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‘I’m not one to Evaluate Myself’: PSU OC Mike Yurcich on his Time, Role at Penn State

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Mike Yurcich

Mike Yurcich’s time at Penn State hasn’t gone as well as fans would have liked. 

To be blunt, many see it as a disappointment and would use much harsher words than “disappointment” when talking about the offensive coordinator. 

Yurcich came to Penn State with impressive credentials. From the DII level (Edinboro, Shippensburg) to the power five (Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Texas), Yurcich’s offenses produced in his 15 seasons as an offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Penn State coach James Franklin hired him before the 2021 campaign. 

 Yurcich’s first season at Penn State didn’t go well. The offense finished 10th in the Big Ten in points scored, and the team lost six of its last eight games to finish a disheartening 7-6. 

This season, Penn State is 5-1, but the overall feeling around the program is negative after the team’s embarrassing 41-17 loss at Michigan this past Saturday.

Yurcich’s offense scored 10 points, seven of which were set up by a 62-yard run by Sean Clifford to the Michigan four.

Let’s face it; Sean Clifford just doesn’t run for 60+ yards on one play often. He never did it in his college career before Saturday and probably won’t do it again. 

Yurcich’s offense combined to score just a field goal on drives that didn’t involve that spectacle. 

Penn State hopes for a much better result in Saturday’s game against Minnesota. It’s a big game for multiple reasons: The White Out, Homecoming, the chance to bounce back. 

Less significant, but still notable, is that it will be Yurcich’s 20th game as Penn State’s offensive coordinator. 

How would Yurcich evaluate his performance thus far?

“You know, I’m not one to evaluate myself,” Yurcich told reporters via Zoom Thursday. “That’s coach Franklin’s job to do that. I’m just trying to work my tail off and give great effort and put these players in the best position possible to be successful.”

“I think, overall, as an offensive coordinator, what you have to do is adapt. I think we’ve done that, and we have to continue to do that and adapt to our personnel strengths based on game plans, matchups, and all sorts of things. Continue to evolve and find ways to move the football.”

Through six games, Penn State is eighth in the Big Ten in scoring and sixth in points per game at 31.5.

Yurcich feels that he’s adjusted since getting the Penn State job.

“I think, overall, as an offensive coordinator, what you have to do is adapt,” he said. “I think we’ve done that, and we have to continue to do that and adapt to our personnel strengths based on gameplans and matchups and all of those sorts of things. Continue to evolve and find ways to move the football.”

Overall, Yurcich feels his job is to work with Franklin and the rest of his staff to put his players in the best position to win. 

“That’s my role,” Yurcich said. “I’m here to help them in any way that I can. It’s not about me; it’s about these guys that give great effort on a day-to-day basis. The way they practice, it’s tremendous. It’s fun to be around these guys, and I just want to do my part, be organized, communicate well, motivate and let it fly on Saturdays.”

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