why will Mike Yurcich’s offense be better in 2022

After a year in which the Penn State Football offense struggled to move the ball and score points, let’s take a look at four main reasons why the Nittany Lions’ offense will be more effective this season

Fresh off the unbelievably exciting boring Blue-White game last Saturday where an announced crowd of 62,000 Penn State Football fans saw the defense defeat the offense 17-13, the murmurs began to swirl. I heard it from friends, family members, neighborhood acquaintances, and certainly I read it from random strangers on the internet.

“Here we go again, this offense stinks.”

“Why can’t Penn State run the ball? Did they suddenly forget?

“Bring back Moorhead, Yurcich isn’t anything special.”

Keep in mind, this was just a small sample, there were many more where that came from.

And look, I get it, Penn State’s offense has been far from explosive lately. This stretches back to various points during Ricky Rahne’s tenure, to the entire season under Kirk Ciarrocca, and it definitely applies to Mike Yurcich’s first year on the job as well.

I’m here to help ease your concerns regarding the Penn State Football offense heading into the 2022 season, or at the very least, instill a tremendous amount of hope that things can and will turn around. There’s no harm in that, right?

What is important is for me to lay out four compelling reasons why the Nittany Lions are going to be several notches better than the “Jay Paterno led offense” level this season. They may even creep into the “really good” territory.

So here they are, four reasons why the Penn State Football offense will be more effective in 2022

Reason No. 1 – Offensive Philosophy Continuity

On a side note, this may be the first time in the history of mankind in which the words “offensive”, “philosophy”, and “continuity” have been used in the same string when describing football. You’re welcome.

Moving on.

In the most basic sense, what I mean here is simply the fact Penn State Football will have the same offensive coordinator for the second year in a row. If you can remember all the way back to 2019 when Sean Clifford became the starting QB, this is the first time he didn’t have to learn an entirely new offense in the offseason.

I’m guessing if I polled the majority of Penn State Football fans, they would agree with the assessment that the offense hasn’t looked much different over the past three seasons. They see all of the shotgun formations which include a combination of three and four receiver sets with a flexed tight end. They see the same route combinations and the same molasses-slow read options.

At least that’s what they think.

Let me assure you, even if there have been some similarities between the Rahne/Ciarrocca/Yurcich offenses, I guarantee you behind the scenes they are significantly different. Each offense has different terminology, route progressions, option routes, blocking schemes, hot routes, and different overall philosophies – the list goes on.

Even for the best quarterbacks on the planet, it generally takes them a season to fully absorb the offensive structure to finally open up the playbook, and I would apply the same standard to the offensive line as well.

As for the running backs, receivers, and tight ends? I’m guessing the learning curve is still steep when a new offensive coordinator steps in, however I don’t think it’s quite as high as it is for the QB and O-line.

Luckily for the Nittany Lions, nothing in the playbook will change from last year, which means the offensive unit should see some major improvements.

Sean Clifford certainly thinks so. Here are some of his comments from him from a recent article in The Athletic.

“It’s the second-year-in-the-system confidence. I feel like, you know, I’ve seen every look in this offense specifically. I know the terminology like it was the back of my hand. I know what plays we want to be in certain looks. And when we get a look that I don’t like, I know the checks that we get out of those looks. Coach Franklin, Coach Yurcich have both given me a lot of freedom, a lot of responsibility.”

This certainly sounds promising, hopefully it leads to results.

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