Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week

Each week ClemsonWire will choose an offensive and defensive Player of the Week following each of the Tigers games this season.

Clemson kicked off the 2022 season on Monday with a Labor Day opening win over Georgia Tech by a score of 41-10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. In Clemson’s first ever visit to the NFL stadium in the heart of the Peach State, the Tigers got off to a slow start on the offensive side, but seemed to hit their groove once the second half rolled around.

Clemson’s defense continued to show flashes of dominance, holding the Yellow Jackets to just 237 yards of offense and 10 points in Monday night’s victory.

Here are ClemsonWire’s picks for this week’s offensive and defensive Players of the Week:

Defensive Player of the Week: K.J. Henry

Syndication: The Greenville News

K.J. Henry had a huge performance for the Tigers on the defensive side of the ball in Monday nights opening win. Henry put together quite a game, garnering 7 tackles (2.5 for loss), one sack, and one forced fumble in his eleventh career start. The fifth-year senior continued to be a problem for Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims and was a big reason why the Tigers held him to just 237 yards, one touchdown and an interception. With this in mind, K.J. Henry was a no-brainer for this week’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Offensive Player of the Week: DJ Uiagalelei

Dale Zanine / USA TODAY Sports

Even though DJ Uiagalelei and Clemson’s offense seemed to have its struggles in the first half, the starting quarterback seemed to come alive and gain confidence following half time, where he led the Tigers to their eventual 41-10 win. Uiagalelei completed 19-of-32 passes for 210 yards, a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and no interceptions. The California native’s 210 yard game was just his fifth career game as a Tiger with over 200 yards passing.

Honorable mentions

Andrew Mukuba

John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore Andrew Mukuba had another big game on the defensive side for the Tigers. In the opening Georgia Tech offensive snap, the safety interception quarterback Jeff Sims’ first lob of the game, good for the first interception of Mukuba’s career.

Cade Klubnik

Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports

Though true freshman Cade Klubnik only appeared for one drive in his collegiate debut versus the Yellow Jackets, he made quite the statement and showed a lot of confidence in the pocket. In just one drive in the fourth quarter, the quarterback completed a 10 play, 66-yard drive where he completed 4-of-6 passes for 49 yards and connected with wide receiver Will Taylor for the fifth and final touchdown of the game.

Clemson special teams

Syndication: The Greenville News

Clemson special teams played a huge part in the Tigers success on Monday. Thanks to a pair of blocked punts by former walk-on Carson Donnelly and true freshman Wade Woodaz in the second and fourth quarters respectively. Both blocked punts were returned for a combined 20 yards and resulted in two of Clemson’s five touchdowns.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire


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