Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sports column

November 5, 2012

There’s something wrong in Holgorsen’s kitchen

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as sports, it’s food.

When you can’t find me in a gymnasium or on a field, you can usually check a restaurant or my kitchen. When my television is not tuned into ESPN — or PBS and Disney Junior, the life of a parent of an 11-month old — it’s on the Food Network.

So on Sunday afternoon, while watching an episode of “Chopped” and trying to digest what I had witnessed the afternoon before at Mountaineer Field — West Virginia’s 39-38 double-overtime loss to TCU — the two began to merge.

I began to compare the 2012 Mountaineer football campaign to a dining experience at a fine restaurant and realized there were problems with every aspect of the experience.

Special teams

Following Saturday’s game, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen spoke pretty glowingly about his team’s work on special teams.

“Special teams, I thought, played well, other than the snapping and kicking,” said the second-year head coach. “You guys thought we’ve been bad on special teams, but I noticed a lot of stuff from a coverage standpoint and a protection standpoint that I thought we really improved.”

Waiter: “How was your meal, sir?”

Diner: “It was perfect, except for the appetizer and dessert.”

Kicking and snapping are a pretty big part of special teams, and they certainly can’t be ignored.

Yes, Tavon Austin had a 76-yard punt return for a crucial score, sure WVU averaged a net of 43.2 yards per kickoff and the 24.5 kick return average was fairly strong, as well.

But the kicking and punting left a bad taste in the mouths of the Mountaineer fans.

Kicker Tyler Bitancurt missed three field goals and had another one blocked. If one of them goes through, the Mountaineers win and everybody goes home happy.

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