"A guy who may be just as fast and isn't much of a power guy, I'll try to use that to my advantage. It all comes with film study."
An offense can't double-team Clarke outside. When he's lined up in more traditional spots, a guard can help a tackle and the center can help a guard. When Clarke is wide and isolated against a tackle, either standing up or with his hand on the ground, may the best man win.
"There aren't too many guys like Will Clarke running around," Slaughter said. "We've got to make sure we get everything out of him while he's here."
Clarke was constantly active against Oklahoma and gave the Sooners problems. He has three sacks in the past two games, including two in Saturday's loss against Maryland. Coach Dana Holgorsen said it was the best Clarke had ever played.
He did much of his damage in the package the Mountaineers have to put him in place to start outside and get inside the pocket, but he was effective in more ordinary situations, too.
"I'm trying to back off and turn him loose a little bit and let his technique take over, but he's chosen to make plays and he's chosen to be more physical," Slaughter said. "I think he's more aware of the opportunity to make plays. It helps him to get him on the corner, but we've got the ability to line him up in multiple places and get him matched up against whoever we want to."
That's the difference with the defensive line, and possibly even the entire defense, this season. It's not that Clarke can move around and present problems in different spots. It's that he knows it and is ready to apply it in his fifth and finaal year with the Mountaineers
Clarke has always been tall with a broad reach. He'd added pounds and muscle through the years. Yet he already has a career-high sack total and the three through four games is twice the amount he had last season and half a sack better than what he had in 2011. An ankle injury bothered him throughout his freshman season and only let him play four games.
Slaughter knew he needed more and knew he could get more. He watched Clarke on film, going back to those games and those moments Slaughter knew he could use to prove a point. He packaged plays in a video that showed Clarke not finishing or not joining plays.
Slaughter would have a hard time doing that now.
"I notice I'm playing harder than I was last year," Clarke said. "A lot of times when a coach tells you you're not playing hard, you think you're playing as hard as you can. But watching film this year compared to last year, I'm not playing the hardest I've ever played because I can still play harder, but I can tell how much more effort I'm giving. That's definitely helping me out."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.