Texas Football: Sam Ehlinger-Mike Yurcich could be a great Big 12 QB-OC duo

Head coach Tom Herman could be piecing a great duo together between new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich and QB Sam Ehlinger for Texas football this fall.

The days of Mike Yurcich calling the plays as the offensive coordinator and/or passing game coordinator with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Ohio State Buckeyes are now done. Yurcich is done calling plays with any school with the acronym “OSU”. Texas football hired Yurcich to be their next offensive coordinator after demoting Tim Beck.

Then Beck wound up taking the offensive coordinator job with head coach Dave Doeren and the NC State Wolfpack instead of sticking with Texas as just the quarterbacks coach.

Yurcich might be one of the most potent hires that head coach Tom Herman made to this Texas Longhorns football staff entering the 2029 offseason. Last season with the Buckeyes, Yurcich helped to develop a Heisman finalist behind center with redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Fields.

He was also able to further develop his concepts and passing schemes under a brilliant offensive mind in first-year Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

The development of Yurcich as an offensive mind in the college football realm happened quickly and yielded some great results. Under long time Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, Yurcich recruited and saw former star Pokes quarterback Mason Rudolph blossom over a very accomplished four-year career.

Rudolph and Fields are just two of the quarterbacks that Yurcich had a solid hand in producing. Oklahoma State’s Clint Chelf and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins were also coached up by Yurcich at one time.

However, the potential of what the balanced but open scheme of Yurcich could do with to-be senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger on the Forty Acres next season is mind-boggling. Texas returns a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball around Ehlinger, including wide receivers Jake Smith and Brennan Eagles along with running back Keaontay Ingram. Texas should also have a steady group starting along the offensive line.

Yurcich showed what he can do with a true dual-threat quarterback that makes good decisions outside of the pocket with Fields last year. Ehlinger could be a rendition of that with a Longhorns spin in the more wide open play of the Big 12.

Ehlinger and Yurcich are reportedly high on working with each other now too. It seems like Ehlinger was a big drawing point for Yurcich to take his coaching talents back to the Big 12 and join the Longhorns.

Here’s what he had to say on his chance with Ehlinger this year.

“Sam’s a hell of a player and he’s a big part of why I chose this position,” the OC said. “He’s an experienced quarterback, and he’s a proven winner.”

The 6-foot-3 and 230 pound Ehlinger is coming off a junior campaign where he threw for more than 3,600 yards and had 32 touchdowns through the air compared to just 10 picks. He’ll be looking to have yet another record breaking season during his senior campaign.

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Texas will get one chance to make this combination work between Ehlinger and Yurcich before the star quarterback runs out of eligibility. They are coming off a 2019 season where they posted a record of 8-5 (5-4 Big 12) and will be looking to make a run at the conference title game and College Football Playoff this fall.

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