West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that defensive back Brodrick Jenkins would be out with a knee injury for some time, which leaves an already thin WVU depth chart even thinner with the Big 12's only undefeated team coming to town.
"We don't have many guys left so it's open for competition this week," DeForest said. "You look at the depth chart and you go to the next guy up. Whoever that may be, whether it's another true freshman, so be it. That's what we have to deal with, unfortunately."
Mountaineer secondary coach Daron Roberts said competition for Jenkins' playing time was open and the team would not know who would be taking his place until the end of the week.
"Guys are competing," Roberts said. "We'll make a decision by the end of the week. Guys aren't excited about being without Brodrick for a while but they're excited about playing time. We'll see who emerges by the end of the week and they'll play on Saturday."
While the secondary is depleted and has been on its heels more often than not, the front seven for WVU has escaped some of the negative attention that comes when a team gives up yards and points the way the Mountaineers have so far this season.
DeForest, however, said the problems West Virginia has had stopping opposing offenses does not rest with one part of the defense and that the whole unit has to improve.
"It's not the secondary per se or the rush per se - it's a team thing," he said. "Someone's got to win one-on-one up front and someone's got to win one-on-one in the back end. If you're in Cover 1 or you're in man coverage and a guy runs down the field, it's your job to cover him. How hard is that? It's very difficult, obviously, but that's your assignment."
Reach Tom Bragg at tom.br...@wvgazette.com.