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South Florida’s defense is plotting along, too, despite having four players selected in April’s NFL draft.

The Bulls have the conference’s top passing defense and recorded seven sacks against Florida Atlantic two weeks ago. Last week Syracuse didn’t find the end zone until midway through the fourth quarter.

South Florida has been solid in stopping running back Noel Devine, who is still looking for his first 100-yard effort against the Bulls. Last year he was limited to 42 yards on 17 carries. Devine needs 68 yards to surpass Steve Slaton in fourth place on West Virginia’s career rushing list.

Holtz went 1-4 against West Virginia when he was the coach at East Carolina and knows all about the speed of Devine and Mountaineer receivers Jock Sanders and Tavon Austin. To add to Holtz’s potential worries, wide receiver Brad Starks has overcome several injuries since the preseason and caught four passes for 100 yards and three scores against UNLV.

“I think they’ve got three or four guys on the field offensively that can turn and go the distance whenever they want,” Holtz said.

Historically, though, West Virginia isn’t accustomed to piling up points on South Florida, which makes Stewart want to treasure every possession.

“We have not done well with them in the past,” Stewart said. “If it is going to be a defensive struggle, then so be it.”