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From the Upper Deck: Hoos take on "Rival" Louisville

With three games remaining and three wins needed to make a bowl game, now would be a great time for Virginia to pick up their first road win since 2012. Here is what we'll be looking for From the Upper Deck.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Despite falling at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes last Saturday, the Hoos played well. Unfortunately they were outperformed by a more talented team also riding a wave of emotion in an attempt to finish the season strong.  They will face a similar foe this week in the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville comes into the game with a 5-4 record overall and one win shy of earning bowl eligibility. The Cardinals will be up for this game at home, and have looked better in recent weeks.  Here are a couple things Virginia needs to do to get that elusive road win.

Avoid the Avoidable - When your first offensive play of the game results in a false start penalty, you might have mental mistake issues. During Mike London's tenure as head coach of Virginia, it is the mental errors that have given fans the most fits. When the margin for error is razor thin, and you need everything to go right, mental errors are a killer. Whether it be a penalty, boneheaded special teams play, or coaching gaffe, Virginia will have to find a way to play mistake free football if they want to come out victorious.

Win the Turnover Battle - Louisville is the only team in the country who has turned the ball over more than Virginia. On the season they have lost ten fumbles and thrown eleven interceptions for a total of twenty one turnovers. Unfortunately for Virginia, they have also generated twenty one takeaways for a net zero turnover margin.  Compare that to the Hoos who have given it away nineteen times, while only taking it away nine.  For the Cavaliers to be successful that ratio will have to be flipped.  Louisville has too good an offense for the Hoos to give them free possessions.

Convert in the Red Zone - Talk about stats being misleading, Virginia leads the ACC in Red Zone Offense scoring on 23 of 25 opportunities, or 92% of the time. Anyone who has watched this team play is probably shocked to hear Virginia, red zone, and best in the same same sentence. However, only two other teams have been to the red zone fewer times than Virginia (Wake Forest and Boston College) and what is most alarming is that most of Virginia's success can be attributed to Kicker Ian Frye who has connected on eleven of twelve field goal attempts. The Hoos have scored touchdowns on fewer than 50% of their red zone chances, which is good for 12th in the conference. That's points left on the table, and once again with no margin for error, those are points that are the difference between wins and losses.

Tune in Saturday at 12:30 to cheer on our Hoos, and check back Sunday to see how these keys to the game played out.