For the Clemson Tigers, success is derived from two sets of players with the same name that mean more to the team than the rest of them combined.
Bryant and Lawrence.
Lawrence and Bryant.
Those two names were the talk of the preseason for Clemson, in reference to the quarterback competition between the two. Those names also belong to two-fourths of the famed “Power Rangers” defensive line unit of the Tigers, who dominated the Fall headlines including making the regional preview cover of Sports Illustrated.
Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence also got some additional publicity earning a cover spot on Sports Illustrated for Kids, showing off his “super powers” in a cape, instead of a Power Rangers pose.
For Lawrence the defender, 2018 represents a time where he will play at complete health on the biggest stage for the first time after battling foot and toe issues last year.
He believes that this year, and in particular Saturday night in a nationally-televised standalone game on ESPN, is his time to shine:
DT Dexter Lawrence
Saturday night is nothing new for Clemson, as they are playing in their third “College Gameday” regular season game in the last two years, all coming on the road. Clemson throttled Louisville on this stage, 47-21, a year ago, and defeated Virginia Tech, 31-17 in Blacksburg.
Defensive end Austin Bryant has seen the Tigers transform from being the “hunters” to the “hunted” and knows that any time they play away from home, it’s usually going to be a night game.
He believes despite the increased capacity of Kyle Field in College Station, he’s taking the same approach to this game as he has any of his previous matchups.
DE Austin Bryant
Last week against Furman, neither Kelly Bryant nor Trevor Lawrence could grade out in a way to change the circumstances of the new normal for Clemson, a dual-quarterback system.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney said repeatedly following the game that both players will play against Texas A&M and that this setup gives the Tigers the best chance to win.
Despite outside sources trying to force feelings of pressure, awkwardness and overall instability with regards to this unique arrangement, both players proved able to handle it during the opener.
With the competition ramping up facing the Aggies on Saturday, both players opened up about their relationship, and how they’ve planned for this to become a reality since the Spring:
QB Kelly Bryant
QB Trevor Lawrence
Clemson and Texas A&M meet at 7 PM ET Saturday on ESPN.