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Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei: 'I've Been Down Before'

Faced with an 18-point deficit, freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei never panicked in his first career start, throwing for over 340 yards and helping the top-ranked Tigers to a 34-28 come-from-behind win on Saturday in Death Valley.

No Trevor Lawrence, no problem for the Clemson Tigers offense. 

Enter freshman D.J. Uiagalelei. 

Uiagalelei made his first career collegiate start on Saturday in place of Heisman hopeful Trevor Lawrence, and all the freshman did was lead the Tigers to a 34-28 come from behind win over a feisty Boston College team in Death Valley. 

Uiagalelei is just the seventh true freshman to start a game at quarterback for Clemson. He helped guide the top-ranked Tigers to 24 unanswered points, while overcoming an 18-point deficit in the process, and Uiagalele says he never panicked after having been in that situation in the past. 

"I mean I've been down before in high school, played in big games and stuff like that," Uiagalelei said. "I mean, being down 18, it's not really a lot of points. I mean that's only like a three-possession game. I've been down 25 points before, after halftime."


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Uiagalelei said after the win that he and his teammates never lost hope. He knew as long as they stuck with the plan and executed, everything would work out in the end.

"We have a great team anyways," Uiagalelei said. "I knew we were going to come back. I have great faith in our team and I think we all do. As long as we executed and came out the second half rolling, that we put would ourselves in a chance to win the ballgame." 

Uiagalelei was an impressive 30-41 for 342 yards with two touchdown passes in his first career start. However, once the comeback was complete, the young freshman heaped much of the praise on the Clemson defense for their ability to pitch a shutout in that second half, giving him a chance to bring the Tigers back. 

"Our defense played lights out in the second half," Uiagalelei said. "Didn't give up any points in the second half. I think we all had this complete confidence in ourselves that we knew what we had to do and we just came out and executed."

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