Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence grew up in Cartersville, GA, not too far down I-75 from Atlanta where Saturday afternoon he played his first collegiate game in his home state. Taking over in the second quarter for starter Kelly Bryant, Lawrence directed the offense to four touchdowns and 268 total yards in building a 35-7 lead. The Tigers went on to a 49-21 victory in their ACC opener to improve to 4-0.
Lawrence was nearly perfect in his execution. He completed 13-18 for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns including passes of 17 yards to Hunter Renfrow, 53 yards to Justyn Ross and 30 yards to Tee Higgins. He had a QB rating of 216.6. His only blemish was an attempted screen pass that bounced off a lineman’s helmet and was intercepted, a mistake that led to Tech’s first touchdown.
Trevor Lawrence on playing so well not far from home
Complimenting Lawrence were Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster. They rushed for 122 and 75 yards respectively and each scored a touchdown. The Tigers finished with 480 total yards, 248 on the ground, and averaged 7.3 yards per play. They also hit on 13 chunk plays, 8 on the ground.
Travis Etienne talks about his explosive day
Bryant was not effective in his first quarter stint. His two drives totaled 13 yards and ended with punts. He did come back in in the third quarter and directed a 10 play, 83 yard scoring drive to account for the Tigers’ final points. He finished 6-10 for 56 yards
The Clemson defense also got into the scoring act with Clelin Ferrell recovering one of Georgia Tech’s five first quarter fumbles in the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. Tech fumbled 8 times on the day but lost only one.
Clelin Ferrell describes his touchdown fumble recovery
Once again, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables dialed up a scheme that shut down the Tech offense during the meaningful part of the game. Four of the Yellow Jacket’s seven first half possessions ended in three plays and a punt. Tech had just 75 yards, all on the ground, in the first half as the Tigers put the game away. They Yellow Jackets finished with just 146 rushing yards, 246 yards below their average.
Tre Lamar on the defense containing Tech once again
The Tigers return home next week to face Syracuse, the team that handed them their lone regular season loss last season in the Carrier Dome.
Dabo Swinney postgame press conference
Here’s my postgame Periscope recap:
Clemson postgame… https://t.co/UMswNIoBM7
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) September 23, 2018