The true freshman QB led a comeback win over Boston College, and the stakes will be even higher against Notre Dame next week.
So far, its a good play for D.J. Uiagalelei. But the next challenge is so huge.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Saturday after his team’s 34–28 comeback victory over Boston College that star quarterback Trevor Lawrence won’t play next week at Notre Dame. His second straight missed game after tested positive for COVID19 on Thursday. The showdown of top-five teams in South Bend will be the second collegiate debut for Uiagalelei, the five-star freshman from California.
Hist debut game was spectaculty: 30 of 41 passing of 342 yards with two touchdowns, plus another touchdown rushing. Uiagalelei’s rocket arm, athleticism and pose were all on display against Eagles, as he led Clemson back from an 18-point deficit – a huge comeback in history.
“It shows he has the heart of a champion,” said Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.
In spite of that sparkly first school start, the Tigers doubtlessly would feel better taking on the Fighting Irish with Lawrence, who has a 31–1 record as a school starter. Lawrence’s 10-day Atlantic Coast Conference window since testing positive would be shut as expected for him to play against the Irish, however, Swinney said Saturday that “you have the cardiovascular part. He won’t have the option to overcome that so as to play.”
The ACC’s cardiovascular conventions were delivered in August: “In view of the [medical warning group’s] interview with different cardiologists, at any rate, each understudy competitor, indicative or something else, who tried positive will go through a heart assessment that incorporates an electrocardiogram (ECG), a troponin test, and an echocardiogram after disengagement and before a staged re-visitation of activity and re-acclimatization.” However, as Sports Illustrated detailed recently, a few games cardiologists are done suggesting any cardiovascular screenings for the individuals who experience gentle or no manifestations. Lawrence has said he has mellow indications.
Excepting some adjustment in convention or indicative planning, Uiagalelei’s next beginning will be against a Notre Dame guard that entered this Saturday second broadly in scoring safeguard (9.8 focuses permitted) among groups that have played more than one game, and fourth in all-out protection (273 yards permitted). The Irish supported that up by choking Georgia Tech Saturday, permitting just a single hostile score in a 31–13 walk.
While the test will be extraordinary, don’t anticipate that Uiagalelei should be shaken by it. He’s been a serious deal for quite a long time, a phenom prospect who played for the Southern California force to be reckoned with St. John Bosco High School. He didn’t come to Clemson to evade the spotlight.
“I’ve been preparing myself like I was a starter all along,” he said Saturday. “I was ready to go.”
News descended of Lawrence’s positive test Thursday at 12:45 p.m., as indicated by Elliott. Swinney discovered Uiagalelei in the quarterback room at the Clemson football office, contemplating film, and educated him that he was currently the beginning QB for the No. 1 group in the country.
What followed was a 48-hour compressed lesson with the beginning offense, however both Uiagalelei and Elliott said the blueprint for B.C. didn’t generally change from what it had been the entire week. Elliott gave him a rundown of potential play calls, and Uiagalelei scratched off the ones he loved and those he didn’t, of course. Lawrence messaged his help Thursday and again Saturday morning.
“I was simply freeloaded out he was unable to play,” Uiagalelei said. “He revealed to me he had absolute confidence in me.”
Among different writings D.J. gotten was one from previous USC star Reggie Bush, who Uiagalelei said is his number one player. At the point when that one came in he thought, “Darn, I must play great today.”
And afterward, he did. Uiagalelei had a person on foot 108.25 pass effectiveness rating through Clemson’s initial six games, finishing 12 of 19 passes for 102 yards. His proficiency rating Saturday: 159.34.
“We forced him a bundle yet they worked admirably ensuring,” Boston College mentor Jeff Hafley said. “They worked superbly on third down. We attempted to shake him, we attempted to get after him on third down. … He has a big deal arm. He’s a decent child and he has a splendid future. I would have wanted to shake him somewhat more yet they worked superbly securing and executing. Caps off to him, he will be a great football player.”
Thing is, Uiagalelei must be acceptable, in light of the fact that this was a significant battle for Clemson all in all against the Eagles.
Boston College moved through the Tigers safeguard for scores on its initial two belongings, taking a 14–7 lead into the subsequent quarter. At that point, Clemson moved a scoring head toward a catastrophe at the objective line, when Uiagaeleli and star running back Travis Etienne bungled a handoff—a slip-up Elliott credited to Etienne. B.C. cautious back Brandon Sebastian scooped it and ran 97 yards the other route for a stunning 21–7 lead.
That denoted the first run through Clemson had followed by two scores in six years. Furthermore, it deteriorated from that point.
The deficiency developed to 28–10 after other long Eagles drive. Yet, starting thereon, the Tigers safeguard at last took control and Uiagalelei serenely guided four scoring drives to recapture the lead.
“What I adored the most was his balance, mien,” Swinney said of his first-year recruit QB. “He drove the group. Everyone saw what we considered all to be time similar to his disposition.”
Elliott started the game giving Uiagalelei a consistent eating regimen of short tosses, a large portion of them fast plays that didn’t need a lot of perusing of the B.C. protections. Yet, as the game advanced the playbook opened, and there were more tosses downfield. Senior recipient Cornell Powell, who Elliott said was “truly tested” by Swinney this week to venture up in the midst of different wounds at that position, reacted with profession highs of 11 gets and 105 yards (his past highs were five and 50, individually).
Be that as it may, the genuine familiar object was, as usual, Etienne. He turned into the ACC’s unsurpassed driving rusher during the game, yet it was his accepting out of the backfield that gave Clemson’s greatest weapon. He had seven gets for 140 yards and completed the game with 264 universally handy yards.
Etienne will be depended on even more in South Bend one week from now, as the excursion without the best part in school football fastens up an indent regarding trouble. Yet, the Tigers additionally can go into that street confrontation realizing that their next extraordinary quarterback is sufficiently gifted and sure enough for that challenge.