A look at the history of Penn State Football’s offense under James Franklin

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Penn State Football made a surprising move Friday, replacing offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca with Mike Yurcich.

Penn State Football head coach James Franklin shocked the college football world on Friday when he let go of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and hired former Texas offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.

With the hiring of Yurcich, Franklin will now have had five offensive coordinators in eight years. For comparison, Franklin has only had two defensive coordinators in the same time frame.

Let’s take a look back to see how Franklin’s offense has evolved from his arrival in 2014 to what we will see in 2021.

John Donovan (2014-15)

The first offensive coordinator for Franklin was John Donovan, his offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.

This was Christian Hackenberg’s sophomore season, coming off of his impressive freshman year under former Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg, and the offense as a whole, struggled mightily in 2014.

Penn State Football  averaged just 20.6 points per game, 113th in the nation. Hackenberg had a rough year, completing just 55.8% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The offense was very pro-style like, with drop back passes and jet sweeps being big parts of it. It didn’t help that Penn State’s offensive line was feeling the brunt of the sanctions at that time.

2015 was a little better as the team averaged 23.2 points per game and Hackenberg was able to improve his touchdown to interception ratio to 16-6.

The emergence of freshman running back Saquon Barkley and receivers DaeSean Hamilton and Chris Godwin helped improve the offense, and they added the “wildcat” to the offense to get Barkley the ball as much as possible. Despite all this, it wasn’t enough to save Donovan.

After being let go, Donovan went on to be an analyst for Jacksonville Jaguars and is now the offensive coordinator at Washington.

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