According to Brian Kelly, precision is the most important trait of teams that are successful in the red zone.
Without the ability to stretch the field vertically, windows become smaller, and quarterbacks need to be more precise with the football when trying to fit the ball into narrow windows.
“You have to have ‘precision.’ That’s not a word that’s thrown around very easily in our room right now. Precision is not what we have yet.” Kelly explained.
“I’ve had quarterbacks that were precise and could read things quickly and then it was easy down there. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.”
In their 46 red zone trips, the Irish have come away with points 35 times (76%) with 21 of those trips resulting in touchdowns. That ranks 96th nationally. The other three undefeated teams (Alabama, Kansas State and Oregon) all rank in the top 22 nationally in red zone conversions, and Louisville, the nation’s best red zone team, has come away with points in 38 of their 39 red zone trips (97%).
With their three remaining games against Boston College (away), Wake Forest (home) and USC (away), there’s no doubt that their precision will need to improve in order to finish the season undefeated.