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Arkansas vs. LSU: Did WVU's 463 Passing Yards vs. Tigers Give Razorbacks Hope?

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 24: Stedman Bailey #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers catches a pass in front of Tharold Simon #24 of the Louisiana State University Tigers in the first half during the game on September 24, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 25, 2011

It's not like offensive mastermind Bobby Petrino needs any help.

But if the Arkansas coach was looking for some pointers on how to move the ball against LSU, all he needed to do was place a call to West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen.

While Holgorsen could point out the numerous mistakes that cost the Mountaineers a legitimate shot at knocking off the Tigers, he could also point out what WVU quarterback Geno Smith did to carve up LSU's defense for 463 passing yards.

It started on the WVU offensive line, which gave Smith enough time to find one of his many athletic and speedy receivers. Tavon Austin had a huge night with 11 receptions for 187 yards.

One advantage that third-ranked Arkansas (10-1) may not get today is how the top-ranked LSU defense gets after Tyler Wilson. Instead of stunting and blitzing the Mountaineers, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis chose to drop seven and eight in coverage.

While this allowed West Virginia to pile up the yards, his strategy worked as he figured his athletic backfield would eventually make a play to end most of the Mountaineers' threats.

Wilson has an equally talented group of receivers who could create some match-up issues for LSU.

It starts with Jarius Wright, who is Wilson's main go-to guy. He has 61 receptions for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns entering today's game.

Of course, Wilson also has Joe Adams (46 catches for 595 yards), Cobi Hamilton (29 catches for 441 yards) and tight end Chris Gragg (38 catches for 457 yards). Imagine if Greg Childs had been at 100 percent this year?

This type of talent at receiver may cause Chavis to re-think his defensive approach today. Maybe he will try the same approach that he took in Morgantown in September. LSU still won that game 47-21 despite the gaudy offensive statistics put up by the Mountaineers.

LSU also picked off Smith twice and forced two WVU fumbles—setting up short scoring opportunities for Jarrett Lee and the LSU offense.

Then again, Arkansas' defense is much stronger than WVU's so the Tigers won't score as easily.

Therefore, if the Razorbacks can follow the WVU offensive plan and avoid the turnovers, Arkansas may have the formula for a huge upset in Death Valley.

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