NCAA Football: Clemson at North Carolina

Sep 28, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks to pass against North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Chazz Surratt (21) in the second half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Clemson Tigers won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has played through a shoulder bruise suffered in the second week of the season, he told TigerIllustrated.com.

Lawrence suffered the injury during a 24-10 home victory over Texas A&M on Sept. 7 and underwent an MRI exam that showed no further damage. The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., confirmed the MRI.

"It's just a bruise," Lawrence told TigerIllustrated.com. "I'm wearing something on my shoulder to try to cover it up so it doesn't get hit again. But it's not affecting my mechanics or anything. I'm good."

Lawrence threw two interceptions in the next game, a 41-6 win at Syracuse, giving him five for the season. That's one more than he had last season -- in 261 more attempts -- when he directed the Tigers to the national championship as a true freshman.

Lawrence hasn't been intercepted in the past two games, but the offense did sputter in the last outing, a far-closer-than-expected 21-20 victory at North Carolina on Sept. 28 that dropped Clemson from No. 1 to No. 2 in the polls.

"I feel good. I feel really good. I feel healthy," he said after that game.

Lawrence was the preseason Heisman favorite, but the shoulder bruise might have contributed to a steep fall in that area due to modest statistics compared to the top candidates -- 84 of 136 for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns.

Coach Dabo Swinney was asked Tuesday during his weekly press conference about Lawrence's "up-and-down season."

"I don't think he's up and down," Swinney said. "I'm not going to agree with you on that. ... He's had a couple of bad plays, but we're 5-0."

Clemson (3-0 in the ACC) hosts Florida State (3-2, 2-1) on Saturday.

"It's kind of nice now, everyone says we suck," Lawrence told reporters Monday, "so we're kind of in the back seat and can just go to work and not really worry about all the No. 1 expectations and all that."

--Field Level Media