While this one was never in doubt, No. 5 Clemson certainly didn’t dominate the way most expected, as the Paladins offense had plenty of success against that vaunted Tiger defense.
DJ Uiagalelei had his best game since 2020. Five touchdown drives in his first five possessions. The junior quarterback looked confident and poised and outside of the one pick, his decision making was on point. Not to mention, those accuracy issues seem to be a thing of the past, at least through two games. Uiagalelei completed 78% of his throws in this one. He was even making plays with his legs. Would have liked to see them go a little less conservative in the second half, though.
Yes, Clemson averaged 5.3 YPC, but let’s be honest, there was not a lot of running room for the running backs. Especially early on. This group has to improve if this offense is going to be as efficient as the coaching staff wants it. With Louisiana Tech up next, the Tigers have one more game to get some of the kinks ironed out before heading to Winston Salem to face Wake Forest.
The Clemson defense didn’t really show up on Saturday. Whether that had to do with the quick turnaround after playing on Monday night is hard to know, but one thing is certain, and that is this did not look like the same defense that was seen Monday night in Atlanta.
The Paladins had 384 yards of total offense and went 10-18 on third down. Not exactly the kind of performance Clemson fans are used to seeing out of this unit. Having said that, let’s see what they do next week before hitting that panic button. Although, there are still some things on the backend that need cleaning up and this group had got to be better defending the screen game.
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