MORGANTOWN - Want to know where the game will be won or lost when No. 8 West Virginia (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) travels to Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday to take on No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)?
Look no further than the edges of the Longhorns' defense.
"Whoever wins that battle will be extremely significant in the outcome of this game," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "That is four of their best players. They also have two good safeties back there.
"I think they have seven returning starters. Those six players along the outsides are pretty important to them."
The four that most concerns the Mountaineers' second-year coach include defensive ends Jacks Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor and cornerbacks Quandre Diggs and Carrington Byndom.
"The corners are good," continued Holgorsen. "They are fast. They can get in your face. What they do with (free safety) Kenny Vaccaro is similar to what LSU did last year.
"They will put him down in the slot to try and be disruptive. He does a good job of covering. Our receivers are going to have players in their grill for the first time all year - much like LSU did last year."
LSU handed the old gold and blue its first loss of the season by a 47-21 score, but quarterback Geno Smith and his stable of receivers were able to put up over 500 yards of offense against the Tigers.
"Four turnovers - that is what we learned in that one (LSU game). We are capable of running routes and pass protecting. You have to block up front, and win one-on-one matchups on the outside.
"We didn't stop LSU's running game and turned the ball over four times. Hopefully, it is not the same outcome. We are not playing LSU, though. I understand the similarities, but we have to do better against the run and not turn the ball over."
And, it will all start up front with WVU's tackles Quinton Spain and Pat Eger controlling the Longhorns' pass rush. Especially Okafor, who was selected as the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
If they are unable to win the one-on-one battles that they are going to have, then offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will have to dial up protection schemes that will involve keeping more people in the backfield to protect Smith.
More people in the backfield means less receivers running routes which will then make the Longhorns' defensive backs even more effective.
Another difference maker could be the return of senior running back Shawne Alston and a Mountaineer running attack that has showed signs of steady improvement in WVU's first four games.
"I thought we did well running the ball," said the coach. "I don't remember the exact yardage, but I don't necessarily look at the yardage
"We want to have the threat of it being there. When Buie creases for 12 yards, the defense has to do something about it. I think everyone is happy with the 51 passes we threw, but without that threat, people do different things defensively. I have always run the offense with the idea of developing that threat."
But, no one in Austin will be surprised if Smith puts the ball in the air 50 or more times again this weekend.