Here's a look at five takeaways from Clemson's Week 13 loss to Shane Beamer and South Carolina.
Five takeaways from Clemson's loss to South Carolina
Alex Turri November 27, 2022 12:30 pm ET Clemson experienced their second loss of the season Saturday as rivals South Carolina beat the Tigers 31-30 in Death Valley, ending the Tigers’ game home win streak and seven-game win streak against the Gamecocks.
It was a poor performance from the Tigers 10-2 (8-0 ACC), who had more than enough opportunities to win this game but flopped when it mattered the most. There were many things wrong with how the team played this Saturday, as the players and coaches both got outclassed on the Tigers’ home field.
It was a complete letdown from the Tigers and their coaching staff as their playoff hopes ended with this loss.
Here are five takeaways I believe to be some of the most important from Clemson’s Week 13 loss against South Carolina.
Clemson is not a playoff team
It hurts to write this one, but Clemson just isn’t a playoff team. The Tigers are a talented team and are definitely one of the best teams in the country, but this second loss against South Carolina and the way it happened cemented the fact that this isn’t a playoff team. The Tigers seemingly had a meltdown against the Gamecocks and failed to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities they had to win this game. Watching this matchup Saturday, there is no reason the Tigers should have lost this game, yet they did. No matter how much talent is on your roster, you have to put it together to make a run. The Tigers just couldn’t put things together.
Will Shipley was the best player on the field
Even in a loss, Will Shipley proved once again that he is the best player on the field when Clemson plays football. Even if the coaching staff doesn’t want to give Shipley a workhorse workload, he still puts up numbers and has a tremendous impact. Shipley had just 15 carries for 132 yards against the Gamecocks, and they genuinely didn’t have an answer for him. The sophomore running back could have had a far greater impact on the game if given the opportunity. Regardless of the outcome, Will Shipley is a certified star and deserves treatment as such.
Clemson's offensive play calling is a disaster
Clemson fans have been dealing with questionable play calling for years, but this week against South Carolina might be the worst play calling I’ve seen from a Clemson team since I started covering them. Honestly, I have no idea what Clemson offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter was thinking in this game. Something I say all the time is that football is a simple game, and it seems as if Streeter does not feel the same. The Tigers were dominating on the ground, and rather than sticking to what was working, Streeter opted to continue to put the game in starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei’s hands. Uiagalelei was 8-29 for 99 yards… No matter how much I try to rationalize it, I can’t. The play calling we saw from the Tigers Saturday was a significant part of the Tigers’ loss.
Time for a quarterback change? At this point in the season, after what we saw against South Carolina, it is time to make a change under center. Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has flashed his tremendous upside this season, but at some point, you need to make a change. I love Dabo Swinney and admire how committed he is to the players in his program; it’s part of what makes him such a special head coach. On the other hand, Uiagalelei’s performance, no matter how the coaching staff wants to spin it, is completely unacceptable for the program Clemson is. At some point, you need to make the tough but right decision. Uiagalelei is talented, but things have been close to a nightmare with him since his Syracuse performance. Looking at the box score after the game and seeing 8-29 for 99 yards and the team only lost by one… It is time to do the difficult part of coaching and make the change. It is time for Cade Klubnik to get a real shot at performing.
The Clemson football program needs some fresh faces and ideas in the building
@gmraynor What a meltdown for Clemson. Had 3 chances to go win it and coughed them all up. Credit to Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks. Clemson needs a reset this offseason IMO. Time to get some fresh ideas in the building."
If you follow Clemson football, you likely know who Grace is, and I want to give credit where credit is due here. I could not agree more with what she has to say in this tweet. I’ve been covering the Tigers since I started covering football, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a meltdown like the one we saw this past Saturday. Dabo Swinney is one of the best head coaches in college football, but that does not mean perfection. I understand hiring from within, but the Tigers really do need some fresh ideas in the building if they want to avoid performances like this in the future.
I will add however....that they need to solidify and turn their recruiting process up a quite a few notches because we need to make up on some misses we've had. We are allowing too many kids in that are only going to fully develop in maybe.... just maybe in their 5th year at Clemson.... without them still not gaining or sometimes deserving the starting spots.