After Clemson Tigers' third loss, 'everything's under evaluation,' including D.J. Uiagalelei's status

D.J. After another poor offensive performance in which starting quarterback D.J.
Swinney stated that everything was under evaluation at the moment and that he took full responsibility for the team’s 4-3 start. "Everybody has to show up every single day. We have to take it one at a time. We will practice to see who is the most proficient, and the winner will be the one who runs out there at every position first.

Uiagalelei was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and a former top recruit at the position. He has struggled throughout the season. Swinney stated that after the win over Syracuse, he hoped that his quarterback had made a turnaround. Uiagalelei instead threw two poor interceptions, including an ill-advised shovel throw that led to a Pitt touchdown on the final drive.

Swinney stated that Uiagalelei made "a few bad plays in succession." "I felt that I had to give Taisun [Phommachanh] another chance."

Phommachanh directed a scoring drive for Clemson. But Pitt's huge lead convinced Swinney that he should return to Uiagalelei late and rely on the latter's superior arm talents. Swinney stated that Uiagalelei led a final TD drive, which Swinney said was a positive response to the benching but wasn't enough for the Tigers' third loss.

Clemson has so far played six FBS rivals and has scored less than 19 points against each of them.

Uiagalelei stated that he felt he had done enough for another chance, but he did not want to be given the job without merit.

Uiagalelei stated, "You have to work hard every week to earn it." Since I was a child, that's been my mentality. If it weren't me next weekend, I'll still be here and I'll be happy seeing my brother Taisun."

Swinney expressed strong support for Tony Elliott, the offensive coordinator who has been the subject of fan backlash due to his offensive struggles. Swinney stated that Elliott called Saturday a good game, but was let down by poor throws from Uiagalelei as well as a series of bad drops from an exhausted receiving corps. Clemson was without Joseph Ngata (who was in COVID-19 protocols), and three of its top receivers.

Swinney refused to answer a question about whether he would consider changing the coaching staff. Swinney said that we have a wonderful staff, which I fully believe in.

Three more offensive contributors for Clemson appear to have been lost for the season, adding to Clemson’s pain. Frank Ladson Jr., a wideout, had surgery last week and will be out for the remainder of the season. Swinney also said that tight end Braden Galloway might not be able to play the remainder of the season. Swinney stated that Clemson's offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst sustained what appeared to be an ACL injury that could end his season against Pitt. Swinney stated that Clemson currently has 17 scholarship players out of action due to injury.

Swinney stated, "It's probably the most crazy thing I've ever seen in college football."

Swinney tried to stay positive despite the criticisms from frustrated fans.

Swinney stated, "If I started running this program listening to the outside, I'd probably go out pretty quickly." "I believe we have been a model for consistency, both on and off the field. We're hoping to earn a little trust. They are entitled to be disappointed. I am disappointed. Everyone is disappointed. It makes me sick to my stomach. But I know who we are and that we will overcome it to win some more ballgames."


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