For the past week, reports had South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper going after the open job at his alma mater Rice.
Two national reports have the Owls going another direction
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported Rice is in the final stages of hiring Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren. Bruce Feldman (Fox/Sports Illustrated) and national insider Brett McMurphy also confirmed the move.
This came days after Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp was firm in the fact Roper is the offensive coordinator currently and is expected to call plays against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
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“He’s our offensive coordinator,” Muschamp said. “I’m not going to get into speculation and ‘sources said’ and business like that. Right now, he’s our offensive coordinator and that’s all I know.”
Roper played quarterback and defensive back for Rice in the early 1990s.
Roper’s two seasons in Columbia have been rocky. The first featured a young and inconsistent roster, with a lot of quarterback instability, while the second included losing a top runner and receiver and offensive line injuries. But USC ranked 108th and 83rd in yards per play, played at a slow pace both seasons and could not be called highly effective either year.
“We need to be more productive offensively,” Muschamp said Sunday when asked to evaluate Roper’s performance. “There’s no doubt about that, and that’s the first thing he would tell you as well.”
Roper has been on the road recruiting and spoke to at least one key USC commit.