While the offseason quarterback decision spotlight has been shining brightly on Alabama since the national championship game, Clemson has been almost hiding in the shadows of the Tide with their quarterback situation. Like Alabama, Clemson has two very good options for Dabo Swinney to play with in last year’s starter Kelly Bryant and stuff freshman Trevor Lawrence. After a tuneup season opener on Saturday, it appears both quarterbacks could again see playing time this weekend when Clemson travels to Texas A&M.
“We definitely will play both quarterbacks,” Swinney said, according to ESPN.com. “There’s no doubt about that. Nothing happened to warrant not playing both those guys.”
Those sentiments were somewhat echoed by offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.
“You couldn’t tell the difference, from my perspective,” Elliott said, according to Anderson Independent Mail. “It’s happening fast, but they were both able to move the ball up and down the field and make plays, so I didn’t see a difference.”
Bryant completed 10-of-16 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown against Furman. Bryant also rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown. Lawrence, in his college debut, completed nine of 15 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
There may be no wrong answer for Swinney to ride with, but giving both a chance to play against competition that should be considerably more challenging is not a bad idea either. Going on the road to an environment like Texas A&M will be a much better test for both quarterbacks, and this is a game that could decide which quarterback gets the nod moving forward as the full-time quarterback. Expect to see a planned rotation early on in the game, but do not be surprised if Swinney makes the call to stick with one passer over the other by the time the second half arrives.