CLEMSON FOOTBALL

DJ Uiagalelei and Clemson proved some points Saturday and are back in the ESPN Playoff projections.
DJ Uiagalelei and Clemson proved some points Saturday and are back in the ESPN Playoff projections.

Clemson moves into Playoff tier on ESPN rankings after thriller win


by -

Survive and advance.

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers showed some resolve in a double OT shootout win at No. 21/16 Wake Forest on Saturday and that earned them respect nationally.

Clemson moved up to No. 4 in ESPN's Power Rankings on Sunday.

"Dabo Swinney felt like he aged 10 years after a 51-45 overtime win at Wake Forest. The good news is Clemson can rely on quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, running back Will Shipley and the offense to win big games. Uiagalelei had 371 passing yards and five touchdowns, and had his best-ever numbers on downfield passes (20 yards or more)," ESPN's Adam Rittenberg writes. "Shipley added 104 rushing yards and a touchdown, as Clemson needed all its offense could muster to outlast Sam Hartman and Wake Forest. Despite a full complement of defensive linemen, Clemson had few answers for Hartman, whose six touchdown passes all came against the blitz. After allowing 28 first downs, Clemson has plenty to clean up, but at least can do so without a loss on its ledger."

The top trio is Georgia then Alabama and Ohio State. Michigan and Kentucky are next after that. Brent Venables and Oklahoma fell to No. 21 after their loss to K-State. Upcoming primetime opponent NC State is No. 10 (7:30 p.m./ABC).

After having no Playoff projections last week, Clemson has the fourth-most on ESPN now (6).

ESPN's Heather Dinich has Clemson in a tier behind the top trio with Michigan and Southern Cal fighting for the last Playoff spot ($).

"Undefeated Clemson is in, but one loss opens the door for debate, even with an ACC title," Dinich said. "As thrilling as Clemson's win was Saturday, its secondary was outplayed repeatedly. How would the unit match up against Ohio State's wide receivers? Clemson has a fearsome defensive front, and it's clear quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is playing with more confidence and in turn more accuracy, but the Tigers still have to face NC State and travel to Florida State, two of the more difficult Atlantic Division games. If two SEC teams finish in the top four again, and the Big Ten champion earns a spot, the ACC champion will have to win a debate against the Big 12 and Pac-12 champions (or maybe a second Big Ten team). Would one-loss Clemson usurp one-loss USC or Oklahoma? It's certainly possible, especially if the Tigers look the part..."

Comment on this story
Print   
Send Feedback to TigerNet Staff: Email | Comment
WATCH: Mac Lain talks DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson QB situation in ACC Championship
WATCH: Mac Lain talks DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson QB situation in ACC Championship
WATCH: Dabo Swinney previews ACC Championship in Charlotte
WATCH: Dabo Swinney previews ACC Championship in Charlotte
Former Clemson RB released by Chiefs
Former Clemson RB released by Chiefs
WATCH: ACC Championship podcast preview with TigerNet's David Hood
WATCH: ACC Championship podcast preview with TigerNet's David Hood
Post your comments!

Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest