(WHTM) – Penn State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has been fired one day after head coach James Franklin publicly called out the team’s playcalling during a 25-14 loss to Michigan that brought the Nittany Lions to 8-2 and a drop to No. 12 in the AP Poll.
“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.
Ja’Juan Seider and Ty Howle will share interim offensive coordinator responsibilities for the remainder of the season.
Yurcich was in his third season with the team as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He previously served as Ohio State’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.
Penn State’s offense averaged nearly 38 points in their first 10 games, second most in the Big Ten behind Michigan. That included two 63-point games against unranked opponents.
Sophomore quarterback Drew Allar, a five star recruit in his first year as the starter, finished 10-22 with just 70 yards and a touchdown against Michigan. There were several missed opportunities for the offense that included missed throws, a fumble by Allar in the third quarter, and two failed two-point conversions.
“We gotta do a better job of calling a game to allow a quarterback to get into rhythm,” said Franklin after Saturday’s loss to Michigan. “That is critical. We gotta find easy completions for a quarterback to get into rhythm. That’s what everybody does. We gotta do a good job with that.”
Penn State’s offense was 4-14 on third down and 2-5 on third and short (within 4 yards) versus Michigan. Coming into the game, the Nittany Lions averaged 42% completion on third downs.
“We still weren’t efficient enough on third down as we need to be, that’s the biggest issue, although we were able to move the ball and do some things in the first half, we were not successful on third down,” added Franklin on Saturday.
They had just one third down attempt of at least nine yards, one they failed to complete.
Franklin said the lack of third down conversions was “to me the biggest issue and was problematic.”
The loss to Michigan dampened any hopes for the Nittany Lions to make the College Football Playoffs. They’ll finish the regular season with games against Rutgers and Michigan State before learning their bowl game fate.