Dabo Swinney benched DJ Uiagalelei for Cade Klubnik against Syracuse but he won’t just stick with his decision and move the QB battle forward.
Clemson is 8-0 after pulling off a comeback against Syracuse. The guy who oversaw the comeback probably isn’t going to start for the Tigers next week. The guy who got benched will.
Dabo Swinney decided to pull starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei after his second interception. Cade Klubnik replaced him in the third quarter with Clemson trailing by 11. He generated 17 points and the Tigers went on to win the game.
You’d think the message was sent. Uiagalelei has been on shaky ground for a while. Klubnik looks like the future.
Yet Swinney isn’t going there.
Dabo Swinney won’t commit to QB change after benching DJ Uiagalelei
After the game, Swinney stood behind Uiagalelei.
“Sometimes Steph Curry goes 2-for-25. Your best player sometimes can have a bad day. He just got out of rhythm and made some bad plays. We just needed a change,” Swinney said. “DJ’s our quarterback. There ain’t no question about that. That’s our guy, that’s our leader, you can write that right now, DJ’s our guy. He’s got to play better and he will but how about Cade Klubnik coming in there and leading these guys?”
Swinney made a fool of himself and the QB situation with those comments.
Immediately, Twitter fact-checked the idea of Curry having a shooting night that bad. He’s never had one.
Moreover, even if Curry was having a bad shooting night, Steve Kerr and the Warriors would still want the ball in his hands with the game on the line late. He wouldn’t be benched in the most important minutes of the game.
That’s what Swinney appears unwilling to acknowledge. He did not trust Uiagalelei to win the game. He trusted his 19-year-old backup quarterback over his veteran starter.
It’s not like Klubnik was called upon to do something spectacular. He came in and managed the game while Clemson leaned on the run and kept things simple.
Why couldn’t Uiagalelei do that himself? Why did Swinney take out his “guy,” his “leader” instead of giving him the chance to do exactly what the backup did?
Because Uiagalelei isn’t the guy. Swinney is lying to himself if he says otherwise.