Clemson Tigers Football and Wake Forest Demon Deacons Football
The Clemson Tigers are 4-0 in October, and they have covered the spread in six of seven games. Their defense is the most impressive thing about the team, and DJ Uiagalelei and Sam Hartman are both talented arm athletes. In addition, Will Shipley plays a key role in the Tigers' offense.
Clemson's defense has looked dominant to start the season
In its first game under new defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin, Clemson's defense shut down Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech was held to just 237 yards in total offense and converted only two of eight third downs. The Tigers got backfield penetration, forced a fumble, and logged nine tackles for loss. The defense also limited the Yellow Jackets to only one field goal in the first half.
Although Clemson's defense has been dominant to start the season, the Tigers have some issues that need to be addressed. While the Tigers have NFL-caliber talent on defense, their offense still hasn't found its footing. In the preseason, the Tigers' offense was ranked fourth, but struggled against eventual national champion Georgia.
Davis has been a key player for Clemson's defense since his freshman year. While his numbers have been inconsistent since then, he has contributed to the defense's success. His size and skill set allow him to be a force on opposing offenses. He has 12 career sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He also has five forced fumbles in just two seasons.
Sam Hartman's arm talent
The Clemson Tigers and Wake Forest are ranked No. 5 in the country, and they will clash in Week 1 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons have been inconsistent at quarterback, but they are a top-15 team when healthy. Wake Forest quarterback Josh Hartman is a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He's close to passing 10,000 yards, and he leads all Power Five quarterbacks in career touchdown passes.
Hartman's accuracy is decent on short timing and slant routes. His touch on post-corner and flag routes is also acceptable. However, he struggles to sift through moving parts in the middle of the field and does not provide his receivers with the opportunity to make a play after the catch.
Hartman had a big season last year. After starting at quarterback for three years, Hartman threw for more than 4,000 yards and nearly 40 touchdowns last year. His arm talent has helped Wake Forest become the first Demon Deacons in ACC history to win seven ACC games and post 10 wins in a season.
DJ Uiagalelei's arm talent
While there are many facets to a football player's game, many people overlook one of the most unique facets - his arm strength. Clemson defensive end Patrick Uiagalelei is 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, and boasts one of the strongest arms in college football. This talented athlete was offered his first Power Five scholarship offer in the sixth grade and earned another half-dozen before high school. While Uiagalelei is still a young man, his affability and his personality are a testament to his character and skill.
The arm strength and athleticism of Uiagalelei make him an extremely efficient passer. He's capable of launching a football well over 80 yards and has the accuracy to complete passes to any open window. In addition, he's a tested leader in high school and has the ability to run a read option. He also has the mobility to throw outside of the pocket and avoid pressure.
His arm strength is unmatched. He threw an incredibly deep and accurate pass in the Polynesian Bowl, and only one other NFL player has been able to make a no-look throw to that degree. This is a sign of serious arm strength and one of the reasons Clemson's quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter says Uiagalelei is one of the best quarterbacks in the program's history.
Will Shipley's role in Clemson's offense
The Clemson Tigers are expecting a big season out of tailback Will Shipley, who broke out as a freshman last season, rushing for over 100 yards and getting into the end zone three times. The 5'11, 200-pound tailback has six rushing touchdowns and has been active in both the run and pass games. He missed spring practice due to a foot injury but has fought through a few injuries throughout his career. While his role will most likely be as a runner, there is still plenty of room for a receiver in the backfield.
Shipley's athleticism is one of his best attributes. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash as a sophomore and has a 36-inch vertical leap. He is a versatile receiver who can catch vertical routes, slants and screen passes. His versatility will help the Clemson offense and he should be able to pair well with 5-star running back DeMarkcus Bowman.