The nitpicking began when Trevor Lawrence took a sack on third down for a 16-yard loss and a three-and-out on Clemson’s first possession Saturday night time towards Wake Forest.
The junior quarterback left little to overscrutinize after that. He backed his billing as one of the best participant in faculty soccer because the No. 1 Tigers (1-Zero, 1-Zero ACC) flexed in a 37-13 victory, a consequence that wasn’t precisely stunning contemplating they had been 33.5-point favorites coming in.
Lawrence (22-of-28 passing, 351 yards, three complete touchdowns) additionally backed up what he did off the sphere within the offseason, when he established himself as a number one voice within the push to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
BENDER: Can Notre Dame be a worthy challenger to Clemson in ACC?
It was Lawrence, who threw 5 interceptions in his first three begins final season, who drove house the purpose about his on-field standing by displaying no early-season rust. On the Tigers’ second possession, he hit Amari Rodgers for a 36-yard completion on a nook route. His recreation was practically flawless from there.
Lawrence hit 18 of 23 passes for 261 yards and a landing within the first half. He additionally scored on two brief runs within the pink zone. Operating again Travis Etienne gained 94 of his 102 dashing yards within the first half and scored within the second half.
Nitpick Lawrence if you’d like. He had minus-24 dashing yards due to sacks. Clemson settled for subject objectives just a few occasions and did not cowl. Lawrence won’t win the Heisman as a result of he will not play sufficient within the fourth quarter of video games.
The final level is the one one which is not a stretch. Lawrence hit eight totally different receivers within the first half and 4 totally different receivers for positive aspects of 20 yards or extra. He did all that with out Justyn Ross, who will not play this season after present process spinal fusion surgical procedure.
Why is that this important? In spite of everything, it was simply one other run-of-the-mill ACC opponent in Wake Forest (Zero-1, Zero-1), proper?
The underside line is Lawrence did not must play one other down of faculty soccer. He may have opted out to organize for the chance of being the No. 1 decide within the 2021 NFL Draft. He is a nationwide champion, has performed in two Faculty Soccer Playoff championship video games and is 26-1 as a starter. He actually has nothing left to show.
But Lawrence saved pushing for the season. He is pushing for social justice. He is pushing for a school soccer gamers affiliation. He is taking the thought of “greater than a pupil athlete” to the max. He needs to graduate after which go to the NFL.
Faculty soccer can play that card all day. Lawrence is setting the tone to validate the 2020 faculty soccer season. He validates the ACC race, which now contains one-time member Notre Dame and upstart North Carolina.
He validates the Heisman Trophy race — a race by which he has but to make the journey to New York as a finalist. John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck — these once-in-a-generation faculty QB-turned-No. 1 picks Lawrence typically will get in comparison with — by no means received the award. Large 12 stat-stuffers akin to Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler or Texas’ Sam Ehlinger may get in the way in which, however Lawrence made an impactful first assertion.
He validates the Faculty Soccer Playoff race, too. The SEC will take its first lap in two weeks. The Large Ten may even leap on this October. Possibly Alabama (if it wins the SEC) or Ohio State (if the Large Ten reverses course) will get a rematch after dropping to the Tigers the final two seasons within the CFP. Possibly Lawrence doesn’t get again to the championship recreation, which might be the largest nitpick of all.
It is value watching, proper? Faculty soccer nonetheless wants a number of components to work in its favor — particularly with COVID-19 — nevertheless it doesn’t damage to have its largest star making the case to play, on and off the sphere, and shining within the prime-time highlight.
There’s at all times a motive to observe faculty soccer.
There simply is not an even bigger motive than Lawrence proper now.