Watson preparing to open the playbook up

University of Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said he's ready to open the playbook a little more as the Cardinals travel to Temple for the first American Athletic Conference game on Saturday. Cardinal Authority has the latest:

The University of Louisville offense has been rolling along this season, trucking its first four opponents by an average margin of more than 40 points a game.

The Cardinals are ranked seventh in the nation in scoring and rank No. 14 in total offense and in passing offense this season.

But U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson confirmed this week that the Cardinals have done that in four games without opening the playbook all the way.

As the Cardinals prepare to play Temple (0-4) in the opening game of the American Athletic Conference, Watson is ready to dig a bit into the playbook.

"We tried to take the next step with our scheme (during the bye week)," Watson said. "We are going to start adding to ourselves because we have been holding some things back. Now, we have some things that we have added."

Watson said the offense used last week's open time to work on some fundamental things and also add packages and different schemes for the future. He also said the Cardinals started to work a head on the next few weeks – Rutgers and Central Florida – because of short turnaround time.

"We tried to take the next step," Watson said. "We (add to the scheme) through the whole year. We really save some things that are just totally different in our offensive catalog – hold them. We always want people, when we play them, to have to start all over again. We never want to give the same look.

"But then we don't want to change things too much for the kids. So, we laid the foundation for a lot of that work last week."

Watson said the team is still chasing perfection and noted the players are "just as hungry as we are as a staff," adding "it's fun to work in a culture like this."

"We accomplished a lot, which will help us in the weeks to come," he said.

Watson wouldn't give up much about the additions to the offense but he said one thing you can expect is more use of Gerald Christian and the tight ends.

"Gerald is playing really well," Watson said. "We'll keep expanding what we do with him, using him in different ways. We have some ideas for that."

Watson said Ryan Hubbell, a senior tight end slowed by a shoulder injury, is back and healthy and fullback Griffin Uhl is also returning.

"We are really at full tilt," Watson said. "It's a good sign right now. Part of being successful is being lucky and that part of being lucky is staying away from the injury bug and we have been fortunate that way."

Watson also said junior wide receiver Michalee Harris is "full bore," and will be a big part of the game plan at Temple.

"He has earned his time," Watson said. "He came to see me the weekend before the FIU game and said, ‘Coach I think I can have a bigger role and help you more.' I told him he had to put it on film (in practice) and he's done that."

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