The Clemson spring game is set for Saturday with an Orange-White scrimmage that is meant to bring some balance featuring projected starters on both sides. These kind of spring game setups are always interesting when it comes to position battles, especially when they involve two quarterbacks who end up going head-to-head for the starting job. 

Returning starter D.J. Uiagalalei is completing his third spring practice at Clemson, first arriving as a five-star prospect and early-enrollee back in spring 2020. Uiagalelei spent the 2020 season backing up Trevor Lawrence, and two prolific performances in Lawrence's stead had him positioned as the heir apparent. The 2021 season didn't pan out as expected for a player figured to be the next face of this Clemson dynasty, however, and the Tigers offense as a whole struggled. So this spring has been spent starting over.

Starting over, or at least building something new, has been the theme of spring practice at Clemson. Dabo Swinney told this year's team in offseason workouts that the torch has been passed, as the program said goodbye to longtime offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and defensive coordinator Brent Venables. The fallout, from a staffing perspective, was a significant shakeup but mostly with promotions and new roles for coaches who have experience with the program. 

The other thing that's new about this spring is Uiagalelei's position in the quarterback race. When he arrived as an early-enrollee, there was no question his job was going to be backing up the entrenched starter, but five-star early-enrollee freshman Cade Klubnik has an opportunity to earn the starting nod in 2022. 

Klubnik was, like Uiagalelei, a top-10 prospect and the No. 1 quarterback in his recruiting class. He lacks the experience that Uiagalelei has under his belt, but much of that experience came as the Tigers' passing offense declined and the program missed out on the ACC Championship Game and College Football Playoff for the first time in seven years. 

Clemson fills out the Orange and White rosters with a draft between the two assistants: Mike Reed (assistant head coach, special teams and cornerbacks) and Kyle Richardson (pass game coordinator). The team is split up into "Offense A" and "Offense B" as well as "Defense A" and "Defense B," and the two coaches drafted their pods of players on Wednesday morning to decide rosters. 

Uiagalelei is the starting quarterback for the Orange team and Klubnik is the starter for the White team. A quick scan of the rosters suggests that Orange has a few more names fans will recognize on offense -- Joseph Ngata, for example -- while White has some of the top defensive stars available to play, like First Team All-ACC defensive tackle Tyler Davis and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Andrew Makuba. 

Now that the roster are set and the scrimmage is approaching, let's dive into some key storylines in the Orange-White game on Saturday. 

The Tigers are hobbled 

One of the reasons the two quarterbacks are going to demand so much attention is that it will be difficult to glean much from the rest of the roster with so many projected starters either out or limited throughout spring practice. It's estimated that 20 scholarship players are unavailable for the spring game, and Swinney said it's one of the thinnest springs he's ever been a part of as a coach. We'll overreact to how both Uiagalelei and Klubnik perform, but the fact is many of the top offensive options expected to be available this fall won't be suiting up in the scrimmage and some of the team's defensive stars -- who, in theory, would present more of a challenge for these quarterbacks -- are also going to be on the sidelines. 

But just because these players are sidelined does not mean they are going to be uninvolved. The team's top two running backs (Will Shipley and Kobe Pace), top tight end (Davis Allen) and two potential starters at wide receiver (Beaux Collins and E.J. Williams) are all going to be "working" as student coaches for the game. 

Rebuilding confidence in the passing attack 

Swinney said last week that Uiagalelei has "had an excellent spring," citing how he's managing the offense and has "great ownership of what he's doing." A big part of Uiagalelei's offseason has been health and fitness. He told reporters at the start of spring practice he got up to 260 pounds in the season but lost 20 pounds during the offseason with a goal of getting down to 230-235 pounds. The hope is that shedding the weight will help with his mobility and balance when throwing on the run -- an issue that contributed to mistakes during his 2021 campaign. 

Uiagalelei told reporters his confidence was "at an all-time high" at the start of spring practice, but how is that confidence going to play out on Saturday in front of a stadium packed with fans expecting to see improvement? Confidence has also been a comment from the coaching staff, trying to build a new passing attack for the offense that's meant to build confidence not just in the quarterback but the offense as a whole. New offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter and pass game coordinator Kyle Richardson have been working to simplify some aspects of the passing game; not just the concepts, but an approach that sets up for easier throws to players in space.      

Klubnik has impressed, but development is ongoing 

A highly touted freshman is always going to be a spring game star, at least in the eyes of fans who bring their attention looking for a glimpse of the program's future. But Uiagalelei's struggles in 2021 have brought some urgency to the prospects of Klubnik's development, especially heading into a year that's focused on a return to the top of the sport. Is Klubnik, the player who went 27-0 as a starter for 6A powerhouse Austin Westlake and the became first Texas high school quarterback to go undefeated while winning back-to-back 6A state tiles since Kyler Murray, ready? Swinney has been impressed with what he's seen from Klubnik on the field, but has mentioned the physical development he's still hoping to see before the fall. 

"Cade just continues to impress. He's just a really talented young player. Same things as those corners — as advertised and just a sponge. Just loves every bit of it, Swinney said recently, via 247Sports. "He's about 188 (pounds), 190 right now and heading in the right direction there. So just proud of him and proud of those receivers, too. It's been a good spring. We still don't have everybody, but what we've been able to get done ... they're just different guys."

Uiagalelei and Klubnik are different players, but they share something in common in this competition: the work isn't done. There's development on and off the field that is very much ongoing, and while the spring game may not decide the battle, it will provide the coaching staff with important information as to how each performs under the weight of expectations. 

Clemson's Orange-White spring game kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and can be seen on ACC Network.