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Mike London: Cavaliers' deficient red zone efficiency 'frustrating'

After scoring on 2 of 6 drives into the red zone Saturday during a 34-point loss to North Carolina, Virginia's success rate inside its opponent's 20 yard line now stands at 68 percent on the season, which ranks last in the Atlantic Coast Conference and No. 113 in the nation.

Those numbers, as you might imagine, do not sit particularly well with Coach Mike London, who said Monday that, best-case scenario, the Cavaliers robbed themselves of 28 points (four touchdowns) Saturday against the Tar Heels. Worst-case scenario, he said, Virginia left 12 points (four field goals) on the board.

Either way, those points make alter the course of the game to some degree. And we're going to assume that he meant "worst-case scenario" in an ideal sense. Obviously, the worst-case scenario is pretty much what actually transpired.

"It's critical," London said. "It's huge when you get in the red zone to come away with points. And it's frustrating when you're 2 for 6. It's frustrating when you get down there and you can't even get a field goal and you're driving and you have opportunities to score touchdowns, because that's what it's all about."

Virginia quarterbacks threw three red-zone interceptions Saturday. Fifth-year senior Marc Verica, redshirt freshman Ross Metheny and true freshman Michael Rocco each were picked off on drives deep into Tar Heels territory.

The Cavaliers' fourth red zone stall came late in the third quarter when fifth-year senior tailback Keith Payne was stopped for a loss of two yards on fourth and goal. It was at that point -- with the home team down by 27 -- that many of the Virginia fans in attendance began marching toward the Scott Stadium exits.

"When you get inside the 20 or the 25 (yard line) you're thinking we've got points," London said. "The minimum of three points at least. When you can't capitalize and you can't make a throw or a guy misses a block and he's tackled for a loss or whatever it is, it's a blow to you."

By Steve Yanda  | October 19, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Mike London's balancing act: present vs. future

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