MORGANTOWN - When Dana Holgorsen singled out field-goal kicking last week, the West Virginia football coach mentioned he wasn't happy with the operation.
It sounded complex and seemed like a problem that would take time to correct.
In truth, there isn't much time involved at all. The operation is the snap, the hold and the kick on field goals and extra points. The first movement on the snap to the moment the ball is sent into the air is supposed to last 1.3 seconds.
"We were a little bit above that," kicker Tyler Bitancurt said.
Holgorsen wanted it down to 1.3 and even a tenth of a second matters a lot.
"Those wing players on defense come around to block it," Bitancurt said. "It could be a matter of just inches, but it makes a big difference if the ball goes in or not."
Bitancurt missed seven of his 17 field-goal attempts in 2010 and four were blocked. It continued through the spring, where the Mountaineers were working with a new holder and even more attempts were blocked.
WVU had three more blocked in the first six days of preseason practice, which caused Holgorsen's to spotlight the operation time.
"At first, you don't want to believe it," Bitancurt said. "You have to believe him, but you kind of think, 'Wow, I'm not that slow.' But we timed it on film and we were slow, but we've worked on it to speed it up and Coach Holgorsen has been pleased with us and told us we've been picking it up."
Bitancurt made all of his attempts in Friday's practice and Holgorsen said it was his junior kicker's best day.
"From a time perspective, it was fantastic," Holgorsen said.
It was largely on Bitancurt, too.