrence continues to prove himself as one of the best college quarterbacks in the history of the sport. He improved to 34-1 as a starter good for a .971 winning percentage, the best by any FBS starting quarterback since Division I split in 1978. He also became the first starting quarterback to win three ACC Championship Games.
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott agreed with Swinney that Lawrence is without a doubt the best player in college football on and off the field.
“Being the leader of our team and the best player in the country with all the scrutiny, I don’t think there’s anything else to say,” Elliott said. “All I’ll say is in mind without a shadow of a doubt, Trevor Lawrence is the best player in the country.”
Heisman Trophy ballots are due on Dec. 21 and the finalists will be announced on Christmas Eve before the virtual Heisman ceremony on Jan. 5.