Following Clemson’s 27-17 loss to No. 23 Pittsburgh on Saturday at Heinz Field, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott commented on the change the Tigers made at quarterback during the contest.
After D.J. Uiagalelei was intercepted for the second time in the game — a 50-yard pick-six on Clemson’s first drive of the second half — Uiagalelei was replaced by redshirt sophomore Taisun Phommachanh.
Phommachanh went 3-of-7 passing for 23 yards, while also rushing two times for 15 yards, over the span of two possessions. Uiagalelei then re-entered the game on Clemson’s first possession of the fourth quarter, with the Tigers trailing 27-10. Uiagalelei led Clemson on a touchdown drive, capping it with a 6-yard rushing score to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 10 points with 7:56 left in the game.
Elliott was asked after the game what went into the decision to give Phommachanh a chance in the second half.
“Just looking for a spark, change it up a little bit,” Elliott said. “You’ve seen over the course of a couple games, we’ve been trying to have a little package and get Taisun in the game. We knew that he gave us a different element running the ball, and he did a really good job when he got in there and managed the situation, made some good decisions in the run game, made a few plays with his legs. So, it was more a decision to try and get a spark to get us going. And then late in the game when we knew that we were going to have to throw it down the field, obviously D.J. gives you the best chance there.”
Elliott also spoke about where things stand with Clemson’s quarterback situation right now.
“It’s nothing major,” Elliott said. “We’ll evaluate everything in the program once we get back to campus and go forward there. But really the decision with Taisun was just to try and find a spark, and then later in the game, when we knew we had to throw it, you’ve got to go back with D.J.”
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