Clemson DE: Loss to Alabama 'would've been a little different' if healthy
Alabama hung on to beat Clemson in a game that saw several momentum swings. The Tigers’ defensive star believes things would’ve swung in Clemson’s favor if he was 100 percent.
On Monday, defensive end Shaq Lawson spoke on The Paul Finebaum Show about the Crimson Tide’s 45-40 win and said that outcome “would have been a little different” if he was at full health in the game.
Lawson, who was hampered by an injured knee suffered in the team’s blowout of Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, wasn’t able to practice for the national title game and said he was only 50 percent.
The potential top-10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft feels he could’ve disrupted Coker from connecting on so many big plays, including the game’s Offensive Player of the Game, tight end O.J. Howard.
“It would have been a lot more different,” Lawson said. “At 50 percent, I was affecting the quarterback a lot, but sometimes I felt like if I pushed it too hard something would happen. If I was 100 percent, the game outcome would have been a little different. Probably would have gotten a couple sacks when they had the long pass plays or I could have gotten there a (step quicker) when they got the pass for a touchdown.”
Even so, Lawson tied a season-high with 2 sacks of quarterback Jake Coker and 4 tackles in the Tigers’ losing effort.
Lawson gave credit to Alabama’s special teams for being the difference and gave credit to Alabama for being the better team that night, but not by much.
“A lot of people hyped Alabama and they are a very good team, but people (thought) we weren’t going to hang with those guys,” Lawson said. “We came out and played our hearts out. Those guys are great, but they thought we weren’t going to hang with Alabama at all.”