CLEMSON – Trevor Lawrence's transitional master looks a lot like Patton Munning (tall and extremely smart) mixed with John Elway (rocket right hand).
Big hair, this is also part of the skill set.
Teams trying to block Clemson's No. 1 pick for the fifth consecutive Christmas football playoff also have to deal with Lawrence's leg dislocation, apparently more than in 2018.
Among the Tiger's key points in focus in Thursday night's 52-1
More than during his freshman year in which he led Clemson to his second national championship in three years.
Lawrence ran three times for 24 yards while helping Clemson take advantage of a 28-0 halftime score. It doesn't sound like much, nor is the workload of fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Travis Etienne. But two of those runs were for the first crashes.
"He is a much better runner than people do him credit," offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said.
A smooth run of 25 yards was called.
Lawrence, who scored just one touchdown last season, on Thursday opened Clemson's 6-yard touchdown in the middle.
"Having a kick with your feet when given this opportunity is really critical for us to take this next step offensively," said Jeff Scott, Clemson's other offensive coordinator.
Head Coach Dabo Sweeney said in the off-season that he wants Lawrence to do more with his feet, buying time in his pocket and designing
Another thing that defense coordinators need to worry about when trying to find scheme against a man already widely designed as the first overall pick in the NFL draft in 2021.
Need to turn a third down into a pinch?
Lowers fastball when sacked and dropped into the safe hands of Tee Higgins or Justin Ross (or several other guys) hard to stop.
Of course, the luxury is to have Etienne around to reduce the 90-yard field with Clemson. Here's what best to bring college football back Thursday night.
But Lawrence, with his own comparatively fancy foot-opening, opens things up for receivers and spinning backs, allowing such things as a 62-yard barrier to cross over to Higgins (the line drive line) traveling 50 feet in the air)
It's not like Lawrence has been a statue in the background for all of last season; he rushed for 42 yards on four carries in a 56-35 victory over South Carolina and 27 yards on six carries in Alabama's 44-16 rout of the national championship game.
This is the early message from Elliott and Scott and the apostates. Coach Brandon Streeter: Watch # 16 for cutting the pitch or paying the price.
"Every game will dictate that," Elliott said. "The biggest thing we want him to do is make the system right. We have different concepts that require him to pull it off if the defense takes an internal turn. He did a really good job of making the right decisions. "[
Too much of Lawrence's running becomes a little scary.
So was Lawrence to sprint hard before lowering her shoulder to knock Georgia Tech's Tre Swing beyond the Clemson 2-yard line after Swilling's interception.
"When your most talented player makes that kind of effort, it's great," Scott said.
"Work to do"
There was also other Clemson negligence in the ACC Network's inaugural football game, including Etienne's football and Georgia Tech Tobias Oliver's suitcase, which is released for 39 yards.
Lawrence was just 13 of 23 for 168 yards and he threw two interceptions, though the ond section was a long pass for the first-half final game.
Similar things were predictable.  "Whatever happens on a Thursday night," Sweeney said this week, "
There was a lot to like, steadfastness leading the way.
Sweeney was proud this week of the steps taken by 6-5, 345-pound left tackle Jackson Carmen, who takes over for four-year starter Mitch Hayat.
bent over Georgia Tech's poor defensive back Christian Campbell to take Etienne for the 90-yard dash.
If defense is the weaker half of Clemson, the rest of college football cries.
Take the line of defense that was taken away from the NFL last spring. Logan Rudolph, Justin Foster and K.J. Henry is a great talent, all ACC candidates each.
These are only the three depths at one of the two protective endpoints, although the position assignments are mostly interchangeable.
Clemson's defense as a whole could be as talented as the 2018 group that included first-round picks Klinlin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. But these people seem faster.
Combine all of this with a preseason All-America rebate that looks even more dangerous than advertised, take out the typical mistakes in the first game and Clemson is on schedule.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff