Swinney breaks down decision to name Trevor Lawrence starter


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Swinney says the decision comes down to the data.
Swinney says the decision comes down to the data.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney addressed a staff decision Monday to name Trevor Lawrence the starting quarterback over Kelly Bryant for Saturday’s noon kickoff with Syracuse (ABC).

"Kelly has not done anything wrong. Kelly has played well and the statistics bear that out," Swinney said on his call-in show Monday. "It’s just pure productivity and data. We’ve got four games of productivity and data. This kid has earned the opportunity to start this week. It’s really no different and it’s exactly where we were in camp. In camp, it was all data-driven. We graded how they walked down the hall. It was close but Kelly came out on top. He earned the opportunity to start, but Trevor earned the opportunity to go play. That’s really where we are now - I don’t see much difference than Trevor has exceeded.

“Kelly has done well, but Trevor has exceeded that when you look at the sheer data. So now it’s kinda the opposite (of the previous situation). Trevor doesn’t have an 8-game contract. He has to play well. It’s not like we have a guy in Kelly Bryant who we don’t trust. Who we don’t believe in. Who we don’t believe we can win it all with. Because we do. That’s just where we are this week. We certainly know he can help our team and we’ll find ways to continue to make that happen.

"I’m excited for Trevor and this opportunity for him and we’ll see what happens going forward. Proud of both of those guys."

Bryant has started each game in the last two seasons for Clemson, a stretch where the Tigers went 16-2. And he left mid-game with an injury in one of those losses (Syracuse, 2017).

A Bryant-led offense went scoreless in the first quarter last week before Lawrence entered in the second quarter and went on to tally four touchdown passes, earning ACC rookie of the week honors.

The Cartersville (Ga.) product Lawrence is now 8th nationally in passing efficiency (191.83) and 10th-best in yards per attempt (10). He has the 23rd-most touchdown passes (9) as the only FBS quarterback with 60 or fewer pass attempts in the top-40 (60).

Tags: Trevor Lawrence, Kelly Bryant

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