MORGANTOWN - South Florida coach Skip Holtz has dealt with injuries all season long. It's part of the reason - along with far too many late-game collapses - that the Bulls are still trying to become bowl eligible on the last weekend of the season after a 4-0 start.
The most significant single injury the Bulls are dealing with right now is the sprained shoulder suffered by junior quarterback B.J. Daniels. His availability for the regular-season finale will likely be a game-time decision.
Still, Daniels' injury might not be the one that has the greatest impact Thursday night when No. 22 West Virginia (8-3, 4-2 Big East) puts its league title hopes up against the bowl eligibility aspirations of South Florida (5-6, 1-5) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
No, the real concern for Holtz is what's going on in his secondary, where no less than seven players have missed all or parts of games this season. The group remains in flux.
"It's certainly not the week you want to be limping into with your secondary,'' Holtz said. "Not when you're playing against a team that's throwing for 350 yards a game.''
Indeed, if South Florida has an area that needs to be fortified heading into a game against the Mountaineers it would be the secondary. West Virginia is far and away the top passing team in the Big East, averaging 100 yards per game more than the runner-up, which just happens to be USF.
While fighting through those secondary issues this season, the Bulls rank just 83rd in the country in pass defense, despite a defensive front that does everything it can to help out. South Florida is second in the nation in sacks.
"One of the problems we've had is just the consistency,'' Holtz said. "It's been a revolving door and that's not the kind of challenge you want walking into the most explosive offensive team in this league. It presents some challenges for us.''
The biggest issues are at the most critical positions - the cornerbacks. At the top of USF's depth chart there, the Bulls are actually pretty good. Junior Kayvon Webster and senior Quenton Washington have combined to play in 81 games with 53 starts.
But Webster missed last week's game against Louisville after suffering a concussion against Miami. Washington, meanwhile, played against Louisville after being knocked out of the Miami game, but didn't finish the game because of a shoulder injury.