Chase Brice

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Dabo Swinney optimistic about Trevor Lawrence, but no decision on status yet


Clemson may have picked up a hard-earned win at home on Saturday against Syracuse, but at what cost? Freshly name starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after taking a hit t the head as he was running down the sideline and fighting for extra yards, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney seemed relatively upbeat about the condition of his freshman quarterback when reflecting on the game on Sunday. Despite the seemingly encouraging reaction the day after the game, Swinney will have no choice but to wait to hear from the medical experts before knowing if Lawrence will be available for Clemson’s next game

He actually was really good, he was trying to come back in the game yesterday but anytime you get anything with the head and neck area, there’s just no room for error there,” Swinney said, according to Clemson Sports Talk. “So they shut him down and he actually was really good after the game and he was very good this morning, felt great. I think they were very encouraged by what they saw. He’s going to work out and they’ll continue to evaluate him and hopefully will see. But will go with what we got. Based on what they said I would expect that, but that’s all up to those guys.”

Chase Brice, who was the team’s third-string quarterback a week ago, entered Saturday’s game in place of the injured Lawrence. The Tigers relied more on the running game and defense to rally against Syracuse for the win, but Brice ended up making some big-time plays late in the game to help the cause as well after a sluggish start off the bench. Kelly Bryant announced his decision to transfer last week after learning Lawrence would be the team’s starter moving forward.

Clemson plays at Wake Forest this Saturday and then has a bye week before returning home to play NC State in a key ACC Atlantic Division game.

No. 3 Clemson loses Lawrence but avoids upset with fourth-quarter rally vs. Syracuse

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Some games just don’t go according to the script. No. 3 Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) had to dig deep and rally in the fourth quarter at home after being down by 10 to avoid being upset at home by Syracuse (4-1, 1-1 ACC), and they did it despite losing starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the first half. Clemson scored a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of the game with Travis Etienne scoring his third touchdown of the game for a wild 27-23 victory.

Lawrence, in the same week he was named the team’s starting quarterback, was knocked out of the game for good in the second quarter when he took a blow to the head while running with the football. After an examination in the medical tent on the sidelines, Lawrence had his helmet taken away and he left the field to the locker room for more examination shortly before halftime. As the second half opened, it was reported he was done for the day. Chase Brice, another freshman, took over on offense, but the Tigers went to rely on the defense and the running game for the bulk of the second half.

Syracuse took a 10-point lead shortly after a muffed punt return by Clemson’s Amari Rodgers gave the Orange a 1st-and-Goal with a fourth down push up the middle with quarterback Eric Dungey handling the football early in the fourth quarter. Clemson running back Travis Etienne led the charge for a quick response though, cutting the lead back down to just three points on a quick six-play drive that took under fewer than two minutes to execute.

As the Syracuse defense was growing tired, Etienne became the difference-maker on his way to over 200 rushing yards. Etienne finished with 203 yards to go with his three touchdowns. Clemson needed it, as Syracuse played well defensively for much of the game until wearing down against a deeper team loaded with more talent.

Brice took a while to get comfortable, but came through with flying colors on Clemson’s late touchdown drive, completing a key pass on fourth down and picking up more yards on the ground on the very next play to get Clemson on the doorstep of a touchdown.

Next up for Clemson is a road trip to Wake Forest. The Tigers will wait to see what the status of Lawrence is, but Clemson will look to extend their winning streak against Wake Forest to 10 next Saturday regardless of who the quarterback is. Clemson has won 25 straight meetings against Wake Forest when the Tigers are ranked. The last loss to Wake Forest by a ranked Clemson team was in 1945, when No. 18 Clemson lost 13-6.

Syracuse will also be on the road next week. The Orange travel to Pittsburgh next weekend for another ACC matchup, this one a cross-division showdown between old Big East foes. Syracuse won last year’s meeting, 27-24, but the last time the game was played in Pittsburgh turned into an epic shootout. Syracuse lost their 2016 meeting at Pitt by a score of 76-61.

Injury update: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence will not return vs. Syracuse

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Injured freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence will not return to today’s game against Syracuse, according to the sideline report of ESPN’s Holly Rowe. Clemson has turned the offense over to another freshman quarterback, Chase Brice.

Lawrence was knocked out of the game in the second quarter when he took a hit to the head on a running play down the sideline. After being evaluated in the sideline medical tent by Clemson trainers, Lawrence had his helmet taken away and was later escorted to the locker room shortly before halftime.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was unsure of the status of his recently-named starting quarterback as he went to the locker room at halftime. Shortly after that decision was made, Kelly Bryant announced his decision to transfer from Clemson after being the starter for the Tigers last season and starting the 2018 season as the starter fighting for the job.