Videos by OutKick
Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik has the potential to be one of the greatest in school history. He is a five-star freshman with all of the intangibles, a rocket arm, and next-level athleticism.
However, at the end of the day, Klubnik is only a true freshman after all.
That was very apparent at the end of the first half during Friday’s Orange Bowl, his first start on the collegiate level. Dabo Swinney was left baffled by a frustrating sequence as the clock wound down in the second quarter.
Down by 11, Clemson had the ball at the Tennessee 13-yard-line with 13 seconds left. The Tigers had no timeouts remaining and could not stop the clock.
A first down required them to get to the three-yard-line, but anything less than a 10-yard gain would require Swinney to make a decision. Would he kick the field goal and make it a one-possession game or would he leave his offense on the field to try and score?
He likely would have landed on the former. Take the points.
But to line up for a field goal, it would have required the clock to stop after the third down attempt.
It did not.
Cade Klubnik showed his youth and Clemson came up short.
Klubnik took the snap and dropped back in the pocket but saw no one open downfield. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound signal-caller tried to escape the pressure and scamper up the middle.
Klubnik went nowhere. He was tackled in bounds, and the clock ticked down to zero.
Clemson did not get any points on the drive and Swinney was baffled. His reaction to Klubnik’s mistake was an all-timer.
It fell somewhere between anger and confusion, while he was also trying to keep his cool because of the circumstance. Swinney wanted to scream, laugh, cry and smile all at the same time.
There is really no way to describe it in words, here is how it went down:
Obviously, mistakes happen. But for it to come in Klubnik’s first-career start, in the Orange Bowl, is less-than ideal for everybody involved.
At least we got that incredible Swinney moment out of the deal!