Morning Conversational: What Tweaks Will Mike Yurcich Make to the OSU Offense?

Mike Yurcich Ohio State Buckeyes Quarterback Coach

Today’s Topic: What Tweaks Will Mike Yurcich Make to the OSU Offense?

When Ryan Day was named Ohio State’s head coach, he had to go out and find his replacement as one of the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinators and the quarterback coach.

He didn’t have to look too hard to find Mike Yurcich at Oklahoma State. Yurcich is one of the most respected offensive coaches in the nation and has been able to produce some very powerful passing offenses in his time in the Big XII.

As soon as Yurcich’s name came up, there were questions about what he would be bringing to the Ohio State offense.

In 2017, the Oklahoma State was second in the nation in scrimmage plays of at least 50 yards with 22. They tied for the most 60-yard plays in the nation with 14, and 70-yarders with seven.

The Cowboys averaged two 40-yard pass plays per game that season.

Last year, the numbers dipped a bit, but they had just two fewer 20-yard pass plays than the Buckeyes in 70 fewer attempts.

Many will chalk up the gaudy numbers to Big XII defenses, but don’t let that conceal the fact that Mike Yurcich knows how to put a defense in conflict.

So what kind of tweaks will he bring to the Ohio State offense this year?

Let’s let him answer that question.

“Even if we were tweaking and even if there were some nuances, I wouldn’t really lead on to that because it’s an irrelevant topic that really doesn’t help us win football games,” he said this spring. “The basics of this offense, springtime is a great time to get back to the fundamentals of the offense. Your base concepts. And those are the concepts that we’re focusing on.”



But don’t worry, even if Yurcich doesn’t want to talk about what he’ll be bringing to the Buckeyes this year, other coaches have no similar qualms.

Fellow offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has no problem talking about a tweak that Yurcich is responsible for.

(Never mind the fact that this tweak arrived a couple of years before Yurcich did.)

“Yeah, we’ve done it the last two years with Marcus Baugh and last year with Rashod (Berry) and Luke (Farrell),” Wilson explained. “Basically you’re taking the tight end position, and it’s still a spread set, but you’re moving him to more of a fullback type of player. When you play tight end right now, you might be a tight end, you might be off the ball, a wing, and almost become an H-back, and then you go back into the backfield and you’re a fullback. Then you flex out and you play receiver. You play an inside or an outside receiver.

“So they go from basically playing left tackle to wide receiver, so it’s a complicated position. We actually stole a play from them, and that was one of Mike’s lead plays.”

5 Responses

  1. Coach Yurcich will allow the TE’s to be receivers more than a couple times a game, and actually utilize their size and skills!

    Okay, okay……..that was a joke!

    1. Seriously though. He’s a guy who spends more time studying defense than he does teaching offense. While defenses in the Big 12 lacked a certain level of proficiency, there are a missing finger handful of programs that do play defense. He learned how to attack the better defenses. The Big 10 defenses are different, but, Mike will take his time analyzing each one. It’ll take time to get a handle on just what each program likes to do and what their tendencies are in the way of adjustments, but, by year 2 he’ll have them pretty well sorted out and have his offensive play calling ready to exploit most scenario’s.

      The good news is that Mike won’t be required to call plays on Saturday’s for games this fall. That will be all Coach Day. I’d expect to see that change in 2020 with Mike being even more involved in game planning and game day play selections.

      So what does he bring that’s a huge positive? The ability to breakdown defensive schemes and their adjustments on a per program basis. His biggest task will be getting the offensive leaders on the same page seeing what he’s seeing so that they can make the proper adjustments in real time on Saturdays.

      1. I expect some more downfield stuff as well this year. I’m looking forward to seeing his imprint on the offense.

        1. That’s a very real possibility. I think the frequency of those shots will depend on 2 factors. Offensive line consistency and a big up tick in the Buckeye running game. We already know that the underneath routes are going to be exploited no matter who the opponent is. The H position is probably the envy of just about every program in the country. That leaves the key to the deep threat riding on consistency in the mid range game by way of the TE’s.

          This years offense “may” not put up the same passing stats as last year, but I anticipate a more explosive and dominating offense none the less.

          I have a feeling this is also going to be one of the best OLines the Buckeyes have had in a really long time.

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