MORGANTOWN - As if what he watched on the tape of Louisiana State University's first three games wasn't enough to keep him awake at night, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen now must find a way to deal with the return of Russell Shepard.
Shepard, a quarterback-turned-wide receiver, had his NCAA-imposed suspension lifted in time for him to prepare for this week's game in Morgantown. Kick-off the game will be at 8 p.m. Saturday as No. 2 LSU takes on No. 16 WVU in a game to be nationally televised by ABC.
"He's got ability," Holgorsen said. "They've got a lot of guys with ability. The good news is that there is only one ball, so that ball can only go to one of them. Our job is to figure out which one it's going to and stop it."
Shepard caught 33 passes for the Tigers last fall for 249 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball another 32 times for 226 yards and two scores. He was suspended in August for tipping off a teammate about an upcoming interview with an NCAA investigator regarding a recruiting service.
In his absence, two other LSU receivers have emerged. Odell Beckham Jr. has pulled down 15 passes in the first three games, and Rueben Randle has caught 12 others.
"We will be using Shep in a number of ways, on special teams and certainly in the receiving corps," LSU coach Les Miles said.
Battling No. 2
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
Where: Mountaineer Field
Series: LSU leads, 1-0
Last Year:?LSU 20, WVU?14
"It gives you another weapon to go to. It allows us to put multiple receiver sets on the field. Any time you get a guy with big-play potential, they have to concern themselves with where he lines up."
Part of the success of the Tigers can be attributed to senior quarterback Jarrett Lee, who was thrust back into a starting role this season with the suspension of last year's starter Jordan Jefferson. Lee has thrown for 444 yards and three touchdowns to this point in the season.
"He's putting the ball where they want him to put the ball," Holgorsen said of about the quarterback who threw seven interceptions that were returned for touchdowns as a freshman. "He's got the luxury of having a lot of good people around him."