On College Football Live this week, ESPN college football analysts Desmond Howard and Greg McElroy gave a “Progress Report” on some of the nation’s top quarterbacks and talked about how they fared in Week 1 of the season.
Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei had his share of issues in last Saturday’s 10-3 loss to Georgia, but McElroy pointed out that the sophomore signal-caller’s subpar performance wasn’t all his fault.
“They’ve got to do a lot of things to make life easier for D.J.,” McElroy said. “They’ve got to block, they’ve got to create a little more separation, they’ve got to be more consistent with the timing of the passing game. So, yes, he didn’t play well. But like you said Des, that was not all on D.J. at this point.”
Uiagalelei completed 19-of-37 passes for 178 yards with one interception — his first career turnover, the pivotal pick-six that proved to be the difference in the game — and was sacked seven times.
“D.J. had his struggles, man,” Howard said. “It started up front obviously with the offensive line. They could not block Georgia’s defensive front. But when you get beyond that, even D.J.’s coach Dabo Swinney said after the game that it took D.J. probably two and a half quarters just to get settled. And Greg can tell you better than anybody, you can’t take that amount of time to get settled in a game of that magnitude against an opponent like Georgia. So, once he got settled, he started to throw the ball in rhythm.
“But it was bigger than the offensive line. He wasn’t making the right reads, he wasn’t getting them out of bad situations, and his receivers, too, they didn’t help him out. That pick-six was not on D.J. — it was actually on the receiver who should have broke across the defensive back’s face so the ball didn’t get picked.”
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