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Thursday, September 23, 2010
Can LSU go deep on West Virginia?


No. 22 West Virginia travels to No. 15 LSU on Saturday night (9 ET, ESPN), and they bring with them a defense that’s tied for 10th in the country in total defense and 9th in the country in scoring defense. Expect the outcome to hinge on the matchup between the Tigers’ offense and the Mountaineers’ D. Despite averaging nearly 29 points per game this season, LSU currently ranks 91st in the nation in total offense.

The Tigers are especially struggling with the long ball, something that has been a big part of their arsenal over the last few years. With the loss of WR Brandon LaFell, among other graduated players, QB Jordan Jefferson has had a harder time completing passes to his wide receivers down the field this season.

Jefferson completed 18-of-31 passes when targeting LaFell 10 or more yards down the field in 2009. When going deep on Saturday, look for LSU to utilize the play-action fake. So far this season, when throwing 10 or more yards downfield, Jefferson’s pass efficiency is 216.5 on play-action, and only 56.8 without it. He averages nearly THREE times as many yards per attempt when going play-action, and has thrown his only deep touchdown pass off of a play fake.