Last season, teams dared Clemson to throw the ball down the field, while attempting to take away Travis Etienne and the Tigers running game.
Through three games this season, teams are doing the opposite. With Etienne now in the NFL, it seems defenses are trying to take away the deep routes, daring the Tigers to run the ball.
It was a game plan that worked almost flawlessly for Georgia in week one when the Bulldogs shut the Clemson offense down. So well in fact, that Georgia Tech attempted a similar type of defensive strategy on Saturday, something that caught the Tigers by surprise.
The Yellow Jackets were able to hold Clemson to less than 300 yards of total offense and just 126 yards passing. However, despite the low output, starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was pleased with the patience the offense displayed in the 14-8 win.
"It was definitely tough, I mean Georgia Tech had a great game plan today," Uiagalelei said. "They did a lot of different stuff on defense, a lot of movement, but for the most part I mean we did a good job and they had a really good plan. Hats off to Georgia Tech. They did a great job and made it difficult on us but we find a way to win and got the W."
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The Yellow Jackets took away the deep passing game, in turn forcing the Tigers to drive the length of the field. The Clemson offense was limited to just eight total possessions in the process.
With the Tigers deciding to just take what the defense was giving them, Uiagalelei averaged only 5.0 yards per attempt, marking the third consecutive game in which the Tigers' passing game has been held in check.
Through three games, Uiagalelei has completed just 54-percent of his passes and averaged just 5.7 yards per attempt. However, the sophomore quarterback isn't concerned with the lack of explosiveness from the passing game and maintains that if the team just stays the course, the offense will start to click, and sooner rather than later.
"It's going to bust open man, one of these games," Uiagalelei said. "The next game, or the next game. I mean it's gonna bust open and we're just gonna keep rolling."
Uiagalelei said right now the key to offensive success is patience. That he and the rest of the offense just need to keep working and most importantly, not press the panic button.
"We just gotta keep the course," Uiagalelei said. "Keep going back into practice every week, and stay patient man, just not press. I think that's the main thing. When it all clicks, when we do the mental things, do the little things like right, we're gonna bust. I just feel like if we just not press, go back to work, learn from our mistakes from this last game, and we just continue to keep getting better, we'll have a great offense. And we're gonna be fine."