- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Well, this certainly was not the start West Virginia needed in its attempt to upset No. 2 LSU.
The Mountaineers have been exceedingly sloppy, with two turnovers already in the first quarter. Credit LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu with a terrific strip of Brad Starks following a reception. Mathieu used a textbook arm strip to get the ball out. LSU failed to capitalize on that one, but not the next one.
Brandon Taylor picked off a Geno Smith pass intended for Tavon Austin. LSU responded with a seven-play, 50-yard drive that ended on a 22-yard touchdown run from Michael Ford to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead. The West Virginia defense has not played well, leaving big holes open in the secondary and failing to generate much of a pass rush. On LSU's first scoring drive, the Tigers converted two third-and-longs.
The LSU defense thrives when it has a lead. If West Virginia has to pass itself to get a victory, that is going to be incredibly difficult, even with this offensive style. LSU will just bring the pressure and Smith is going to have to beat some outstanding cornerbacks.