Though Trevor Lawrence would have loved an opportunity to go 37-0 in his career at Clemson, he does not mind the “and-one” on his record as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.
Lawrence heads into Friday’s Sugar Bowl with a 34-1 record as a starting quarterback for the second-ranked Tigers, as they get set to play No. 3 Ohio State in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff.
“It would have been cool to have the opportunity to obviously not lose a game in college, but I think some things are necessary for you to grow,” the Heisman Trophy Finalist said on Tuesday. “You have to face a little bit of adversity and sometimes, you are a little bit blinded by success if you don’t have any hiccups along the way, if you will.”
Clemson’s one loss with Lawrence as the starter came in last year’s CFP National Championship Game against LSU. Joe Burrow and the Baton Rouge Tigers beat Clemson, 42-25, at the Superdome in New Orleans in a game that was easily Lawrence’s worst performance of his career.
The Cartersville, Ga., finished the night just 18-of-37 for 234 yards. And though he did run for 49 yards and score a touchdown, he also fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter when the Tigers were driving and trying to get back in the game.
“I think for us, and for me personally, it was good for us to not win that game in a lot of way,” Lawrence said. “Obviously, you want to win a national championship. It is definitely kind of devastating in the moment. After, I think we have gotten a lot better. I learned a lot about myself. There are a lot of things that I have needed to work on to be a better player.”
Lawrence and the Tigers (10-1) now return to the scene of the crime where they hope this time around they have learned enough to earn Clemson’s it first ever Sugar Bowl victory. The Tigers are 0-2 all-time in the Sugar Bowl and 1-2 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
“I think leading in times when things are harder, you lose a game, is definitely harder than when you are winning. So, it is teaches me a little about how to lead better,” he said. “Just all of those things. I think we kind of needed that and at the end of the day, you don’t want to take winning for granted.
“We win a lot around here and it is easy to forget how hard it is to win, when you win so much. So, I think it taught us a lot. I think we took that next step as a program and as a team because of it.”