MORGANTOWN - Dave Johnson has studied plenty of film of Saturday's opponent and West Virginia's offensive line coach has a pretty concise explanation for what LSU will present on defense.
"You name it," Johnson said, "they do it."
The 22nd-ranked Mountaineers have yet to see a more diverse and complex opponent on defense. Not this season. Maybe not the previous two seasons since much of the current staff has been together.
"I think this week of preparation is probably our biggest," said left tackle Don Barclay. "We really have to focus because they're going to bring a lot of stuff."
The 15th-ranked Tigers will play three- and four-man defensive lines in Saturday's 9 p.m. game at Tiger Stadium. They'll walk safeties or linebackers or both toward the line of scrimmage and have five or even seven players at the point of attack when the ball is snapped.
They play the "46" defense with four defensive linemen, three linebackers and a safety in the box. They even have a look with three linemen, two linebackers and six defensive backs for passing downs, which isn't much different from one of WVU's ploys.
"It's a lot to prepare for," Johnson said. "They're very complex. They're so great in the secondary they can man up with their corners. That gives you a lot of flexibility and a lot of different combinations because they can come at you with seven or eight guys while they man you up with their cornerbacks. That's what makes it challenging."
Enabled by All-America cornerback Patrick Peterson and veteran Mo Claiborne, the Tigers (3-0) are No. 16 nationally in rush defense and allow 80.3 yards per game.
In the now six seasons with Les Miles as head coach, LSU is 32-0 when it rushes for 100 yards as a team and allows 100 or less. Miles is 54-14 at LSU.