Corey Smith took all 64 kickoffs last season and averaged 62.2 yards with eight touchbacks. He kept the job this season while adding punting. Smith has struggled with punts the past two games with kicks of 14, 14, 27 and 32 yards. The kickoff defense has allowed a 99-yard touchdown and a 72-yard return the past two games.
Bitancurt's two kickoffs averaged 59 yards - a yard better than Smith's. The first went to Bowling Green's 1-yard line and was returned to the 30. The second went to Bowling Green's 21 and was returned five yards.
Bitancurt, who has never punted at WVU, was punting into a net on the sideline during the game, but Holgorsen said Bitancurt won't add that to his list of responsibilities. He's made 9 of his 10 field goal attempts and all 25 PAT tries.
"The kickoff swing and the PAT/field goal swing are pretty similar," Holgorsen said. "The punt swing is completely different."
Smith is averaging just 38.5 yards on 13 punts despite five punts of 50 or more yards Holgorsen said the Mountaineers "worked on not shaking the ball" in Sunday's practice and that walk-on and Parkersburg South High School graduate Michael Molinari will get a chance in practice this week.
"That's an open competition now," Holgorsen said.
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HOLGORSON SAID the Mountaineers used about 20 new players on the kickoff coverage team throughout Saturday's victory. WVU kicked off 10 times and 10 were returned for an average of 25.8 yards.
The Mountaineers rank No. 104 in kickoff coverage and opponents have averaged 24.37 yards on 35 returns.
"We were firing people left and right and trying new people left and right and firing and rehiring and replacing and moving people around," Holgorsen said. "That's been something that we've been doing, but we did it throughout the course of the game due to the face we had a lot of opportunities.
"There's nothing like live work for that unit, which we do get in practice, but we've got to do it in a game. Due to the fact we had a lot of reps at it, we had a chance to get 23, 24, 25 guys in the game on that particular unit."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.