Cade Klubnik

Kings Of The ACC?

By: Kipp Branch news services

2022 Record: 11-3 overall, 9-0 in ACC

Head Coach: Dabo Swinney, 16th year: 161-39

How far Clemson goes in 2023 will depend on the QB position.

Cade Klubnik is now the man. A former 5-star recruit is in the spotlight now. Klubnik does not have to be a superstar he just needs to be productive.

Let us be honest Clemson fans you have become spoiled with the QB position. Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence will not suit up for the Tigers ever again.

Klubnik cannot fold under the pressure of trying to live up to standards in the position that may never be met again at Clemson. He played well in the ACC Championship game last season with 280 yards passing and passed for over three hundred yards in an Orange Bowl loss to Tennessee but had some growing pains in that contest.

Can he lead Clemson back to the College Football playoffs? Clemson has missed the playoffs for the last two seasons. The expectations now at Clemson are playoffs of bust.

Will Shipley is a great all-purpose running back with 1,182 yards and 15 TDs in 2022. He also caught thirty-eight passes.

Clemson always has good WR talent and a solid physical offensive line. Swinney has recruited great over the years.

On defense the secondary must improve. What separates Clemson from the rest of the ACC is what they produce along the defensive line. The combination of Ruke Orhorhoro and Tyler Davis might be the best in the country at defensive tackle.

I am hearing a lot of talk about how FSU has surpassed Clemson in the ACC. Well talent-wise that is not the case. Clemson has talent all over this roster and are the kings of the ACC until someone knocks them off the mountain top.

Schedule and my predictions:

9-4 * at Duke: Conference game opener for the Tigers on the road at Duke. Not important because Clemson will handle Duke 38-13 to go 1-0 on the season.

9-9 Charleston Southern: Home opener and CSU will be nothing more than a sacrificial lamb here. Clemson 49-7. 2-0

9-16 Florida Atlantic: Another beatdown at home for the Tigers. 55-10 and 3-0 on the season.

9-23 * Florida State: Ok FSU here is your chance to be the new kings of the ACC. There will be mega hype surrounding this one.

FSU will claim that they are a 1990’s version of the Seminoles, but at the end of the day you will be standing there watching Clemson touch that rock and run down that hill and the realization will set in that you are not there yet. Clemson wins 24-17. 4-0 on the season. Memorial Stadium will be rocking.

9-30 * at Syracuse: Upset alert for the Tigers. Be careful here. Clemson 24-21. 5-0.

10-7 * Wake Forest: Wake should be a bowl team but that will not matter. Clemson 34-20. 6-0.

10-21 * at Miami (Fla.): Tigers enter the teeth of their schedule. Could they fall here?

The pundits will try to create a narrative by predicting it, but it will not happen. 27-17. 7-0.

10-28 * at NC State: This one has me worried if I am a Clemson fan. 17-14 win. 8-0.

11-4 Notre Dame: After what happened last year in South Bend this one is circled on the Clemson schedule. Clemson wins big 34-17. 9-0

11-11 * Georgia Tech: Jackets are still rebuilding. Clemson 35-13. 10-0.

11-18 * North Carolina: Carolina is horrible on defense. Clemson wins 48-35. 11-0.

11-25 at South Carolina: The Gamecocks now have confidence in this series. I am calling for the upset. South Carolina wins 21-17. Clemson finishes the regular season at 11-1. The loss will not affect Clemson’s playoff chances, as the Tigers win another ACC title the following week.


* – ACC regular-season game.


A 12-1 Clemson gets in the College Football Playoff as the ACC champion along with Georgia, Michigan, and Texas or USC.

Clemson Spring

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Dabo Swinney has elevated Clemson into one of the most elite programs in the nation.

The Tigers seemed to make the College Football Playoff every season. After quarterback Trevor Lawrence was drafted #1 in the 2021 NFL Draft, we still thought they would be a top-5 team.

He was replaced by five-star QB D.J. Uiagalelei. The Tigers recruit so well they just reload rather than rebuild. Unfortunately, that was not the case last year. They were 10 – 3 but that’s not good enough for Clemson.

Uiagalelei is coming off a sophomore season that saw him rank at or near the bottom of most statistical categories in the ACC, throwing more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (9). It was a season that saw the quarterback have his share of struggles, most notably with accuracy, as Uiagalelei completed just 56% of his passes.

D.J. has lost weight since last season and hopefully that will help him move quicker. The Spring Game was April 9th so we did see some improvement on his footwork, decision making and releasing the ball quicker.

He still had issues with his accuracy, throwing several off-target passes. He completed 17-of-36 passes for 175 yards and an interception. To be fair, there were multiple dropped passes.

The five-star freshman from Texas, Cade Klubnik completed 15-of-23 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Klubnik was ranked the number one quarterback in the country in the last recruiting cycle.

“DJ is definitely our starter,” Swinney said. “He has had a great spring. He has not done anything to not be the starter.”

It might be unfair to believe D.J. would drastically improve after 15 practices. He also played behind an offensive line that was missing several starters in the Spring Game. Clemson has a talented defensive line, so they had a tough time.

This does look like a possible quarterback controversy brewing once the season starts. Swinney does feel like he can win with both quarterbacks.

“It is not often you can say that, but I have seen enough from both of those guys to know that,” Swinney said. “So, it is a good situation.”

Running back Will Shipley was really the only bright spot on offense last season. He rushed for 739 yards, 11 touchdowns and averaged 5 yards per carry. He also had 16 catches for 116 yards. Shipley and the number 2 back Kobe Pace had offseason procedures, so they did not play in the Spring Game.

The only other scholarship running back on the roster was Phil Mafah from Grayson (GA).

“I thought it would allow me to just show that I could be the guy out there,” Mafah said. “I could do it just like they could, and they just allowed me to show off what I could do and help bring up the others.”

Position coach C.J. Spiller and offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter said Mafah has earned more carries for the 2022 season. Now it looks like the Tigers will have three reliable backs next season.

The final score of the Spring Game was White beat Orange 15 – 7.