People can say whatever they want to about Trevor Lawrence, but he proved Saturday night that he deserves every bit of hype that he’s received over the course of his Clemson football career.
Lawrence earned Offensive MVP Honors, throwing for 259 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Lawrence had the huge 67-yard run that brought the Tigers within two points late in the first half and was the key component to lead Clemson down the field on that legendary drive with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Nolan Turner’s redemption
Nolan Turner was beaten on a few occasions throughout the night against Ohio State. The most prevalent bust came in the fourth quarter when the Buckeyes went for it on fourth down. Chris Olave broke away from Turner, who was likely expecting a run, and Ohio State scored a touchdown, taking the lead.
Dabo Swinney told Turner not to hang his head after Clemson answered with a touchdown of its own with less than two minutes remaining and told him that he’d come away with the game-winning interception.
That’s exactly what happened.
Ohio State drove down to Clemson’s 23-yard line, but Turner intercepted Fields in the end zone and clinched the ballgame.
Will Spiers has to be given credit for what he did Saturday night.
In many ways, Spiers kept Clemson football in the game with his ability to flip the field. He punted seven times for an average of 44.9 yards per punt with five punts downed inside the 20-yard line and three punts of 50 yards or more.
Travis Etienne’s toughness
Travis Etienne didn’t quite have the day on the ground that many wanted him to, but he still came through with some tough yardage- especially in the receiving game.
Etienne rushed 10 times for just 36 yards and a touchdown, but he also had three catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score. Etienne was a major factor for the Tigers in the receiving game and he showed great toughness after taking a few bigtime hits throughout the game.
Chad Smith earned Defensive MVP Honors after he totaled 12 tackles and a 0.5 tackle for loss. Not only was Smith all over the field, he made what may be the most underappreciated play of the game.
As Ohio State was driving late in the fourth quarter- running down the clock- Smith made a play in space to keep the Buckeyes from converting on third down, resulting in a punt.
Without his tackle, OSU gets the first down and they are able to move deeper into Clemson territory and burn more clock.