MORGANTOWN - West Virginia place-kicker Tyler Bitancurt certainly has been a contributor to his team's success this year. "I feel pretty good about the season I've had," said the 6 foot, 203-pound junior from West Springfield, Va. We're Big East champions and we're going to play in the BCS Orange Bowl.
"I believe I have contributed to that and our 9-3 record."
Indeed, Bitancurt has done that. He made 16 of 22 field goal attempts and 51 of 53 extra point tries for a total of 99 points this season. Two of his field goals won games to keep WVU'S hopes alive..
"What I've done this year (statistically) is much closer to what I did my freshman year (when he made the All-Big East first team)," he said. Bitancurt obviously was not satisfied with his overall performance as a sophomore in 2010.
While satisfied with his production in 2011, Bitancurt believes he could have done better.
His 28-yard field goal on the game's final play beat South Florida 30-27 in this year's regular season finale. He had beaten Pitt the same way as a freshman in 2009.
He has said he feels pressure when kicking a field goal in any situation.
But it was more than usual when the game's outcome was on the line as it was against USF and Pitt.
Bitancurt shares credit with long snapper Cody Nutter and holder Michael Molinari. The kicker praises both as vital parts of his kicking.
"The snap and the hold need to be perfect along with the kick if it's to be successful," Bitancurt explained.
Belated congratulations go out to West Virginia's Bob Huggins and Mike Carey. The outstanding basketball head coaches celebrated significant milestones just one week apart, as all Mountaineer fans should know and appreciate by now.
Huggins notched his 700th career victory last week with the men's team in overtime against Missouri State, and this past Wednesday, Carey posted No. 500 of his career with the woman's team against Bucknell.