Mike Yurcich: “There’s Nothing Going On” with Vols’ OC Job

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    (Photo via Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics)

    Tennessee’s search for an offensive coordinator has taken several twists and turns over the last couple weeks. Behind the scenes, things seem to be going smoothly. But online and with the Tennessee fan base, things have been far less smooth.

    The latest news came on Sunday when a parody Twitter account reported that Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich would be taking the Vols’ offensive coordinator job. Not only did that cause waves among Vol fans, but Oklahoma State media outlets started digging around to see if there was any merit to what was being “reported.”

    The 247Sports affiliate for Oklahoma State tracked down Yurcich to get his comment on his interest in Tennessee’s OC position, and he told Robert Allen of GoPokes247 that there’s nothing to worry about in that regard.

    “There’s nothing going on,” Yurcich said. “Hey, I would tell you if something is up. You have been good to me.”

    Jeremy Pruitt and Yurcich have at least met and discussed the Vols’ vacant offensive coordinator position according to Allen. But the reports that he’s leaving Oklahoma State for Knoxville are premature at best right now.

    Yurcich has been the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State since 2013, and he’s been the play-caller for some potent offenses. The Cowboys rank inside the top-15 in scoring offense this season, and they’re averaging the 10th-most offensive yards per game this season. Yurcich’s offense is known for operating at a “turbo speed” and racking up points and yards in a hurry.

    But Allen questions whether or not that type of tempo would be appealing to a defensive-minded coach like Pruitt.

    “It is the turbo speed that has me kind of conflicted on this,” Allen states. “I have a hard time seeing a very defensive minded head coach in Pruitt hiring an offensive coordinator that likes to go super fast in Yurcich.”

    This season, Oklahoma State ran 931 plays on offense, averaging 77.6 plays per game. And they did that while averaging the 13th-lowest time of possession per game in the FBS. Oklahoma State averaged just 27 minutes and 26 seconds of possession on offense in 2018.

    For comparison, the Vols ran just 716 offensive plays — their lowest total since 2004 — and averaged just 59.7 plays per contest. The Vols averaged 29 minutes and 10 seconds of offensive possession this past season.

    It was mentioned on Sunday by former Tennessee coach and current radio host Doug Mathews that a “decision has been made” by Tennessee on who to hire, but there’s “no hurry” to announce that hire at this time.

    Tyson Helton left Tennessee as their offensive coordinator to take the head coaching job at Western Kentucky two weeks ago, and it was made official on November 27th when the Hilltoppers welcomed Helton in. Since then, Jeremy Pruitt has been on the search for a new OC, though he’s been spending the majority of his time traveling the US meeting with recruits in the 2019 and 2020 classes.