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Get ready for some ‘turbo’ tempo with Yurcich offense

Photo by Oklahoma State: Mason Rudolph ran Mike Yurcich's high-powered offense at Oklahoma State.

Mike Yurcich likes his offense to go fast. And sometimes really, really fast. Penn State’s new offensive coordinator has varying speeds in his tempo packages, including one called turbo.

“Turbo is off the charts fast,” said Robert Allen, Oklahoma State’s sideline reporter for radio, who got to see Yurcich’s offense up close and personal from field level for six years.

“I remember the first time he unleashed turbo,” Allen recalled. “It was a non-conference game, and our play by play voice, Dave Hunziker, by the time the that series was over — like probably a six or seven play series for a touchdown — he was out of breath. Because the plays were coming literally six seconds after the end of one play, they were snapping the next play. It was unbelievable.”

LISTEN: Oklahoma State sideline reporter Robert Allen talks about Mike Yurcich on “Sports Central with Cory Giger” on WRTA in Altoona.

Tempo has not really been part of Penn State’s offense the past several years. Joe Moorhead brought a no-huddle attack in 2016, but the Nittany Lions never went fast. They just stood around and waited for 10-15 seconds while Moorhead found the right play, and it continued that way under Ricky Rahne for two years.

This past season, Kirk Ciarrocca’s offense used tempo occasionally, but still not very often.

All of that will change with Yurcich taking over the offense.

“He is a varying speed offensive coordinator,” Allen said. “He’ll go at the speed that he thinks is the best speed for his offense to compete and win against the defense.”

Turbo doesn’t come out a bunch, but Allen said Yurcich likes to go to it “when he feels like he as a defense on its heels.”

Allen, a longtime sports media figure in Oklahoma, said he is “a huge Mike Yurcich fan.”

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“I was talking with him Monday night at halftime of the national championship game,” Allen said. “I hadn’t had a chance to talk to him since I found out he got the job at Penn State, and my wife and I know he and his wife pretty well.

“I think he’s one of the smartest football coaches I’ve ever been around. Mike Gundy plucked him out of Shippensburg, and I think when he was hired in Oklahoma State, there were a lot of Oklahoma State fans shaking their head going, ‘What the heck is Gundy doing now?'”

Yurcich won over the Oklahoma State fans with potent offenses that ranked among the nation’s best during his tenure there from 2013-18.

“Yurcich is one of those guys that when he’s out to dinner with his wife, he’ll grab a napkin and if he thinks of a play right there at the dinner table, he’ll start scribbling the X’s and O’s down,” said Allen, who has witnessed that first hand.

“If I’m a Penn State fan, I’m pretty damn happy because I think you got a tremendous, inventive offensive coordinator,” Allen said.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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