Clemson found itself on the ropes against Syracuse with DJ Uiagalelei struggling, leading to a shocking move as the QB was benched for Cade Klubnik.
The Clemson Tigers found themselves on the ropes in Death Valley on Saturday against the Syracuse Orange and a big reason why was the turnovers from oft-maligned quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Through the first 2.5 quarters of play, DJU had thrown two interceptions and coughed up a fumble, the latter resulting in a huge return touchdown for the Orange.
Early in the season with the Tigers offense sputtering, there were plenty of calls for Dabo Swinney to bench Uiagalelei for 5-star freshman Cade Klubnik. But then DJU began to turn it around in recent weeks prior to Saturday’s game.
After the second interception, though, Swinney had seen enough and he made the switch to Klubnik, the top-rated quarterback recruit from the 2022 class.
College football media reacts to Clemson benching DJ Uiagalelei for Cade Klubnik
After so many calls for this to happen, the college football world was clearly stunned and anxious to see what the young signal-caller could do to help drive a comeback.
The early returns were that Clemson made the right move. Klubnik, though he didn’t do too much with his arm, came in and delivered a spark for the offense. The Tigers drove for a touchdown, got a defensive stop, and then Will Shipley broke loose for a long touchdown run to take the lead, going up 24-21 after a successful two-point conversion on the second score.
What will be more interesting to see, especially if Klubnik can deliver a win for the Tigers, is if Dabo and the coaching staff opt to stick with the freshman of DJU for the remainder of the season.