Aug. 25 (UPI) — Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has named rookie Trevor Lawrence as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2021 season.
Meyer made the announcement Wednesday, saying Lawrence will start the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the Houston Texans. Lawrence also will start in Sunday’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
“We wanted him to earn it, as we do with every position,” Meyer told reporters. “We felt he has, after [Monday] night’s performance was — it was good, obviously not great. We didn’t run the ball very well. I kind of in my mind had that [deadline] after the second preseason [game] that we have to get someone ready to play in three weeks.”
Lawrence had been sharing first-team reps with Gardner Minshew throughout training camp, but the former Clemson gunslinger started both of the Jags’ preseason games. He completed 20 of 32 passes for 184 yards and was sacked three times against the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints.
To this point in the preseason, the Jaguars’ first-team offense has managed just three points over six drives. Jacksonville has scored only four total touchdowns in the two preseason matchups.
“I mean, it’s frustrating, but also we just got to stick together and keep playing,” Lawrence said. “We’re going to figure it out. I’m really confident in that. We got a bunch of guys that are putting the work in and we’re going to do everything it takes to get on the right track. I’m confident in that.”
Minshew completed 17 of 29 passes for 196 yards with two interceptions in the Jaguars’ two preseason games. Meyer said Minshew is now competing for the backup spot with C.J. Beathard, who has completed 22 of 30 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns this preseason.
The Jaguars selected Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The 21-year-old quarterback guided Clemson to a national championship in 2018.