It took until their ninth game, but the Clemson Tigers finally suffered their first defeat of the 2022 college football season at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The final score of 35-14 in no way tells you how lopsided the game actually was. Clemson was utterly embarrassed in this game. They dropped from No. 5 all the way to No. 10 in the College Football Playoff Rankings as a result.
There’s a litany of blame to be tossed around, but here’s the two people most to blame for Clemson football’s embarrassing 35-14 loss to Notre Dame.
2. DJ Uiagalelei
Perhaps the most criticized quarterback in the country at times, DJ Uiagalelei unfortunately showed the same weaknesses he did all too often last season, and at times this season. It’s the same kind of mistakes that’s going to land Uiagalelei on the bench instead of Cade Klubnik if he’s not careful. In fact, that is quickly becoming the prudent option.
For a while this season, it seemed as if Uiagalelei’s issues were rooted in departed offensive coordinator Tony Elliott more than himself, as he, frankly, looked as though he’d turned a corner. Then came a benching against Syracuse, followed by a get-right game, and now this. It’s just not sustainable for a program of Clemson’s caliber and ambition to keep plugging away like this with a quarterback who has proven ineffective at the highest level time and time again.