Penn State fires offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich after another punchless big-game performance

Michigan defensive end Derrick Moore (8) pressures Penn State quarterback Drew Allar (15) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Penn State fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich on Sunday, the day after coach James Franklin's team had another punchless performance against a highly ranked rival.

No. 12 Penn State lost 24-15 to No. 2 Michigan on Saturday, managing just 238 total yards and two touchdowns. The Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) scored just 27 points combined in their two losses against Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State.

Penn State said running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider and tight ends coach Ty Howle will serve as interim offensive coordinators for the final two games against Rutgers and Michigan State.

Yurcich has been with Penn State since 2021 as quarterbacks and offensive coordinator. The Nittany Lions have been productive overall under his direction, but often not when it matters most.

Penn State ranks seventh in the Big Ten in yards per play this season at 5.12 after being third last season.

"We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years but feel it is in our program’s best interest to make a change at this time. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future,” Franklin said Sunday.

Quarterback Drew Allar, a five-star recruit who Yurcich helped bring to Penn State, has also had an inconsistent first season as a starter.

“I’m not the type of guy that’s going to put the blame on anybody else,” Allar said Saturday. “To me, it’s always looking yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and seeing what you did good and bad and just learning from it. It is what it is. I personally feel like I didn’t play well enough to win the game today so that’s what it is.”

He has 21 touchdown passes and only one interception, but against the Wolverines and Buckeyes he completed 28 of 64 passes for 261 yards.

“We’ve got to do a better job of calling a game to allow a quarterback to get into a rhythm,” Franklin said after the game.

Yurcich had stints as quarterbacks coach and coordinator at Texas, Ohio State and Oklahoma State before landing at Penn State.


AP freelance writer Travis Johnson in State College, Pennsylvania, contributed.


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