DJ Uiagalelei filled in for Trevor Lawrence and led Clemson in a narrow loss at Notre Dame in the regular season last year.

Now, the starting job is his, but the 2021 campaign didn’t get off to a good start for the Tigers on Saturday night against No. 5 Georgia in Charlotte.

In Clemson’s 10-3 loss, Uiagalelei threw for 178 yards and an interception (returned for the game’s only touchdown), and completed only 19 of his 37 pass attempts. He also rushed for -22 yards.

After the game, Uiagalelei took the loss squarely on his shoulders. He praised Georgia’s defense, but he said he has to be better:

“I made the offensive line look bad, but in real life that was on me. The offensive line played great. Receivers played great. I’ve just gotta play better,” Uiagalelei said. “The running backs played great; they protected me very well. A lot of the sacks were on me. The offensive line, hats off to them, they had an amazing ballgame — all 5 of those guys. They protected me very well. I’ve just gotta get rid of the ball. It’s as simple as that.”

On the pick-6, Uiagalelei said he made a good throw, but Christopher Smith made a better play on the ball:

“I put it right there. … The DB made a really good play on it and took it to the house,” he said.