Trevor Lawrence vs. Ian Book
The classic gunslinger dual out West. Two young, hot shot quarterbacks meeting in Jerry’s World with a chance to punch their ticket to the National Championship.
All things considered, both Lawrence and Book have had pretty similar seasons. Book took over control of the Irish offense in week four while Lawrence became the full-time starter for Clemson in week five. On paper, they each had similar numbers as well with both winning every game they started.
Statistically, here’s how each signal caller filled the stat sheet this year:
- Ian Book:197/280 (70.4%), 2,468 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, 250 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns.
- Trevor Lawrence: 212/327 (64.8%), 2,606 yards, 24 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 151 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown.
When it comes to attention and media hype, Lawrence is getting most of it after performing the way he has this season as a true freshman.
This showdown will come down to who handles the moment better. Both quarterbacks have a home run hitting running back, exceptional offensive lines, big receivers outside, and shifty possession receivers in the slot. The weapons available to each are fairly even, so who can do more with what they have?
As a true freshman, Notre Dame is going to try to Lawrence all game, especially early. Blitzes, different coverages, whatever they can do to make him uncomfortable and force a mistake is going to be key to slowing him down. As mentioned earlier, Clemson will lean on their defensive line to disrupt the running game and force Book to beat them through the air.
Each quarterback is more than capable of avoiding the rush and extending plays as well. Whoever can turn something out of nothing will give their team a huge advantage. Whether it’s converting a 3rd down or avoiding a sack and completing a five-yard check down instead, the more you can trade bad plays for okay or good plays, the better.
Pay attention early in the game and look for who can settle down and get comfortable faster. After not having live game reps for a month now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some rust or nerves in the first few drives. The player that can weather the storm of emotions early and just play their game will put their team in the best position to win.