Head coach James Franklin, and Penn State Football, fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich in the aftermath of a disappointing loss to Michigan that comes on the heels of an inept offensive showing against Ohio State, earlier in the season.
Yurcich guiding an offense that came up small in the Nittany Lions‘ two games that mattered most to the program’s aspirations of taking the next step and breaking through into the four-team College Football Playoff ultimately wound up being his undoing.
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Each day, NittanyCentral will update the latest news, updates, and rumors of the offensive coordinator search. Be sure to bookmark NittanyCentral.com, and check back often for the latest:
Friday, November 17: Could Chip Kelly or Joe Moorhead wind up in Happy Valley?
Moorhead helped guide the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Conference championship in 2016, but questions persist how much he was aided by elite NFL talent such as Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Chris Godwin, and top-tier quarterback play from Trace McSorley.
Moorehead empowers his quarterbacks to change the play at the line of scrimmage if they see something they don’t like or feel another play is a better option. Therefore, the quarterback must understand defenses because he must make calls at the line of scrimmage.
Moorhead’s system features many run-pass options, with the quarterback making reads on the first, second, and third levels.
This offense could fit the Nittany Lions well; they have an excellent offensive line and strong running backs in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. They would need to get more out of Drew Allar and the receivers.
Meanwhile, another big name — but bigger ego, could be on the market.
Multiple reports suggest that UCLA could fire head coach Chip Kelly. If that happens, might Kelly’s uptempo scheme be alluring for Franklin to import to State College?
Kelly was hired as offensive coordinator at Oregon in February 2007. His potent spread offense attack was an instant success at Oregon. In his first season as OC in Eugene, the Ducks led the Pac-10 in scoring (38.15 ppg) and total offense (467.54 ypg), and also became the highest scoring team while amassing the most yards in the history of Oregon football.
Thursday, November 16: Brennan Marion’s Scheme Could Ignite Penn State Football
UNLV Offensive Coordinator Brennan Marion could ultimately be a darkhorse candidate for Franklin, to bring an innovative new scheme to Penn State Football.
Marion created the Go-Go Offense , which is an uptempo, no-huddle, downhill run game that takes advantage of the entire field and match-ups. Two running backs are next to the quarterback on the right, and three receivers out wide.
UNLV is currently third in the Mountain West, averaging 421.8 yards per game. They are also third in rushing, averaging 195.9 yards per game, and in passing, averaging 226.1 yards per Contest.
Meanwhle, UNLV averages 36.4 points per game and is 8-2.
For his efforts, Marion is generating some national buzz:
The go-go offense forces the defense to overload one side of the field and gives the offense an advantage when running the ball to the weak side.
It also utilizes the short passing game and can stretch the field vertically, which is what Penn State needs.
Whether Marion winds up on Franklin’s radar remains to be seen, but he is a top choice for at least one former Nittany Lion, cornerback Justin King, who threw his hat in the Marion ring:
Wednesday, November 15: Joe Brady Likely Out as Possible Candidate
The Buffalo Bills fired their offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, on Tuesday after an inept performance against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
Bills quarterbacks coach Joe Brady was elevated to interim offensive coordinator, where he’ll get the opportunity to audition for the role full-time while calling the plays for quarterback Josh Allen and the offense the remainder of this season.
Brady had been linked to the Penn State job by many fans and analysts as a possible candidate, especially given the fact that he was a graduate assistant under former offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
The former Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator would have provided the Nittany Lions a bright young mind on Franklin’s staff, but it would now seem unlikely that he would leave Buffalo, especially if he coaches his way into the offensive coordinator role full-time.