Even Trevor Lawrence gets nervous before a big game
|Monday, December 23, 2019, 11:06 AM- -|
Even the unflappable Trevor Lawrence gets nervous before a big game, but he’s hoping his experience from last season will calm his nerves heading into the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.
Lawrence was a true freshman quarterback with just nine starts under his belt when Clemson entered the College Football Playoff semifinal against Notre Dame last season. Lawrence had never played in a bowl game and had just one postseason game of experience – the Tigers’ dominating win over Pitt in the ACC Championship Game.
There were butterflies.
“I think before every game I get butterflies and get a little bit nervous,” Lawrence said. “Like any other game. But right now I feel good and just trying to get as much work in as we can. I was nervous, especially before the national championship and a little bit for the Notre Dame game. But for the national championship, I was really nervous. But I feel good going into this year, and as I said, I have some experience.”
Lawrence led the Tigers to wins over Notre Dame and Alabama in the College Football Playoff last season and said he feels like he knows what to expect this time around.
“Having that experience of playing a year really helps," Lawrence said. “And just knowing what to expect going onto this stage and these moments ahead helps. So just kind of being there before and knowing what to expect, I feel like that gives me a lot of advantages because I've been there before.”
Lawrence leads a Clemson offense that is clicking on all cylinders – the Tigers are ranked fourth nationally in scoring offense, ninth in rushing offense, and third in total offense. However, the Buckeyes boast the nation’s number two scoring defense and they have the number two team in total defense.
“They're really good. I mean, statistically, they're one of the best in the country,” Lawrence said. “Just from how they execute and keep everything in front of them. They have really good corners, a good d-line, and obviously their 'backers are solid, too. Their whole defense is really good and they are well-coached. They don't do a ton of different stuff, but they're really good at what they do. They just line up. And if you can beat them, you can beat them, but if not you know they’ve got a really good plan and a really good defense.”
For the Clemson offense to be successful, the offensive line will have to deal with Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Young led Ohio State and the nation with 16.5 sacks this season on the way to winning the Hendricks and Bednarik awards. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
“I think we have one of the best, if not the best, offensive line in the country,” Lawrence said. “So I really like our matchup against him. Obviously, he's a great player and for anyone to go up against him is definitely a challenge. But I like us over anyone else.”