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The Tiger

Richardson talks Uiagalelei’s progression, tight end performance

Matt Mynes, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) runs through a hole against Georgia Tech in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022.

In a press appearance on Monday, Clemson tight ends coach and passing-game coordinator Kyle Richardson discussed how the offense performed against Wake Forest in Clemson’s first true away game of the season.
In Clemson’s best offensive performance of the season, Richardson spoke about the confidence he saw from the entire offense as a whole that wasn’t there a season ago.
“We spent a lot of time just talking confidence and getting that confidence back,” Richardson said. “Not only getting that confidence back but once you get it back, have a little swagger about yourself.”
Self-admittedly, playing with that sense of swagger was junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who had an impressive performance in Week 4.
The signal-caller threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns and was named ACC quarterback of the week. 
Richardson attributed Uiagalelei’s success to the quarterback’s belief in himself and his abilities.
“He’s more confident,” Richardson added. “What I see every day with him is he just feels more comfortable in the pocket, which then allows you more time to go through your reads and go through your progressions.”
Along with Uiagalelei, the tight end position was very active in the game plan against Wake Forest.
Sophomore Jake Briningstool and senior Davis Allen both set new career highs in the win.
Briningstool had six receptions for 72 yards, both career-high marks, and a touchdown. Allen reeled in four receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns — the most times he’s scored as a Tiger.
When discussing the tight ends and the passing attack, Richardson explained that his players take what the game gives them.
“We don’t go into a game week and recreate our playbook based off ‘we need to hit this spot on the field or that spot on the field,'” Richardson said. “Our playbook covers east, west, north and south. Sometimes you get into a game, and it doesn’t work out that way.”
Richardson also had high praise for his tight end room and how they have fared so far under his first year as tight ends coach. 
“Just an unbelievable job of being super coachable,” Richardson said. “Coming in every day as professionals, they come into the meeting room, and there’s no junk.”
With a matchup with No. 10 NC State on Saturday, Richardson understands the challenge the Tigers will face against a Wolfpack defense that is only allowing 261.5 total yards per game in 2022, 179.8 of which have come through the air. 
 ”They’re just super aggressive, probably the most aggressive defense out of all eleven guys that you’ll face at one time. They close gaps really quickly,” Richardson said about the Wolfpack defense. “We’ve got to match that intensity, match that effort. We’ve got to be physical, and that’s across the board.”

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