From The Coordinator: Yurcich Seeks Answers

I'll give offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich credit. It's pretty easy to know what the questions are going to be each week and despite being on the "hot seat" with fans and media he makes it to meet every Monday. Sometimes he has been late as he crams in a little more work or video study, but this Monday he was early as one of the first to report to speak with reporters.

Yurcich fielded all the questions about TCU, and then stressed that he feels even with the youth the offense is working toward getting better and he has hope the light will click on soon.

"We have some really mature guys," the second-year Cowboy play caller said. "Even though they’re young, I think that they understand the team concept. There are some ups and downs in this game, so as long as we prepare, work hard and have a good week of practice, then good things will come."

A good example of that was true freshman and walk-on center Brad Lundblade of Argyle, Texas, who was thrust into the lineup. Yurcich said he felt Lundblade played pretty good and showed signs that he could handle the chores at center and improve.

Defensive tackle James Castleman also endorsed Lundblade as a player that could really improve with the experience. The real need continues to be to run the football. The first series against TCU saw the Cowboys run for 30 yards on nine-, nine-, eight-, and four-yard gains, but a negative yardage play in there kept the drive from continuing.

"I know everybody is tired of hearing this, but we have to run the ball," head coach Mike Gundy said in his press conference. "We blocked better. We played a better team athletically than what we've faced. We actually blocked better in the run game.

"We need to protect (Daxx) Garman better. There were a couple throws he made that I wasn't fired up about. I'm not trying to defend anybody, but if we don't run the ball better than we did Saturday and protect, then it is hard for him to operate. His attitude is good. With the learning and information that he's getting in the game and the adjustments he's making, he's doing fine."

The lists of things they will try on offense is a little wider. In the run game, Gundy said he wants to be able to match up and move the defensive front to open run lanes. He'd like to get where they could use screens and quick passes to burn defenses throwing out blitzes.

"It's kind of like algebra. We're trying to figure out the first form to get to the next one. That's where we're at. We're a little better at it," Gundy added using his kid's math homework as inspiration.

"As I mentioned we're a little better at running the football. We need to do a better job throwing it. Now we're going to have to put it together. If we can improve in certain areas and improve in the basics, then it'll allow the quarterback to play better. It opens up new plays for our team."

This week, West Virginia will show them another new defense as Mountaineers defensive coordinator Tony Gibson has re-introduced the 3-3-5 and really more an odd front stack defense. Former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley is helping scheme it as well and it was very effective in applying pressure on Baylor. The expectation is they will continue to blitz in Stillwater Saturday.

"We’ve got to expect a blitz," Yurcich contributed. "We’ve got to figure out how we can protect the quarterback and what their most common blitzes are."

Get the ball out quick, preferably to Tyreek Hill as often as possible. That was another point Yurcich was good with as well.



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