The Clemson Tigers are an FBS team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They have yet to lose three games in a row this season, but after their third straight loss on Saturday, “everything’s under evaluation.” The biggest question? Is D.J. Uiagalelei still part of the program?
The “D.J. Uiagalelei” is a football player for the Clemson Tigers who has been under review since his team’s third loss. “Everything’s under evaluation,” including his status as to whether or not he will be playing in the NCAA Championship game against Alabama Crimson Tide. Read more in detail here: dj uiagalelei.
After another poor offensive performance in which starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was benched and Clemson lost 27-17 against Pitt on Saturday, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said that every position on the team will be up for grabs in practice this week.
Swinney stated, “Everything is under examination at this moment,” adding that he was solely responsible for the team’s 4-3 start. “Everyone must show up every day, and we must take each day as it comes. We’ll practice and see who has the best practice, and whomever has the greatest practice will be the first to go out there at every position.”
Uiagalelei has struggled during the season despite being a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and a previous top recruit at his position. Swinney, on the other hand, remarked after last week’s victory against Syracuse that he thought his quarterback had turned a corner. Instead, Uiagalelei threw two poor interceptions before being benched, one an ill-advised shovel toss that resulted in a Pitt score on his last drive.
Swinney said of Uiagalelei, “I felt he made a couple of terrible plays in a sequence.” “All I wanted to do was give [backup] Taisun [Phommachanh] an opportunity.”
Clemson’s Phommachanh did lead a touchdown drive, but Swinney was persuaded by Pitt’s large lead to revert to Uiagalelei late in the game, banking on the latter’s better arm skill. Swinney said Uiagalelei’s last TD drive showed a decent reaction to his benching, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Tigers’ third defeat of the season.
Clemson has faced six FBS opponents thus far and has yet to score more than 19 points in a regulation game against any of them.
Uiagalelei stated after Saturday’s game that he thought he had done enough to earn another start, but that he didn’t want the position given to him without merit.
“Every week, you have to go earn it,” Uiagalelei remarked. “That has been my thinking since I was a child. I’ll be right here if it’s not me next week, and I’ll be glad to meet my brother Taisun.”
Swinney backed offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who has faced wrath from fans as a result of the team’s offensive woes. Elliott had a solid game on Saturday, according to Swinney, but was let down by terrible passes from Uiagalelei and a slew of awful drops from a troubled receiving corps. On Saturday, Clemson was missing three of its best receivers, including Joseph Ngata, who was undergoing COVID-19 procedures.
When asked whether he would consider changing the coaching staff, Swinney was adamant: “Certainly not. We have a fantastic team, in which I have complete faith.”
Three more offensive contributors figure to be out for the season, adding to Clemson’s misery. Frank Ladson Jr., a wide receiver, underwent surgery last week and will miss the rest of the season. Swinney also hinted that tight end Braden Galloway would miss the remainder of the season. And against Pitt, Clemson’s best offensive lineman, Matt Bockhorst, seemed to suffer a season-ending ACL injury, according to Swinney. Clemson is now minus 17 scholarship players due to injuries, according to Swinney.
Swinney remarked, “It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in college football.”
Swinney tried to have a positive attitude despite an avalanche of criticism from a disgruntled fan base.
“I’d probably run out quite quickly if I started executing this program by listening to be outdoors,” Swinney remarked. “On and off the field, I believe we’ve been a model of consistency. Hopefully, we’ve gained some credibility. They’ve earned the right to be dissatisfied. I am dissatisfied. Everyone is dissatisfied. I’m feeling nauseous. But I know what we’re made of, and I’m certain we’ll overcome our difficulties and return to winning games.”
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