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Klubnik says Syracuse game was ‘a dream come true’

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) takes the field against Georgia Tech in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022. 

When Clemson had its back against the wall in the third quarter against Syracuse, true freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik reignited a spark in the Tigers’ offense that very well could have been the reason Clemson managed to save its undefeated record.
It was a big test on a big stage, and Klubnik delivered in a big way in the 27-21 win. 
Replacing DJ Uiagalelei midway through the third quarter, Klubnik salvaged a four-turnover game for the Tigers. 
Klubnik spoke to the media following the victory over Syracuse and detailed where he got the confidence to come in and take control of the game.
“Confidence comes from preparation,” he said. “Coach Swinney, Coach Streeter, and that whole QB room, we’ve been preparing all week. We’ve been preparing every week like every single one of us is going to start the game.”
Klubnik finished the game completing two of his four pass attempts for 19 yards and added 15 rushing yards. He also had a critical two-point conversion to wide receiver Joseph Ngata that gave the Tigers a three-point lead with 11:26 left in the game. 
Klubnik, who has seen very few snaps this season up until this game, was appreciative of the opportunity, even if it took longer than he wanted. 
“Such a dream come true, and I’m so thankful for that moment,” he said. “I kind of went into the game with a little bit of a different feeling. You know, it has been up and down throughout the year, but I’ve been at peace with what God has been doing, and I’ve had people helping me along that, just saying it’s not my time. After the Georgia Tech game, I got that one drive, and I was so thankful to have that. I was so thankful to have a piece in that. That was God’s timing, not mine.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound signal-caller had the poise and confidence to step up and give the Tigers a chance to claim the win, but the true freshman gave all the praise to who he calls the “leader” of the Tigers’ offense.
“We have so much trust in DJ,” Klubnik said. “Like we’ve been saying, he’s our guy. DJ is going to lead us, and we’re all right behind him.”
Klubnik was patted on the helmet by Uiagalelei just seconds before he went in and shared that the relationship dynamic that the media tends to portray is not exactly reality for the two quarterbacks.
With an abundance of respect and love for one another, Klubnik describes their relationship as one that is less competitive and more loving.
“He’s just such a loving guy,” he said. “Our relationship is just so tight. I think a lot of people see it more as a competition, but it’s really an opportunity we have with each other, but he has been able to push me in so many ways, and I have been able to do the same for him. I just try to be the best leader I can be at every opportunity.”

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