Top-ranked Clemson smacked The Citadel 49-0 in its home opener on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers scored all of their points in the first half which left room for younger players to get live in-game reps.
Head coach Dabo Swinney played virtually his entire roster with 88 players getting in on the action against the Bulldogs.
For the second straight weeks backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei garnered significant playing time and gave a glimpse into the future of Clemson football. The freshman scored his first two touchdowns as a Tiger in his first home game and relished the opportunity to get in-game experience.
“Getting to go out there and really play was cool, to command drives and get to throw bullets,” Uiagalelei said. “I got real reps and that’s what I look forward to is taking live reps and getting some playing time.”
The California-native entered the game on the fourth drive and was eager to take command of the Clemson offense.
“It was super cool they told me I would get the fourth drive no matter what, so I wanted to be prepared,” Uiagalelei said. ”I wanted to just do my job and do my part to run the offense.”
Uiagalelei showed flashes of what is to come and finished the game eight-for-eleven passing for 75 yards.
The freshman also scored his first two touchdowns in a Clemson uniform, both on his feet, for a one-yard score and a six-yard score. Uiagalelei did not envision scoring his first touchdowns on the ground yesterday
“It’s super cool, I got to run a little bit in high school, but they didn’t want me to run until playoff time,” he said. “So, getting to run was cool. I’ve thrown a lot of touchdown passes in my career, so I always like running.”
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott had flashbacks to another legendary Clemson quarterback as he watched Uiagalelei power into the end zone.
“He is very reminiscent of Tajh Boyd he is probably the closest to that style of runner we have had in several years,” Elliot said. “It’s going to be fun to watch in the years to come and design stuff to fit that kind of quarterback run game.”
Clemson benefits from a week off before it hosts Virginia at Death Valley on Oct. 3.