Uiagalelei and Elliott discuss the good and bad in quarterback's performance


by - Senior Writer -
Uiagalelei reacts after scoring a first quarter touchdown.
Uiagalelei reacts after scoring a first quarter touchdown.

CLEMSON — Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei put up solid if not spectacular numbers in Saturday’s 49-3 victory over SC State, but he knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Uiagalelei finished the day 14-of-24 for 171 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He rushed five times for 23 yards and two scores. After a slow start in the loss to Georgia, Uiagalelei knew he needed to respond.

“It felt good to be back in the stadium, have a great week of preparation, I just wanted to come back out with fire,” Uiagalelei told the media after the game. “I feel like I left a lot of stuff out there on the table vs. Georgia. I just wanted to come out there and prove to myself and play a great game and be focused. I feel like I did a pretty good job. Definitely a lot of stuff I can keep working on.

"Felt like we had a great week of preparation, worked great tempo throughout the week, and we had a locked-in focus. Wanted to come out and prove something today."

However, he missed a wide-open Justyn Ross in the endzone, missed a read on his own goal line that could have led to a big gain, and as he says, made a bad throw on a screen to wide receiver Joseph Ngata.

"I overthrew Joe Ngata on the jailbreak screen, dumb mistake,” he said. "I have to continue to make sure I'm locked in every play and focusing on every single little detail, and not let my head go somewhere. Just make the easy plays. That's a given (throw) right there. In a big-time game, that could be a game-changer. Just have to continue to be locked in, make all the easy throws, and make all the hard plays too."

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said he isn’t worried about Uiagalelei’s accuracy.

"I think that some of those were throws on the run, which are hard to make, especially when the receiver is away from the quarterback and he's moving off the launch point," Elliott said. "Nothing to worry about. But again, you've got to continue to go out there and play. Through experience, those things will sharpen up."

Elliott then said that all of the issues are correctable, and that he and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter will work on those this week.

“We'll go back and look at his fundamentals the best we can on tape," Elliott said. "Coach Brandon Streeter will do a great job analyzing that and he'll have a conversation with D.J. and we'll continue to work on making sure that isn't an issue."

Elliott also said that the game will start to slow down for Uiagalelei, who was shown different looks by SC State Saturday.

"Pre-snap recognition is key," Elliott said. "They were trying to disguise early on with two-safety stuff and they were spinning one way or the other. As a quarterback continues to see that, then that starts to slow down to him and when the game starts to slow down to him, he's able to process all that information he sees a little bit quicker."

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