Mike Yurcich is 'a perfectionist'

Mike Yurcich is 'a perfectionist'

Football

Mike Yurcich is 'a perfectionist'

MEMPHIS — Oklahoma State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich held the same coaching position at Division II Shippensburg (2011-12) before his 2013 arrival in Stillwater.

Yurcich has made a name for himself as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator to the extent that Tennessee has reportedly offered the same position to him.

Yurcich and Oklahoma State are set to take on Missouri in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve to conclude the 2018 season.

Zach Zulli played quarterback at Shippensburg under Yurcich and had instant success in his offensive system, completing 226 passes in 385 attempts, throwing for 2,741 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2011.

Zulli improved even more in Yurcich’s final season at Shippensburg in 2012.

In 2012, Zulli won the Harlon Hill Trophy as Division II’s top football player. Under Yurcich, his stat line was 342 completions in 544 attempts, 4,747 passing yards and 54 passing touchdowns.

Zulli told Vols Wire on the eve of the Liberty Bowl that Yurcich’s system “is almost exactly the same” now as it was at Shippensburg, while he is “putting in wrinkles every week, but the concepts are mostly the same.”

Zulli went in detail about Yurcich’s concepts.

“It is a West Coast spread offense,” he said. “Fast-paced, manipulate the defense with route combos they have never seen before, and make sure they are out of position. Run it until they stop you, and don’t break kind of mentality.

“He has over 200 plays and a million different concepts. A lot of practice comes with it. He was a perfectionist and still is. If the play was wrong or the defense gave the wrong look, we would do it again.”

The type of quarterback that is needed for Yurcich’s system will have to excel in the read option.

“They have to be able to do the read option, so they have to be decently mobile, but they do not have to be a running quarterback,” Zulli said. “He always said to me ‘you are going to throw for more yards than you run’ and to ‘give the ball to the open receiver or running back and let him get the yards’ — so he always wanted me to keep my eyes down field unless I really had a lot of space.

“I would make a play and then check it down to my fourth or fifth option a lot of the times.”

 

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