As Trevor Lawrence reminds us, Clemson is still a young team
|Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:39 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Until the College Football Playoff begins and the best teams in the country play each other, there will be debate over who has the best team. Clemson is always mentioned in those conversations, and as quarterback Trevor Lawrence points out, they are doing it with one of the nation’s youngest teams.
Clemson is ranked 12-0 and setting records each week as opponent after opponent falls by the wayside. It’s a team that also features 80 combined freshmen and sophomores, and that includes Lawrence, who has played in 27 collegiate games and started 23 of those.
The Tigers have defeated seven consecutive opponents by 30 or more points, but the competition takes a step up this week when they face No. 23 Virginia. For Lawrence and the rest of the young Tigers that want to have a season that ends with a National Championship, that means paying attention to detail.
“I think these games aren't much different than other games as far as the game itself,” Lawrence said. “Just having the experience of playing a whole season, playing 15 games, realizing how long the season is, having that under my belt, has helped me for sure. I think during the games — it's a football game — same thing. You are playing another team. You got to prepare, practice the whole week for them. That's the same.
“I think having the experience of playing a whole season, really understanding how long it is, how you got to take care of your body, mentally, all those things, it definitely is an advantage.”
Staying focused for 15 weeks isn’t easy.
“I think it takes a level of mental toughness, for sure, to go all 15 weeks and stay focused,” Lawrence said. “That's hard to do. That's why I say, we have a younger team than a lot of other schools. We got a lot of freshmen and sophomores. This is the way we've been able to stay focused these 12 weeks. It’s been really cool. (We’ve) still got a lot of time left.
“If everything goes well, we do the things we want to do, we have three more games. That's over the span of a month and a half. That's a lot of time for only three games. It's definitely going to be important, this part of the season, to stay focused and really prepare each week the right way.”
When you win 27 games in a row, it pays to listen to the coaches and pay attention to every little detail.
“That's something all of our coaches do a really good job on is harping on the little things (and) how important they are,” Lawrence said. “All the big things follow. Twenty-seven games in a row, everyone points at that. They don't see all the little details, all the little things you have to do every day just to stay in that. That's something that we are constantly focusing on.”