Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Breaking News

Sports column

November 5, 2012

There’s something wrong in Holgorsen’s kitchen

(Continued)

— But whether it was his kicks or the protection in front of him, something went wrong on all three, including a very manageable 36-yarder in overtime that could have won the game if it hadn’t been blocked by an untouched edge rusher.

Then there’s the punting game. Bitancurt, who has recently taken over those duties, as well, becoming the third punter WVU has tried this season, averaged 39.5 yards per boot. That’s certainly not great, but it’s not terrible, either.

But there was one punt, or at least punt attempt, that drastically changed the game.

Ahead 24-14 with fewer than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, Bitancurt came on to punt it away.

The snap was a little low, but it was one he should have been able to control. Instead, he couldn’t find the handle and was unable to even eat the ball and take a sack. The ball bounced on the turf until Dominic Merka scooped it up and ran 15 yards into the end zone, turning a 10-point Mountaineer advantage into a 3-point WVU lead at the blink of an eye.

Joe DeForest, WVU’s first-year defensive coordinator, was brought in, in part, because of his reputation as a special teams guru. But four field goal misses and a botched punt attempt, things that shouldn’t be happening eight games into the season, cost the Mountaineers a win.

Defense

Holgorsen also didn’t have much bad to say about DeForest’s group.

“I can’t say enough about what our defensive staff has accomplished over the last two weeks,” he said in the moments following the game. “We stayed the course, and we got a lot of things corrected.”

He was right. The Mountaineer defense, which came into Saturday’s game ranked 114th out of 121 Football Bowl Subdivision football teams in total defense, was much better.

Text Only
Sports column
Local Sports
Columns
Facebook
NDN Video
Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Control Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Jack White's Cub Face Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eli, Giants learning new offense How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Boy With Life-Threatening Tumor Gets Wish To Visit PNC Park, Meet Cutch Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX James Rodriguez Joins Real Madrid Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Morosi: Lee could be a tough sell Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits English Captain Steven Gerrard Retires From International Soccer - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th 105-year-old woman throws first pitch