D.J. Uiagalelei bailed out Clemson’s defense this time around

D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns in Clemson's 51-45 win over Wake Forest

D.J. Uiagalelei threw for 371 yards and 5 touchdowns in opposition to Wake Forest
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Clemson lovers ultimately got the activity from D.J. Uiagalelei that they’ve been waiting for, finishing with 371 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. You’d figure that variety of day would guide to a blowout of No. 21 Wake Forest with the defense we’re accustomed to looking at from the Tigers. Soon after two overtimes and far more than 1,000 yards of total offense, the perennial meeting champions held off the reigning kings of the ACC, 51-45.

Demon Deacon QB Sam Hartman tallied six touchdown passes, consistently hitting receivers for big plays — or move-interference flags — up until the next time beyond regulation when the hopes of an upset have been dashed on a fourth down heave to the endzone. Tiger cornerback Nate Wiggins, who was acquiring focused all working day, created the match-sealing go breakup, and Dabo Swinney’s team escaped Winston-Salem with its winning streak — now at 10 — nevertheless intact.

As comforting as Uiagalelei’s efficiency was, the protection is just as regarding. The defensive entrance was without just one of its most effective gamers, so they are not at total strength. But they’ve demonstrated some hints the previous pair of months that they may well be missing coordinator Brent Venables, and now these indications are blinking dazzling crimson.

I preferred Wake Forest’s probabilities in Saturday’s game, but my questions ended up more about the quarterback. Clemson has allowed far more than 40 points only five instances in the earlier five-furthermore years. Notre Dame, LSU, Ohio State, and Pitt ended up dependable for the earlier 4, and now Wake Forest is on that listing.

Outside of a one particular-enjoy possession that ran out the ultimate 14 seconds of the first fifty percent, Wake scored on five-straight drives from the second quarter to the fourth. Dave Clawson’s insistence on the run through the Deacs’ remaining chance at a rating in regulation — Clemson’s only quit of the second 50 percent — was a unusual method looking at how scorching Hartman was.

Declaring Dabo out-coached him may possibly not be exact either as his similarly very hot offense wasn’t even presented a probability to get within subject goal selection with 49 seconds still left to check out to gain the match sans OT, and Wake hemorrhaging yards. (He also ran his kicker out for a 52-yarder to tie the sport with four minutes still left in the activity, and his rely on was rewarded as B.T. Potter drilled the kick.)

The working day belonged to Uiagalelei although. This was the exact sort of command and playmaking Clemson fans have been waiting for out of him, and it came in a large-tension condition. The 371 yards passing is the 2nd best output of his job, and his initially match with 300-plus yards considering the fact that Nov. 7, 2020. The 5 passing scores are a vocation-superior by a few TDs.

He made a good deal of hard throws, but the hardest came on a two-level conversion in the third quarter to tie the contest at 28. Underneath tension, with a Deacon holding his leg, he observed receiver Beaux Collins regardless of only possessing a single foot on the ground.

Even however Wake’s defense leaves a whole lot to be preferred — the fangless 3-gentleman rushes permitted Uiagalelei more than enough time to produce a memoir — this was as perfect of a recreation as a quarterback can enjoy.

No. 12 NC Condition and QB Devin Leary pay a visit to Dying Valley next week, and if the Wolfpack can get by UConn, Faculty Gameday could come across alone with another orange-heavy destination. The Clemson defense will have an additional veteran quarterback to comprise, but that can be claimed of equally teams.

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