Swinney: Clemson 'mentally hurt' after suffering 2nd loss
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said his team is reeling after losing for the second time in four games to begin the season.
"My heart just breaks for those guys," he said Saturday after the Tigers fell 27-21 in double overtime to NC State, according to The Athletic's Grace Raynor. "We've got a physically hurt team and we've got a mentally hurt team right now. And staff."
The ninth-ranked Tigers' 36-game win streak against unranked opponents came to an end in their first ACC contest of 2021. The offense labored, and a DJ Uiagalelei incompletion on fourth down ended any hopes of a third extra frame in Raleigh.
"I think the main thing was that we couldn't get into a rhythm," Uiagalelei said postgame. "We had a lot of three-and-outs ... just simple mental mistakes."
The sophomore threw for only 111 yards in the loss, and he's yet to hit 200 yards passing in a game this year. Once a prized recruit, the 20-year-old has struggled in his first season as Clemson's full-time starter.
Swinney said he'll "look at everything" as he tries to spark his ballclub but indicated that Uiagalelei is unlikely to be benched.
"There's nothing that you don't evaluate," he said. "But I think DJ is our quarterback."
Uiagalelei entered 2021 as one of seven new starters on the Clemson offense.
The Tigers, who dropped their season opener to Georgia, now have multiple losses before October for the first time since 2014.