The D.J. Uiagalelei era with the Clemson Tigers is off to quite an underwhelming start.
In what was being hyped as the biggest regular season game of the season, Uiagalelei orchestrated one sluggish performance in No. 3 Clemson’s 10-3 defeat to No. 5 Georgia.
The sophomore quarterback struggled to find his footing over the course of the game. He completed a mere 51 percent of his passes to go along with 178 passing yards and one interception. Clemson’s offense recorded a lowly 180 total yards as the team failed to score a touchdown in a game for the first time under head coach Dabo Swinney.
After the game, the Clemson quarterback reflected on his performance, where he took note of the variety of defensive schemes that Georgia put up in front of him.
“I felt confident in the game plan,” Uiagalelei said. “I just have to go out and execute. I didn’t execute or make the throws when I needed to. Took a couple sacks when I should have thrown the ball away.
“They ran a lot of different coverages, mixed coverages. A lot of two-high, one-high and different stuff out of that. For the most part, I just have to make the throws. I didn’t play very well today and everyone could see that and it showed. I make those throws, and it’s a different ball game.”
For much of the game, Uiagalelei did not have his way in building formidable chemistry with wide receiver Justyn Ross. The Bulldogs held Ross to a mere four receptions for 26 receiving yards.
Uiagalelei took full responsibility for not getting Ross more involved in the passing game.
“No I didn’t think chemistry was off,” Uiagalelei said. “I just missed throws. Sometimes Justyn was open and I missed the throw. On the curl route, I missed him. I have to play better, simple as that. Coach Swinney said in these big games, the best players have to play well. I didn’t play well today, simple as that. Got to get better. Simple as that.”
The second-year quarterback will have a chance to rebound next week in Clemson’s non-conference matchup against South Carolina State.