A day after making a brief change at quarterback, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney expanded on his thoughts regarding where the Tigers are at the position heading into Saturday’s game against Florida State.
Swinney again alluded to a competition between D.J. Uiagalelei and Taisun Phommachanh this week, reiterating both will be evaluated during practice before a final decision is made on a starter.
“Every day will be an evaluation,” Swinney said Sunday. “We’ll run somebody out there first on Saturday. We’ll all wait and find out how the week goes because everything is going to count.”
Uiagalelei had the first multi-interception game of his career in Clemson’s 27-17 loss at Pittsburgh. The first one came in the red zone on the Tigers’ second possession while the second turned into a pick-six when his shovel pass intended for Kobe Pace fell into the lap of Pitt linebacker SirVocea Dennis, who went 50 yards the other way to give the Panthers their first two-score lead.
Uiagalelei was benched afterward for two series. Phommachanh led the Tigers to their first points of the second half on his first possession, though he finished just 3 of 7 passing for 23 yards. Two of those completions came on third down to move the chains.
Meanwhile, Uiagalelei finished just 12 of 25 through the air, the third time he’s completed fewer than half of his passes in the last four games. With Clemson trailing 27-10 early in the fourth quarter, Uiagalelei was reinserted and led a five-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that he capped with a 6-yard run.
“He did show a lot of moxie coming back in,” Swinney said. “Put yourself in that situation. You’ve got the whole world watching. How you going to handle it? How are you going to respond? I thought he showed a lot of courage and a lot of guts.”
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