Louisville offense: 'Just has to get better'

After a disappointing performance last weekend in a loss at Clemson, the University of Louisville offense is looking to make major improvements this weekend against N.C. State. The Cardinals mood in practice is "going out and improving."

The University of Louisville football team is coming off a 23-17 loss to Clemson where the offense managed just 264 total yards.

The Cardinals had just 52 yards rushing on 38 carries, which was 1.4 yards a carry, and had just 10 first downs against the Tigers.

But the offense has turned the page and is preparing for North Carolina State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Cardinals will have Will Gardner back at quarterback and wide receiver DeVante Parker is "very close," according to Bobby Petrino.

It would be nice to have Parker and Gardner at full strength, but several offensive players said the only thing that matters is improvement not who is on the field.

"The mood is just going out and improving," center Jake Smith said. "We just have to get better. Everybody has been enthusiastic and excited and ready to practice.

"That's one thing about this team is that everyone always wants to get better and that's what we're going to do every day for the rest of the season - get better."

Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said the Cardinals learned a valuable lesson from the Clemson game that "we didn't play near our best and had a chance to win the game."

"So we are concentrating on doing things right consistently," McGee said. "We really want to play well in front of our home crowd. . . . I always try and stay positive about what we do moving forward and what we learned is that on a night that we didn't do too much we had an opportunity to win that game in a tough environment."

The Cardinals not only didn't move the ball but killed themselves at times with penalties, including two false starts and a delay of game in the first half.

McGee said that is "focus and we have to clean it up," while several other players said the Cardinals have to learn from the mistakes and get better.

"We can't do that," Smith said.

The loss was the second of the season for the Cardinals, who are averaging 370.6 yards and 31 points a game this season.

"Every loss is tough," running back Brandon Radcliff said. "But it's just another obstacle that we have to overcome. We now have to come out and work harder than we did the week against Clemson. We know something didn't go right last week."

Radcliff, who had back-to-back 100-yard games before just 23 yards on 11 carries last week against Clemson, said the Cardinals need to forget about the Clemson game and prepare for N.C. State and the rest of the season.

"After a loss, we always feel like there are some plays that we could have scored on," Radcliff said. "It was tough the whole time, just seeing how the game boiled down. But now we have to move on."

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