MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia will be without three contributors in next month's Orange Bowl against No. 14 Clemson.
Coach Dana Holgorsen said Wednesday starting safety Terence Garvin had season-ending knee surgery to repair an injury he suffered against South Florida.
Backup nose guard Josh Taylor will also miss the game with a knee injury that's bothered him for several games.
Freshman running back Vernard Roberts is academically ineligible.
Holgorsen said Garvin damaged cartilage against the Bulls on Dec. 1 and will soon begin a six-month rehabilitation process, keeping him out of spring practice. The junior strong safety from Baltimore is third on the team with 72 tackles. He added 31/2 sacks and two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown.
Garvin missed the team's win against Cincinnati and was replaced by senior Eain Smith, who normally starts at free safety. Sophomore Travis Bell started in Smith's spot.
Holgorsen said the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers could look to fill Garvin's spot with Shinnston native and redshirt freshman Wes Tonkery, as well as freshman bandit safety Shaw Petteway and free safety Matt Moro.
"It's up for grabs," he said. "We've got some inexperienced guys who haven't played much, but we've gone into a game without Terence before."
Taylor, a senior from Miramar, Fla., about three miles from Sun Life Stadium, where the bowl will be played Jan. 4, also missed last year's bowl game because of grades. Taylor didn't play in three of the last four games with cartilage damage. He made nine tackles and had half a sack this season while backing up starter Jorge Wright.
Roberts started the second and fourth games this season, but was passed by freshman Dustin Garrison and junior Shawne Alston as the season went along. He had 140 yards and three touchdowns rushing and added 12 yards on four receptions.