Cards focusing on the Red Zone

Through the first half of the season, the University of Louisville offense has proven to be one of the more efficient groups in the country. As the Cardinals prepare for a conference battle against UCF, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson explained that some of their focus is improving in the red zone.

How do the best get better? Strive for perfection.

Midway through the season, the University of Louisville offense is one of the more effiecent units in the nation, ranking among the top 20 in total offense and scoring offense. While the Cardinals average over 500 yards and 41 points an outing, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson is working to make his unit even better.

"We have not played our best football by a long-shot," Watson said following Monday's practice. "We need to work on the little details for us. We need to do a better job in the red [zone] in finishing drives."

The Cardinals are converting 90% (28 of 31) of their Red Zone appearances this season. Prior to facing Rutgers, U of L had failed on just one attempt in the Red Zone, but converted just 3 of 5 against the Scarlet Knights.

"We drove the ball the length of the field numerous times," said Watson. "To come up with a missed field goal, we had a blocked field goal, we turned the ball over in the red on a missed assignment when Teddy took a hit and fumbled the ball. Those things are inexcusable errors. You just don't want those things to happen and those are things that we can clean up."

Of it's 31 trips into the Red Zone this season, 19 have resulted in touchdowns and 9 have ended with field goals. A fumble and two blocked field goals have ended drives early.

"Those are easy fixes," said Watson. "It's simple things like running the right route for the right spot in the end zone. You don't panic - that's not what this is about - you just keeping working. It's easy stuff."

The Cardinals would also prefer to have a higher percentage of their Red Zone scores end in touchdowns.

"We have proven that we can drive the football on anybody. We have to finish now."

Louisville will host American Athletic Conference foe UCF on Friday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00p.m.

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