Whether or not that was the motivation, WVU had an energy and a focus for that game that they highlighted this week as a turning point in the season. The trip to USF was the team's first since then and Holgorsen again took only 64 players.
* * *
WVU IMPROVED to 2-3 at USF and is 6-20 all-time in Florida. The victory ended a four-game losing streak in the state, which gave the team 15 scholarship players this season.
* * *
THE BULLS have been besieged by injuries throughout the season, especially in the secondary. They were in such bad shape in last week's loss to Louisville that seven defensive backs either didn't play or didn't finish the game because of injuries.
The Mountaineers have been pretty healthy. They did lose starting left guard Josh Jenkins to a knee injury in the spring, but everything else has been relatively negligible.
Starling linebacker Doug Rigg missed two games after surgery to repair a fractured left hand. Safety Terence Garvin missed one game with a head injury. Running back Andrew Buie, who started two of the first three games, missed the fourth and fifth with an upper extremity injury.
No other starter missed a start because of injury. Defensive tackle Julian Miller's ankle kept him from starting the first four games, but he played in every one.
Running back Shawne Alston missed the first two games as he continued to come back from a neck injury he sustained in a car accident in the winter. Fullbacks Matt Lindamood and Ryan Clarke missed three games and one game, respectively, with stingers. Receiver Brad Starks has missed the past three games with a knee injury.
Nose guard Josh Taylor missed two games with a knee injury, started on Senior Night against Pitt and was out again against the Bulls. Safety Travis Bell was hurt in the Cincinnati game, when he played in Garvin's place, and has missed the past two games.
Holgorsen said his team's only problem at present is durability, which also prompted the change on the offensive line. Curtis Feigt started at right tackle and Quinton Spain started at right guard against USF after replacing Tyler Rader and Pat Eger against Pitt.
Rader and Eger both played in the first half against USF and started the second half.
"Tyler Rader came into the year at 285 (pounds) and is now a lot less than that. Eger is the same way. They've both lost weight," Holgorsen said. "They've taken a lot of reps and taken a lot of practice reps. We can't back off as much as we want to because we're in year one and we don't have a lot of guys with a whole lot of experience.
"We can do this a little more defensively than offensively - we can back off due to having a lot of guys on defense who have played football and have a lot of experience in the system that we're asking them to do. We have to get out there and practice. There's a fine line between taking too many reps and getting them ready to go and not taking enough reps and not having them ready to go. It's just the way it is."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.comn/wvu.