CLEMSON — Pressure can cause pipes to burst or it can produce diamonds. The good thing for the Clemson Tigers is that apparently the pressure that quarterback Trevor Lawrence opened the season with is currently producing diamonds.
Even after a difficult start to the season, according to many national media outlets, Lawrence has responded in exactly the right way.
He’s had about eight bad plays all year and people just can’t get let it go. They just can’t forgive him. For every bad play, he’s had about 50 great ones,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “
Since the Tigers lone “close-call” at North Carolina, Lawrence has had four straight games throwing at least three touchdown passes, and Swinney pointed out that his passer efficiency rating is higher at this point in the season than at the same point last year.
But it was the negative talk that Lawrence admitted was the catalyst behind the Tigers’ recent offensive explosion.
“No, we remember it like it was yesterday,” Lawrence said. “We kind of use that as fuel, but that stuff doesn’t really matter. It’s about getting better every week and at the end of the season, seeing where we are at then.
“It doesn’t really matter where we were, I guess five weeks ago. It’s about where we are at the end of the season. How well we are playing then, and we are just going to keep on getting better every week and keep working.”
That desire to get better with every game has led the Tigers to some impressive offensive records.
“I’m super proud of our offense,” Swinney said. “That’s back-to-back games with no turnovers. We picked up 702 yards. That’s also back-to-back games with over 600 yards of offense. This program has never scored 45 or more points four games in a row before today, too, so a lot of amazing things happened. It’s pretty remarkable what this group has done.”
Lawrence believes that the closest he has been to being a part of an offense that is playing at the level of the 2019 Tigers is the one that finished the season with a 44-16 win over Alabama in the national championship.
“Maybe, I’d have to go back and look. I mean last year, we finished the year really strong, so it’s similar to how we were playing last year at this time,” Lawrence said. “That’s just our main goal is that at the end of the season to be playing our best and that’s what we’ve been doing and hopefully get better every week.
“We just want to keep the momentum and Coach (Dabo) Swinney always says the best defense is a good offense, so we just want to help our defense out. I’ve felt like we have been playing really well the past three or four weeks now.”
With the Tigers now fully involved in the “Championship Phase” of the season, Lawrence believes that they must continue to prepare for each opponent as if it is the biggest game of the season because they are all extremely important in November.
“It’s really important. We’ve done a lot of great things up to this point, but if we go and we lose next week, I mean we still have some stuff ahead of us, but that kind of ruins everything we’ve been working for,” Lawrence said. “We realize that it’s a one game mentality as far as going 1-0 every week, we are not going to take anyone lightly, and every week we are going to prepare the same way, so that’s what we are going to do heading into NC State.”