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Oklahoma State football: Why Mike Yurcich is feeling the pressure in his first season at OSU

From offensive coordinator at little Shippensburg to offensive coordinator at OSU, Mike Yurcich is under the six-shooter halfway through his inaugural Cowboy season.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 25, 2013

Yurcich had a learning curve in a lot of ways. Just adjusting to talent. Maybe he ran tailback Jeremy Smith on so many stretch plays because Smith looks like a blue-chip talent compared to Shippensburg-level runners. But in the Big 12, tailbacks better hit the corner quick.

Gundy says he's pleased with Yurcich.

“His attitude, his coaching, his teaching, his composure, has been good,” Gundy said. “And his game-day management, play-calling, has been really good. He's maybe more aggressive than anybody we've ever had here.”

But it's a bottom-line business. The Cowboys who scored 44 and 48 points a game in 2011-12 are gone.

OSU doesn't have an NFL-caliber tailback. The offensive line is beat up. The quarterbacks have been inconsistent.

But Walsh and Chelf quarterbacked the Cowboys to a bunch of points last season. Eventually, any lack of success is going to fall at Yurcich's feet. And he knows it.

“You can only control what you can control,” Yurcich said. “Try to help your players out the best you can. That's really what it's all about, getting them playing fast, getting them playing confident, having fun … those are the most important things.

“It's not necessarily pressure. There's a lot of things in life that are pressure. More pressure than this.”

Maybe so. But the pressure will mount on Yurcich, if OSU's offense doesn't find its high gear. The same history that makes this such a desirable job also makes it dicey.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at