AMES, Iowa — Mike Yurcich knows he stepped into Pistol Pete-sized boots when he accepted Mike Gundy's job offer. Knows he's coaching where mega-points and mega-yards are not expected, they're demanded.
“There's a standard that's been set here for awhile,” Yurcich said. “And we're not there.”
From offensive coordinator at little Shippensburg to offensive coordinator at OSU, Yurcich is under the six-shooter halfway through his inaugural Cowboy season.
The offense that put Yurcich's predecessors in prime position on the coaching carousel, that made 50-point games and first-round draft picks common, has gone stale. OSU scored 21 points on Mississippi State and West Virginia; 17 offensive points on TCU.
The 5-1 Cowboys, somehow still ranked a lofty 13th, play at Iowa State on Saturday, and if OSU is to contend for a Big 12 title, Yurcich's offense has to blossom.
Gundy offers nothing but support for Yurcich.
“I'm sure he feels like he's taking it personally,” Gundy said. “But he's doing good. He's in a little different situation than what we've been in.”
Gundy has a point. When Dana Holgorsen came aboard as coordinator in 2010, and Todd Monken did the same a year ago, they inherited Brandon Weeden at quarterback. Yurcich inherited the eclectic trio of Wes Lunt, J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf.
But no one wants to hear it. Who in the Big 12 has a quarterback of substance, anyway, this side of Baylor?
“We know where we've got to be,” Yurcich said. “We know we have to improve. But I tell you, when you look at the past and you see the offensive prowess that's been through these stadiums, it's pretty awesome.
“I think every coach in this league never wants to settle or make excuses. Nor do we. It is what it is. We've gotta to improve. We know that.”