Trevor Lawrence doesn't like losing: "It sucks"
|Thursday, January 9, 2020, 2:23 PM- -|
Trevor Lawrence doesn’t mince words when it comes to losing a football game. Losing sucks, and he doesn’t care who knows it. It’s a feeling Lawrence isn’t familiar with and a feeling he doesn't like.
The standout sophomore Clemson quarterback is 25-0 as a starter in his college career heading into Monday night’s National Championship against LSU. The Tigers are 29-0 since Lawrence walked on campus two years ago as a heralded freshman, and they look to extend their nation-best winning streak against the Tigers of LSU.
In high school at Cartersville (GA), Lawrence was part of a 41-game winning streak. Winning is what he does.
When was the last time Lawrence lost a football game?
You have to go back to November 18th of 2017 and the Georgia 4A high school state playoffs when Lawrence and Cartersville lost in the last seconds to Blessed Trinity, 21-17. Lawrence remembers the game in vivid detail.
“It was at home, we played them at Cartersville in the second round. It was close the whole game,” Lawrence said this week. “We were down 14 at one point and then came back and we were winning by three at the end. There was about 20 seconds left and it was third down and the clock was running, and they had the ball and they rolled out and threw a touchdown. And then they were up by four with 10 or 12 seconds left. We ran one play and we caught it and made a guy miss but the guy didn't run out of bounds and we didn't have time for another play.”
The loss isn’t something Lawrence likes to remember and he told Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney it wasn’t something he wanted to replicate on the collegiate level.
“It sucks. When I came to school, I didn't want to lose anymore,” Lawrence said. “Me and Coach Swinney have had talks that it's not in the rulebook that you have to lose. I believe that and everything in this program is based on belief. I think that is the biggest thing is just believing it can be done. You don't get to where we are without believing so that has been the biggest thing.”
Lawrence played in last season’s run to the title and he thinks that experience will help him avoid a loss this time around.
“It's similar. Still really exciting. The biggest thing is I have been there before so I know what to expect. But it's a different place and different and we're a different team,” he said. “Everything is different but just having that experience of playing in a National Championship is something that you take a little comfort in. You know what to expect.
“It gets easier the more you do it and the more experience you have. Going out here for the National Championship, I know how the schedule is going to be and we are going to get out there a couple of days early and we will have the media on Saturday. Knowing that and making a schedule in my head then I can just prepare for LSU. I can set that up in my head before it actually happens.”
LSU’s offense has put up points in bunches this season, but Lawrence said the Tigers won’t feel any undue pressure.
“It doesn't change. We are playing really good teams now but it doesn't change anything for us,” Lawrence said. “We still prepare the same way and I think that is the biggest thing. We have to stay consistent and do what we've done. Just because we are playing someone else doesn't mean we need to change everything we are doing. The biggest thing we need to do is stay consistent and prepare the same way we did for the other 14 games. That is really important.
“Pressure comes from the outside and the more you listen to people and what they expect and what they think you should do, that is how pressure builds. I think the only type of pressure we have is from ourselves. We have come this far and we've played the whole season and we've had to grind to get here and we don't want that to go to waste. This last game, we really want it to end on the right note. These seniors, this is their last game in college and they have a lot of energy going into this one because they know it's their last chance.”