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Michigan Football: South Carolina Fires Offensive Coordinator Ahead Of Bowl

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South Carolina fired its offensive coordinator, play caller and quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper this week.
Chris Gillespie/GamecockCentral.com

Michigan’s Outback Bowl opponent, South Carolina, made a change to its coaching staff Tuesday night, firing offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.

Roper was also the team’s play-caller and quarterbacks coach. Play-calling duties for the bowl game will be handed over to Bryan McClendon, who is the team’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

South Carolina is not expected to fill the position until after the Jan. 1 bowl game.

The Gamecocks had a worse offense than Michigan did this season, finishing No. 109 in the country in total offense (340.2 yards per game). Michigan’s offense is ranked No. 101, averaging 354.9 yards per contest.

Scoring an average of 24.1 points per game, South Carolina is ranked No. 98 nationally in scoring offense, compared to Michigan, which is ranked No. 86 (25.8 ppg).

South Carolina’s rushing attack ranks No. 108 (127.25 ypg) and its passing game ranks No. 79 (212.9 ypg). Michigan’s rushing game is No. 43 (186.3 ypg) and its passing game is No. 112 (168.6 ypg).

Michigan’s SEC opponent has a pair of sophomore running backs in A.J. Turner and Ty’Son Williams. Each have carried the ball 92 times this year. Turner has 517 yards and three touchdowns compared to Williams’ 460 yards and one score.

Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley completes 62.4 percent of his passes and had totaled 2,555 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He’s also a threat on the ground — rushing 67 times for 86 yards and six touchdowns.

Roper, who was at South Carolina for two seasons, is thought to have played a major role in his development.

Prior to joining SC coach Will Muschamp’s staff, he was a member of the coaching staff’s at Ole Miss, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Cleveland Browns. He’s most famous for his development of current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning while he played at Ole Miss.

He was also Arian Foster’s running back coach at Tennessee and Thad Lewis’ coach at Duke.

McClendon played and then coached at Georgia for eight years before joining South Carolina.

The Outback Bowl begins at 12 p.m. on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.


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