Can Uiagalelei raise his consistency level and thus raise his confidence level in 2022? That’s the big question for Uiagalelei, who has elite physical tools, but couldn’t find a way to put it all together in his first season as a full time starter in 2021.
Uiagalelei finished 2021 with 2,246 yards with nine touchdowns and ten interceptions. He also rushed for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
Uiagalelei isn’t close to the level of recent Clemson quarterback greats, Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence, but he still has the ability to be a good college quarterback. He’s not the type of signal caller that can carry an offense, but he might not have to be if the skill players around him step up and because Clemson’s defense looks to be extremely stout on paper going into 2022. Uiagalelei should be viewed as a game manager with some elite tools.
If running back Will Shipley and receivers Joseph Ngata, E.J. Williams, and Beaux Collins step up, it would benefit Uiagalelei immensely.
Uiagalelei is expected to show what he can do as the starter at the beginning of the 2022 season and if he is unable to perform at the necessary level to compete for the ACC Championship, the Tigers could turn to true freshman Cade Klubnik, a former five-star recruit.
Miami takes on Clemson in week 12 of the season and whatever direction the Tigers go at quarterback should be sorted out by then.
The Hurricanes have been thumped by a combined score of 138-20 in their last three match-ups against Clemson. Here is a look at the three quarterback stat lines from those games:
– 2015 Deshaun Watson: 15-of-19 for 143 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 98 yards and one touchdown.
– 2017 Kelly Bryant: 23-of-29 for 252 yards with one touchdown while rushing for seven yards and one touchdown.
– 2020 Trevor Lawrence: 29-of-41 for 292 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Rushing for 34 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Miami must do a better job of containing the production of the Clemson quarterback in this year’s match-up.