If there was one position on the roster that Clemson didn't have to worry about heading into the 2020 season, it was the quarterback.
The Tigers had the luxury of not only having Heisman runner-up Trevor Lawrence as their starter, but they also had freshman phenom D.J. Uiagalelei as his backup.
Lawrence started the season on fire, leading Clemson to a 6-0 start, that included a 42-17 win over seventh-ranked Miami. Three times in the first six games Lawrence went over 300 yards, once topping the 400-yard mark. He had 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions during the stretch.
However, the junior quarterback would then test positive for COVID-19 and miss the team's next two games. In all, Lawrence went five consecutive weeks without playing a game, a stretch that quite possibly cost him the Heisman Trophy.
In his absence, D.J. Uiagalelei was outstanding. The freshman was 30-of-41 passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, which also included leading the Tigers back from an 18-point deficit in a 34-28 win over Boston College. He also added 25 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The next week Uiagalelei went to South Bend and lit up fourth-ranked Notre Dame's defense for 439 passing yards and two touchdowns in a 47-40 double-overtime loss. It is the most passing yards the Fighting Irish have allowed in the history of their program.
Lawrence would then return and pick up right where he left off. He led Clemson to dominating wins over Pitt, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game before the Tigers fell 49-28 to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, a game in which the junior quarterback still threw for 400 yards. It was just the second loss of his collegiate career.
Lawrence finished the season ranked No. 8 in the FBS in passing yards per game (315.3), No. 12 in touchdown passes (24), No. 12 in pass efficiency (169.18), and No. 11 in yards per attempt (9.44).
The junior quarterback went over 300 yards on six different occasions and was the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and was a first-team All-ACC selection. He was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and third-team All-American by the AP. Uiagalelei picked up ACC Rookie of the Week honors for his performance against Boston College.
Overall, Clemson had the sixth-best passing offense in the nation, averaging 348.5 yards per game. The quarterbacks also combined to average 8.53 yards per attempt and 12.83 yards per completion.
The only real disappointment at the quarterback position for the Tigers during the 2020 season was Taisun Phommachanh, as the redshirt freshman had his share of struggles in limited action. Even walk-on freshman Hunter Helms was impressive when he got on the field.
2020 Season Stats
Trevor Lawrence: 231-334 (69.2%) 3,153 YDS, 24 TD, 5 INT, 169.18 EFF (335 Rushing Yards, 8 TD)
D.J. Uiagalelei: 78-117 (66.7%) 914 YDS, 5 TD, 0 INT, 146.39 EFF (95 Rushing Yards, 5 TD)
Taisun Phommachanh: 5-17 (29.4%) 17 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT, 26.05 EFF
Hunter Helms: 9-12 (75%) 77 YDS, 2 TD, 0 INT, 183.90 EFF
2020 Grade: A