Clemson's starting quarterback knows he has to play better starting in Week 2
D.J. Uiagalelei is ready to get back at it in Week 2.
Uiagalelei is eager to get back out on the field after what he characterized as a “disappointing” performance in Clemson’s 10-3 loss against Georgia. While he’s ready to turn a new leaf, Uiagalelei hasn’t shied away from shouldering the blame.
“There were a lot of things (that went wrong). I think the main thing was that I didn’t play very well,” Uiagalelei told reporters during Monday’s media availability. “That was the main thing that I looked at. There was times in the pocket, where I should’ve scrambled out, made a play.”
He mentioned that there were instances where he drifted in the pocket, which caused him to get sacked. Uiagalelei made sure to mention that it was his fault and not the offensive line’s.
He was sacked seven times during Saturday’s contest.
There were also some other plays inside the pocket, where Uiagalelei drifted out, which caused one of Georgia’s defensive ends to have a wide-open lane on him.
“Going off of Week 1, it’s definitely not what you want coming off of your first game,” he said. “I’m definitely disappointed, but I’m definitely eager. Always ready for a challenge. Always ready to go for Week 2. I’m ready to get back into the game plan. Ready to get back into practice. Ready to go back and fix mistakes.”
There were a lot of things from watching the film that Uiagalelei knows he could’ve done better. As Dabo Swinney mentioned on a conference call with reporters Sunday, Clemson’s starting quarterback was the first one in the building to watch the game film.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, albeit a necessary one.
“It’s definitely difficult,” Uigalelei said. “Going into the game, you don’t see yourself only scoring three points as an offense…hats off to Georgia. They have a great defense. It was just a tough night, that night.”
Uiagalelei knows that everyone will be ready to go for South Carolina State this Saturday.
With that being said, how confident is Clemson’s starting quarterback that he will play better going forward?
“For me, I’m very confident,” he said. “Last week, I didn’t play very well and it showed. I know I just want to come out this week and continue to stay focused. Focus on the details and the little things. Control what I control. Just continue trusting the process.”
Uiagalelei was asked to expound on the details and the little things that he mentioned.
“There’s a lot of stuff,” he said in response. “From what I was talking about (before). There were a couple of times I should have left the pocket. Getting sacked a couple of times. Had a couple of missed reads on certain throws. Missed a couple of receivers. There was a lot of things. You watch the film, you look at it, you are like ‘Wow, I could’ve done this differently, could’ve done that differently.’ It would’ve changed the outcome of the game. I think for the most part I just got to play better.”
After Clemson’s 7-point loss on Saturday, Uiagalelei didn’t blame anybody but himself. He sang a similar tune Monday.
“For me, It starts off with the quarterback,” Uiaglelei added. “As the quarterback, as the leader on the team, as the leader of the offense, I didn’t play very well. Off of that, a lot of people that feed off the quarterback playing well, they’re most likely the offensive line. Everyone else is going to rally around the quarterback. When the quarterback’s not playing well, it’s really hard to rally around (him)…Coach Swinney said, ‘The best players have to play their best in the big games.’ For me, I didn’t play my best and I know that.”