Clemson football report card: Who got an A and who got a D in double-OT win vs. Wake Forest?
The No. 5 Tigers (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) had to stay two more periods after the class, but came away with a mostly good grade on our report card after a 51-45 double-overtime win over No. 16 Wake Forest (3-1, 0-1) at Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Clemson started strong with a 14-0 lead and was quiet for a while after that. But the Tigers finished with 559 yards. Quarterback D.J.
Uiagalelei had the best game of his career, counting those standout performances as a freshman for Trevor Lawrence, going 26-41 for 371 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Will Shipley rushed 20 times for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Here's the problem: Clemson's defensive backs had an unlucky day without three key players who went down with injuries.
Even when the Tigers were able to get the pass rush going, the guys covering the wide receivers seemed overmatched.
They committed pass interference penalties, beat patterns or both. Clemson should get Andrew Mukuba, Sheridan Jones and Malcolm Green back on the field soon. But other guys will get better.
Place-kicker B.T. Potter's initials should stand out beyond belief. He made a career-high 52-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He is a remarkable 8-for-10 on kicks beyond 50 yards.
He nailed a couple of chip shots, at least by his standards, from 34 and 28 yards. Punter Aidan Swanson shanked a 21-yarder and another line drive that could have been dangerous. There is no error in the return. All in all a good day.
His defense again had issues with pass coverage, but it doesn't appear to be a coaching issue. The offense, while strong, had a curious play call on third-and-2 as the right-handed Viagalelli rolled to the left and eliminated most receiving opportunities.
Clemson also had a perfect red-zone opportunity in the first half but kept Shipley on the sideline. Backup Phil Maffah made one play.