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December 2, 2019

Trevor Lawrence

Charlotte, North Carolina

KEVIN BEST: We have quarterback Trevor Lawrence with us. We'll take questions for Trevor.

Q. I don't know how much you've had a chance to look at Virginia defensively. If you have, what do you see and what stands out about them?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah, I got a chance to watch a couple games yesterday when I came in, just kind of reviewing our game this last weekend.

It's a solid team, good defense. Seems like they're really disciplined. They have some good size, especially at linebacker. The D-line plays really hard.

Haven't had a chance to really dig super deep into them. It will be my first big day breaking them down. Just wanted to get a feel yesterday to watch a game, see how the game went.

Q. You threw some interceptions in the first couple games. Since then you've been clearly the best player in the ACC. Does it bother you how much people still bring up a few rocky games to start?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Not really. I feel like I'm playing well right now. I'm confident in that. Yeah, I don't think I played my best the beginning of the season. Still I think I played well. We won those games.

I'm still proud of the fact that we're 12-0 right now. I don't really worry too much about all that stuff. For me, the biggest thing is just winning games and doing things the right way. At Clemson we do that. We've been doing that.

If we can continue to do that every week, just prepare, go 1-0, have that mentality, I'm happy with whatever the result is.

Q. How much do you get to see a team like Virginia during the season? Obviously you don't play them. Do you see them a lot on film against other teams you play? How much do you know about this team?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah, so throughout the year if I get the chance to watch any games just on TV, if they happen to be on, if we're done playing or before our games, I'll watch. Especially if it's an ACC team.

Other than that, throughout the year I've seen some on Virginia just because we played common opponents obviously throughout the year. I usually am watching their offense, watching the other team's defense on film.

I haven't really had an opportunity to watch a lot of film on their defense until now. It's been something new for sure. I've seen a lot of there offense, Bryce Perkins, who is a really good player. I've seen him on offense because he's always playing the teams we're playing. Other than that, no.

Q. When you go up against another top quarterback, do you see that as any competition or do you stay away from that totally?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I mean, I never really look at it as individual against individual. I think competition is us against them. Winning the game is all I care about as far as that goes.

Obviously I want to play well. I think whoever wins the game, it's not really about individuals going against another.

Q. You have been here before obviously. Virginia has not. The stakes beyond this game are different for both teams. The word is you guys are probably going to be in the playoff either way. Do you feel like you're going to be properly motivated going into this game?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah, I mean, just our team has done a really good job this whole season of creating energy. I mean, there really is (indiscernible) every game. For us, Coach Swinney said it, it's really important for us to win every game to make sure we punch our ticket to hopefully the playoff, national championship. That's really important for us.

Also the opportunity to win for our program the fifth consecutive ACC title, that's huge. No one has ever done that. That will be a lot of motivation for us. Just the things we set out to do, team goals. The ACC championship is one. That is going to be a huge thing for us. We're going to have plenty of motivation for us to do that.

I think if we don't win this game, we definitely won't make it in, is my opinion. Like you said, that's going to be important for us to win this game.

Q. Does it ever get old being somebody's Super Bowl every week?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: No, that's what keeps the game fun. I guess being, as you would say, on top from what we did last year, up to this point this year, you get everyone's best shot. There's really no excuses.

If we lose, someone beat us. If we win, we got their best shot. It's not like you can say that the team wasn't really ready. Every week when someone plays us, they're looking forward to Clemson. We enjoy kind of having that target. That's the way it is.

Q. Which makes that criticism all the more baffling, right?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Q. How beneficial is post-season experience like you had, and many of your teammates for several years, but that you gleaned last season?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think these games aren't much different than other games as far as the game itself. Just having the experience of playing a whole season, playing 15 games, realizing how long the season is, having that under my belt, has helped me for sure.

I think during the games, it's a football game, same thing. You are playing another team. You got to prepare, practice the whole week for them. That's the same.

I think having the experience of playing a whole season, really understanding how long it is, how you got to take care of your body, mentally, all those things, it definitely is an advantage.

Q. How does that 15-game grind manifest itself, maybe not physically but the mental part of it?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah, I think it takes a level of mental toughness, for sure, to go all 15 weeks and stay focused. That's hard to do. That's why I say, we have a younger team than a lot of other schools. We got a lot of freshmen and sophomores. This is the way we've been able to stay focused these 12 weeks, it's been really cool. Still got a lot of time left.

If everything goes well, we do the things we want to do, we have three more games. That's over the span of a month and a half. That's a lot of time for only three games. It's definitely going to be important, this part of the season, to stay focused and really prepare each week the right way.

Q. When you win 27 games in a row, you kind of expect to win. A lot of teams say they expect to win all the time, but you guys do win all the time. How do you monitor each other to make sure nobody gets cocky or expects it without putting in the work that's made it all possible?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think it's realizing, yeah, we've won a lot of games in a row, but also every week, really every day, just thinking about what got us here. What's worked in the past is going to continue to work if we keep doing the little things.

That's something all of our coaches do a really good job on, is harping on the little things, how important they are. All the big things follow.

27 games in a row, everyone points at that. They don't see all the little details, all the little things you have to do every day just to stay in that. That's something that we are constantly focusing on.

Q. Trying to put yourself in the Virginia players' shoes, what would you view as probably their biggest challenge when they get on this stage for the first time?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think just not making the moment too big. That's something that's easy to do, especially if you haven't been there before, experienced it. Just another game. I think that's something to keep in mind.

Q. You're wearing No. 16. Who did you idolize growing up in Georgia as a quarterback? Were you a big 49ers fan? Joe Montana's number.
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I never really idolized anyone. My favorite growing up was Peyton Manning. I grew up as a Tennessee fan. I actually really wore No. 5 and No. 9 when I was a kid growing up through youth ball and everything.

When I got to middle school, they didn't have the number. I liked Peyton Manning, that's a pretty cool number, I'll wear No. 16. Ever since then it's kind of stuck, I've always worn it.

Not too much behind it. The number is not something I'm crazy about. It's just something that I've worn now for years.

Q. Talk about your sophomore season. Last year you did a great job quarterbacking. What is the difficult part of this year for you?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think it's knowing the goals that you want for yourself, the team has, putting that first over all the expectations that come from the outside, whether it's media, people outside the program. That's been the biggest challenge this year.

Really happy with the way I've handled it. Think that's something that's definitely been challenging for me, is really prioritizing everything, understanding that my goals for myself and the goals for this team are more important than what others expect of me.

KEVIN BEST: Trevor, really appreciate you doing this today. We'll see you Friday in Charlotte.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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