Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Establish a Running Game
For better or worse, offensive coordinator James Coley loves having quarterback Stephen Morris throw deep passes. According to CFBstats.com, the Hurricanes are tied for the second-most 30-plus-yard passing plays this season, trailing only Baylor.
The most effective way to launch the ball downfield is when an effective running game is established. When Morris can sell a play-action fake, the Miami receivers have speed to burn.
However, the trio of Dallas Crawford, Eduardo Clements and Gus Edwards is facing the nation's No. 2 rushing defense, so the 'Canes offensive line must step up.
Get Off the Field on Third Down
The Hurricanes defense was atrocious last year, but Miami appeared to have turned the corner during 2013. The unit forced five turnovers against Florida and racked up 21 sacks through the first six games.
But then, considering Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Virginia each converted at least 50 percent of third downs, the 'Canes struggled mightily during the second half of the season.
Overall, opponents converted on 49 of 92 third-down situations and six of seven on fourth down. What's more, Louisville is the second-best team in the nation, gaining the required yardage on third down 55.9 percent of the time.
It is absolutely essential that Miami forces a punt when the opportunity is there.
Control the Red Zone
When "The U" gets into scoring territory, Morris cannot allow Miami to settle for a field goal.
The 'Canes have only scored touchdowns on 61.5 percent of red-zone possessions, while the Louisville defense allows just 48.6 percent of such drives to break the plane.
Miami's offense leaving points on the field will be detrimental to its quest for victory, especially against a tough defense like the Cardinals.
Similarly and somewhat surprisingly, Louisville has reached the end zone on 58.5 percent of drives that enter the opponent's 20-yard line. At 56.8 percent, the Hurricanes defense has limited opponents to a slightly higher clip compared to the Cards defense.
If Miami can hold Louisville to a few field goals, Golden's team will be in a much better position to win.