MORGANTOWN - A rather familiar but almost forgotten subject came up several times Tuesday as Dana Holgorsen was answering questions at his weekly press conference.
For instance, the West Virginia coach was talking about the Texas secondary his team will face Saturday night when the No. 8 Mountaineers and No. 11 Longhorns match 4-0 records in Austin.
"The corners are good. They're fast and they can get in your face,'' Holgorsen said. "And [free safety Kenny] Vaccaro is really a third corner. What they do with him is what LSU did with that kid last year. They put him down in the slot where he can be disruptive.''
A few seconds later, Holgorsen raised the coverage issue again.
"It's going to be challenging to our receivers because they're going to have people in their grill for the first time all year,'' he said. "It's much what LSU did last year.''
Sensing a pattern here? Indeed, there are more than a few parallels between West Virginia's fifth game this season and the fourth a year ago.
No, the Longhorns are not quite as highly regarded as was LSU last season. The Tigers were, after all, ranked No. 2 in the country, soon to be No. 1 and playing in the national title game.
And that game was in Morgantown, not at a 100,000-seat hostile stadium.
But other similarities are striking, including the fact that the attention given both on a national level is rather astounding.
In Texas, once again West Virginia will be facing perhaps the most talented, physical and athletic defense it will see all season, five-star recruits being the rule rather than the exception.
The Longhorns make their hay offensively by running the football, just as LSU did. Texas, though, has a far better passing game.
And for the most part West Virginia handled all of that exceedingly well, making that LSU defense look almost pedestrian by gaining 533 yards. Consider that the Tigers began the season by giving up 335 yards to Oregon and ended it by surrendering 384 to Alabama. In between, no one else managed even 300 yards.
On the flip side, LSU's offense was held to fewer than the 366 yards it gained against WVU in only four of 12 regular season games. The Tigers did run for 186 yards, but only three teams held them to significantly less than that in 14 games.
So, all things considered, if West Virginia can just duplicate that performance against Texas, the Mountaineers should be fine come Saturday night. Well, fine except for the one variable that rendered meaningless all of those glowing statistics compiled against LSU.