Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence met with the media Tuesday and shed some light on the Tigers' preparation, Christmas plans and what impresses him about Ohio State's defense.
Q. Enjoying the rain?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Come out to Arizona, and think it's going to be all sunshine. It has been great, though. They were telling us it never rains here, and then we come out, and it's going to rain all week. But it's been great. Never been out here, so it is cool to see it's just so much different.
Q. Trevor, what's different as preparation for this year as opposed to last year?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think it's similar. It's just the difference is it's a different team that we're playing, and that comes with new challenges. And also just preparing the same way, it's just hard because you have so much time. So really, just staying on it and being consistent every day and every week. Do what you need to do.
Q. Trevor, what have you seen with the Ohio State defense that really impresses you?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think just everywhere. They're good at every part on defense, and especially their D line. Obviously, everyone talks about their D line. And not even just Chase Young. All of those other guys you have up front, a lot of other guys, too. They're pretty deep up front. Linebackers are a really good group. And then DBs, both corners and the safety are really good players. I think everywhere, there's not really a weak link. That's going to be a challenge.
Q. How would you rank this defense against any other you've seen this year?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Definitely the best. We have the same defense that's good this year. We're really excited about that opportunity to go against them and see what we can do.
Q. Trevor, does it bother you that you guys were defending national champs, went undefeated, yet come back as the three seed?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Not really. It gives us a little fuel and something to work for. We're still if people think we're the third best team, so that's just how it's going to be until we prove it. Since we've got the opportunity, we're not upset. We're happy to be here and happy to have the opportunity to prove ourselves.
Q. How's it been having Jackson Carman had a good year. How secure do you feel he's blocking for you?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: For sure. He's been great. Just a four year starter. One of the best offensive linemen to come through Clemson. He's done great. He's filled that spot really well. He's had a great year. The whole line up front has done a really good job. I think we've only had I don't know how many sacks, not many though. Seeing how they've worked in the off season coming into this year, and how they've gelled together has been really cool.
Q. What's your thoughts about Chase Young?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Just a great player. He's physical. He's fast. He's a big guy, really athletic. Everything you want in a defensive end. Just has a really good knack for finding the ball, getting to the quarterback. Always seems to be in the right place. That's just a testament to how he prepares, I'm assuming, and the kind of player he is.
Q. As a quarterback, how does a defensive lineman -- how does that game preparation change during the week?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think it's just being conscious of that. More conscious of than we are in some other games, where he didn't play guys that were quite as good as him. You have that in the back of your head. Then also just knowing what to do with protections and things like that. Just always kind of considering him. Really, there are other things, too. You can't put too much into one guy, because that will mess up your offense, but you do have to keep him in the back of your mind for sure.
Q. When you talk about the people coming in as a three seed, is that something you guys talk about amongst yourselves the disrespect, for a lack of a better word?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: A little bit. When it came out that we were the three seed, we talked a little bit about it. But at this point, we got our chance to prove it, and we're happy for that. We're grateful for that. We're glad to be here, and we have a chance to prove it, so we don't talk too much about that anymore.
Q. Trevor, how has your game improved in your second year as quarterback?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: I think I've gotten a lot smarter. I know a lot more football. I've played a lot more. Just been in a lot of different situations, so I can pull from that. As far as decision making, I feel I'm doing a better job this year besides a few plays. Overall, I feel like I'm making a lot more plays out on the field, and really giving my guys a chance to make the catch more than I was last year.
Q. Now that you are in your second year, does this playoff feel any different than the feelings that you felt exactly this time a year ago?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: It feels different. I was just saying, I think it's just kind of knowing what's going on more. Like media, for example. Last year, I didn't know what I was doing as I was coming in here. Didn't know what to expect. I have a year under my belt. I've experienced it. I've done the bowl experience. I know what to expect. But other than that, it is still fun and exciting.
Q. Trevor, can you tell us more about the Fiesta Bowl week experience? What's new compared to last year?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: Yeah. We went to the Cotton Bowl last year, and that was a great bowl. That was a lot of fun. This year it has been different being out in Arizona, and the hotel is really nice. It is like a villa, so there are different little, I guess, like villages of little houses, instead of like your normal hotel. That's super cool. And then just it is always fun to have some free time to go to the mall or whatever and hang out. That has been cool. Also just the weather out here. Besides last night and today, it has been good. It has felt great. It is a nice change.
Q. Do you have any specific plans for Christmas? Is your family here yet?
TREVOR LAWRENCE: They'll be out here on Friday. We do Christmas like, breakfast, brunch as a team. And we'll do a Secret Santa, and they usually give us a gift bag in the morning. That's what we did last year, so we'll see. We'll have a little Christmas brunch as a family.